Classic Movie Legend Tribute: Thomas Mitchell

Happy Birthday to Classic Movie Legend, Character Actor Thomas Mitchell, born July 11, 1892!

Veteran Character Actor Thomas Mitchell has appeared in such a wonderful array of iconic films — and has portrayed such a diverse palette of characters — that it’s almost hard to know where to begin! That said, I will do my best to do him justice here by highlighting some of his more famous roles!

Whoops, before I start, I also want to mention that Thomas Mitchell was the first person to win the ‘Triple Crown’ of acting – an Oscar in 1940 for Best Supporting Actor in Stagecoach, an Emmy in 1953 for Best Actor (comedy), and a Tony Award in 1953 for Best Performance by an Actor for the musical Hazel Flagg.

Now on with the ‘show’…

Thomas Mitchell with Vivien Leigh in Gone with the WindThomas Mitchell as Gerald O’Hara (Scarlet’s father) and Vivien Leigh as Scarlet in Gone with the Wind (1939, director Victor Fleming)

“Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, that Tara, that land, doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” -Thomas Mitchell as Gerald O’Hara in Gone with the Wind


Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy with James Stewart as George Bailey in It's a Wonderful LifeThomas Mitchell as lovable but absent-minded Uncle Billy and James Stewart as George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, director Frank Capra)

“After all, Potter (Lionel Barrymore), some people like George HAD to stay at home.”
-Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life


Cary Grant and Thomas Mitchell in Only Angels Have WingsCary Grant as pilot Geoff Carter and Thomas Mitchell as his right-hand-man Kid Dabb in Only Angels Have Wings (1939, director Howard Hawks)

“The only thing I can tell you about him, he’s a good guy for gals to stay away from.
-Thomas Mitchell as Kid Dabb in Only Angels Have Wings


Thomas Mitchell as Doc Boone in StagecoachThomas Mitchell as philosophical drunk Doc Boone in Stagecoach (1939, director John Ford)

“Is this the face that wrecked 1000 ships and burned the towerless tops of Illium? Farewell, fair Helen.”
- Thomas Mitchell as Dr. Josiah Boone in Stagecoach


Thomas Mitchell with Jean Arthur and Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonThomas Mitchell as reporter Diz Moore with Jean Arthur as Clarissa Saunders and Jimmy Stewart as Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939, director Frank Capra)

“This is the most titanic battle of modern times. A David without even a slingshot rises to do battle against the mighty Goliath, the Taylor machine, allegedly crooked inside and out. Yeah, and for my money, you can cut out the allegedly‘”
-Thomas Mitchell as Diz Moore in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


Thomas Mitchell as Mayor Jonas Henderson in High NoonThomas Mitchell as Mayor Jonas Henderson in High Noon (1952, director Fred Zinnemann)

“What this town owes Will Kane here it can never repay with money – and don’t ever forget it. He’s the best marshal we ever had. Maybe the best marshal we’ll ever have.”
-Thomas Mitchell as Mayor Jonas Henderson in High Noon


AND LAST but certainly not least :)…

Thomas Mitchell as Tommie Blue in The Black SwanThomas Mitchell as Tyrone Power’s side-kick Tommy Blue in The Black Swan (1942, director Henry King)

“By land or by sea, you can always rely on Tom Blue for wrong doin’ of any nature!”
-Thomas Mitchell as Tommy Blue in The Black Swan


–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub


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