Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thomas Mitchell, 1892-1962

Thomas Mitchell and Claire Trevor in Stagecoach (1939)

Today marks the birth anniversary of Thomas Mitchell, one of those character actors who shows up in dozens of old movies: he had about four dozen appearances in the 1930s and 1940s, and did a lot of TV work in the 1950s along with some movies. Mitchell won the Best Supporting Actor for playing the alcoholic doctor in 1939's Stagecoach. And yet, as good a job as Mitchell does in Stagecoach, it may not be his most famous role, as he also played James Stewart's uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life. There's also his appearance as Scarlett O'Hara's father Gerald in Gone With the Wind.

Other movies I've recommended Mitchell in include his performance as one of the children in Make Way For Tomorrow, or Rita Hayworth's husband in Tales of Manhattan. Mitchell's last screen appearance is in Pocketful of Miracles, which is a remake of Lady For a Day.

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