I’m a little late on this one, having seen the veteran actor’s passing mentioned at Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings yesterday afternoon. Whitmore, renowned for his portrayals of Americans like Will Rogers, Harry S Truman (a role that earned him a Best Oscar nom in the 1975 film Give ‘em Hell, Harry!) and Theodore Roosevelt, succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 87.
Since I don’t watch too much of today’s TV programming, I would honestly have to say that the last thing I’d seen Whitmore in was those Miracle-Gro fertilizer commercials that seem to perpetually dot the landscape of TV Land. This, of course, would do the actor a great disservice; he appeared in scores of my favorite classic films, including The Undercover Man (1949), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Kiss Me Kate (1953), Them! (1954),
Whitmore also had a lengthy C.V. of television credits, including three series he appeared on regularly: The Law and Mr. Jones (1960-62), My Friend Tony (1969) and Temperatures Rising (1972-73). He did all the biggies, from Gunsmoke to Rawhide…from Combat to High. But for some reason, the TV role for which I remember him best was an appearance in one of the better hour-long Twilight Zone efforts, “On Thursday We Leave For Home.”
R.I.P., Jimmy. You’ll never know how much you’ll be missed.