Robert Mitchum was a cool cat and a real Hollywood he-man who became an actor only as a last recourse.
He spent much of his early life being what used to be called a “delinquent.” His bad boy reputation was hard-won. He was expelled from schools, did time on a chain gang, had a nervous breakdown—the man did it all—and survived! He took his tough-as-nails street cred and parlayed it into a fantastic career playing prototypical antiheroes in the movies.
He started as a villain in Hopalong Cassidy movies in the early 1940s, then segued into war pictures including 1944’s Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Noir films came next like Jacques Tourneur’s 1947 classic Out of the Past and Don Siegel’s 1949 The Big Steal. Holiday Affair was a bit of a switch for Mitchum.
In the 1950s, Otto Preminger cast him as an ambulance driver in 1952’s Angel Face; actor-turned-director Charles Laughton gave him the chilling role of a religious fanatic in the 1955 cult favorite Night of the Hunter, and John Huston shipwrecked him with a nun (Deborah Kerr) in 1957’s Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison.
Mitchum worked steadily in films throughout the 1960s and ‘70s. Among his best known works are the thriller Cape Fear in 1962 and David Lean’s 1970 epic Ryan’s Daughter. He played Philip Marlowe in 1975’s Farewell, My Lovely and 1978’s The Big Sleep, too. Focusing on television in the ‘80s, Mitchum made appearances in two miniseries, North and South and War and Remembrance. He also played the role of a police lieutenant in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear. How cool is that?
When asked for a holiday recipe back in 1970, Mitchum offered up his eggnog for a crowd. “I make no apology for the excessive quantity,” Michum told the food writer who’d requested the recipe. “Only a dope would go to the trouble for less.” It’ll be perfect for any holiday affair you might throw…
Robert Mitchum’s Eggnog Recipe
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 pound confectioner’s sugar
- 1 quart rum, brandy or whiskey
- 2 quarts cream
- 1 quart milk
- 12 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat egg yolks and confectioner’s sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the rum, brandy or whiskey. Add cream and milk. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry. Fold this mixture into the liquid. Chill. Serves 20.
About the Author
Best known for his years as the movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, writer/performer Frank De Caro is heard each weekday morning on his own live call-in program, The Frank De Caro Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The author of the groundbreaking memoir A Boy Named Phyllis, De Caro’s writing has appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times. Visit www.deadcelebritycookbook.com for more info.