Sunday, February 08, 2009
James Whitmore, Character Actor Extrodinaire
I was saddened the other day by the passing of actor James Whitmore. He was a solid character actor who had hundreds of parts in movies and television shows. He was also known for a stage show, "Give 'Em Hell, Harry!," about President Harry Truman. Younger folks might remember him best as the elderly prison librarian who has trouble adjusting to life outside prison in The Shawshank Redemption.
For me, though, Whitmore holds a place in my heart as an important part of my son's childhood. Whitmore starred, along with James Arness (later Marshall Dillion in Gunsmoke) in Them!, a 1954 sci-fi classsic about giant ants, created by the first nuclear test at Almagardo, New Mexico, attacking Los Angeles. In a post a couple of years ago, one of my earliest posts, I recounted my son's early childhood obsession with the movie, and how it ended up being responsible for a piece of of great art.