Earned a football scholarship at Yale University but extensive knee injuries led him to give the sport up.
First job in the entertainment field was as a radio director for the Yale University station.
Grandfather of James Whitmore III.
He is survived by eight grandchildren.
In the early 1950s Whitmore conducted an acting workshop in Hollywood; one of his pupils was a struggling young actor, then unknown, James Dean. Whitmore helped Dean get some jobs in LA but encouraged Dean to go to New York to audition for the Actors Studio. Dean was one of the few accepted the year he auditioned.
Is a member of Yale University's exclusive Skull & Bones club, an undergraduate secret society famous for the post-graduation accomplishments of its members. Other living members include President George W. Bush and his father, former President George Bush, Sen. John Kerry and Pulitzer-Prize winning historian David McCullough. Deceased members include President William Howard Taft, political commentator William F. Buckley and President Bush's own grandfather, Prescott Bush, a U.S. Senator and partner in the Wall St. white shoe brokerage firm of Brown Bros., Harriman.
Met and married first wife Nancy Mygatt while studying at the American Theatre Wing. She was their press agent at the time.
Performed his one-man stage show on and off for thirty years (1970-2000). He had nearly eight hours of various comments about the topics of the day memorized, changing the show each time he performed it. His costume is now housed at the Smithsonian Institute.
Served in the US Marine Corps during World War Two.
Sometimes people confuse Whitmore and Spencer Tracy. The two sometimes look as if they could have been brothers.
Well known for his role as Capt. Benteen in "Twilight Zone: On Thursday We Leave for Home (#4.16)" (1963), considered by many fans to be the best hour-long entry in the show's history.
Went to the Choate School Wallingford, Connecticult on a football scholarship. Was a pre-law collegiate at Yale University but quit playing football after suffering two knee injuries. While at Yale he set up the campus radio station and starred in a nightly sports news show called "Jim Whitmore Speaks".
Youngest of four children, his father was an Executive Secretary for a local Park Commission in White Plains, NY.