Robert Mitchum on the set of Out of the Past, 1947.
While filming their first film together, His Kind of Woman, Bob and Jane got along like old buddies. From her stand-in and friend Carmen Cabeen, Russell was already well acquainted with some of Bob’s more depraved antics and she had prepared herself for his “shocking side,” but the fact that he was also so “intellectual, gentle, caring” came as a most pleasant surprise. She would rave about his astounding command of the English language—even as he would tell her she was the most inarticulate girl he knew. He would tease her about her God-fearing ways, but he understood she was no Loretta Young, wallowing in piety. He loved to tell the one about the pestering reporter who couldn’t believe a girl with her “image” read the Bible and went to church each Sunday. “Hey Buddy,” she told him, “Christians have big breasts, too.” She was good-natured, generous, strong-minded when she had to be, a stand-up guy. Mitchum nicknamed her “Hard John.” They became fast friends. “I think she really adored Bob, loved him deeply, but without any hankypanky. Because she’s a very straight girl. And he loved her. It was just a marvelous combination,” commented Vincent Price.
Robert Mitchum said of Jane: “Jane Russell is an authentic original. She is pragmatic in her faith and fanatic in her loyalties. She disdains the weakness of vanity, and guards the truth with moral zeal. She tells it how it is.”
Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon in cowboy gear at a party, date unknown.
Essentially, I attribute my success to my skeleton, to my low voice, to my broken nose and to my Bulgarian warrior walk. That’s enough. Also, I have an air of being the average guy. I’m not like Brando, who makes guys jealous. When I appear on the screen, guys think: ‘If he’s become a star, I can hope for anything.’—Robert Mitchum
Robert Mitchum with the U.S. Navy in Monoco, 1955. Photographed by Edward Quinn.
Two Indian officers having their autograph books signed by Robert Mitchum in front of the Hotel Negresco, Nice, 1955. Photographed by Edward Quinn.
Robert Mitchum & Ann Blyth in One Minute to Zero (1952)
Robert Mitchum with his son James in Nice photographed by Edward Quinn, 1955
Robert Mitchum takes a nap on the set of The Way West, 1967.