John Mitchum will probably be best remembered for playing Clint Eastwood’s linguini-eating sidekick Detective DeGeorgio in the Dirty Harry film series, and for his comical role as non-English speaking Trooper Hoffenmueller on television’s F Troop.
Throughout his diverse career, Mitchum played a lot of rough characters in Westerns like Breakheart Pass, The Outlaw Josey Wales, El Dorado and Chisum, but at heart he was really a poet; a trait that he shared with his famous elder brother, Robert.
Like his close pal John Wayne, Mitchum had a deep love for his country that led to a collaboration that became the popular record album America, Why I Love Her. In these troubled times, Mitchum’s profound lyrics spoken by the Duke take on even more meaning.
Mitchum also made a highly enjoyable duet folk album with Bonanza’s Dan Blocker, entitled “Our Land-Our Heritage”, with Big John singing the songs and Ol’ Hoss telling the stories. With his autobiography, Them Ornery Mitchum Boys, he detailed his background and all the friendships he made, since first starting as an actor in 1947.
Always a gentleman, Mitchum was no stranger to the Western festival and fan circuit. His sincerity, sense of humor and wonderful outlook on life always served him well.