James Whitmore

  1. Edward Platt, Rebel Without A Cause, 1955.       For Ray Fremick, the sympathetic juvenile division counselor, director Nicholas Ray had the choice of Whitmore, Richard Crane (not with his Rocky Jones, Space Ranger image!), Peter Grey, Walter Reed, even Superman George Reeves… he had co-starred with Reed in Superman and the Mole Men in 1951. Fremick was named after Old Nick (!), hardly the juvenile counselor type as he was known to testing potential Judies… from Jayne Mansfield to under-age Natalie Wood.   In bed!
  2. Chuck Connors, The Rifleman, TV, 1958-1963.   Well, of course, Connors was the titular Lucas McCain, but he didn’t come cheap. ABC then looked over Whitemore and John Anderson before being loving the chemistry between Connors and his screen sprog, Johnny Crawford, on Old Yeller, 1957. Exactly what they required for the McCains. ABC upped the ante and the ex-Chicago Cubs baseball star, signed on for 168 stories. And a stack of residuals.
  3.  Gene Hackman, The Firm, 1992.    Early Sydney Pollack casting was  Whitmore as the boss of Jason Patric at the law firm that was (ssh! not a word) run by the  Mafia.  They became Hackman (in the first of his three John Grisham films) and Tom Cruise. 

 Birth year: 1921Death year: 2009Other name: Casting Calls:  3