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James Mitchell

James Mitchell

(1920 – 2010)

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United States

James Mitchell

James Mitchell
(1920 – 2010)

In memory of

James Mitchell

(1920 – 2010)
About James
This is a tribute to James Mitchell who was an American actor and dancer. Although he is best-known to television audiences as Palmer Cortlandt on the soap opera All My Children (1979 – 2009), theatre and dance historians remember him as one of Agnes de Mille's leading dancers. James Mitchell's skill at combining dance and acting was considered something of a novelty; in 1959, the critic Olga Maynard singled him out as "an important example of the new dancer-actor-singer in American ballet", pointing to his interpretive abilities and "masculine" technique.
James Mitchell was born in Sacramento, California. His parents emigrated from England to Northern California, where they operated a fruit farm in
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About James
Turlock. In 1923, James's mother, Edith, left his father and returned to England with James's brother and sister; she and James Mitchell had no further contact. Unable to run a farm while single-handedly raising his remaining son, James's father fostered him out for several years to vaudevillians Gene and Katherine King. After James Mitchell's mother died, however, his father remarried and brought both of his sons, but not his daughter, back to Turlock. At age seventeen, James Mitchell left Turlock for Los Angeles, where he studied drama and dance.
James Mitchell worked consistently on stage in both musicals and straight dramas until the late 1970s, including numerous regional theatre roles across the country.
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About James
His other significant credits include Broadway appearances in Carousel, First Impressions, and The Deputy; off-Broadway appearances in Winkelberg, The Threepenny Opera, Livin' the Life, and The Father; L'Histoire du Soldat at New York City Opera; and national tours of The Rainmaker (with future All My Children co-star Frances Heflin), The King and I, Funny Girl, and The Threepenny Opera.
James Mitchell was also very active on television, especially in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In addition to working regularly as a dancer, James played dramatic roles in a number of TV movies and prime-time series, as well as in the anthologies that were once so popular, such as Play of the Week, Gruen Guild Playhouse,
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About James
and Armstrong Circle Theatre. In 1964, he took his first contract role on a soap opera in The Edge of Night, as the corrupt Capt. Lloyd Griffin; this was followed by the entire run of Where the Heart Is (1969-73), in which he played the male lead, Julian Hathaway. During the late 1970s, he was a guest star on Lou Grant and Charlie's Angels.
Besides performing, James Mitchell occasionally worked as a director and choreographer, particularly in the late 1960s and 1970s. He staged musicals at the Paper Mill Playhouse, the Mark Taper Forum, and The Muny, among other theatres. In 1956, he and Katherine Litz co-staged The Enchanted for American Ballet Theatre.
In 1979, after several years of only occasional
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About James
work, James Mitchell was hired to play the villainous businessman Palmer Cortlandt on the soap opera All My Children. Initially hired for only one year, Mitchell remained on contract through to 2009. His final appearance as a contract player was September 19, 2008, although his retirement was not made official until September 30, 2009. He made a guest appearance on January 5th, 2010, as part of the show's fortieth anniversary.
This is an online memorial dedicated to James Mitchell who passed away on the 22nd January 2010. May he rest in peace.
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James Mitchell - tribute extract

James Mitchell

This is a tribute to James Mitchell who was an American actor and dancer. Although he is best-known to television audiences as Palmer Cortlandt on the soap opera All My Children (1979 – 2009), theatre and dance historians remember him as one of Agnes de Mille's leading dancers. James Mitchell's skill at combining dance and acting was considered something of a novelty; in 1959, the critic Olga Maynard singled him out as "an important example of the new dancer-actor-singer in American ballet", pointing to his interpretive abilities and "masculine" technique.
James Mitchell was born in Sacramento, California. His parents emigrated from England to Northern California, where they operated a fruit farm in...

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Rest in peace James
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