Stuart Whitman, best known for his role in the TV western series Cimarron Strip and his Oscar-nominated turn in the drama The Mark, died in his home in Montecito, California. He was 92.
According to TMZ, Whitman had been in and out of the hospital as a result of skin cancer seeping into his bloodstream. He was surrounded by family at the time of his death.
Whitman was born on February 1, 1928 in San Francisco before his family would move to Brooklyn. He went on to graduate from Hollywood High School and served in the United States Army in the Corps of Engineers. He was a boxer and a football player, but also had an interest in acting which he studied at Los Angeles City College.
While at the Ben Bard Drama acting school, Whitman appeared in a production of Here Comes Mr. Jordan which could be considered a spark that started his acting career. After making his big-screen debut in Rudolph Maté’s When Worlds Collide, he went on to appear in Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still and starred as the title character in Johnny Trouble in 1957. He also appeared in TV series Boston Blackie and Lux Video.
In 1958, James Garner tapped Whitman to take over his role in the Warner Bros. war film Darby’s Rangers when Garner took over Heston’s role after the latter stepped down. His resume started to fill up with credits in a variety of films from many genres including Ten North Frederick (1958), Hound-Dog Man (1959), These Thousand Hills (1959) The Story of Ruth (1960), Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965), Night of the Lepus (1972) and many others. He also starred opposite John Wayne in The Comancheros (1961) and The Longest Day (1962). In 1961, Whitman was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in The Mark where he played a man battling his inner demons after he served time for intent to commit child molestation.
On the TV side, Whitman had a flood of credits including Highway Patrol, Cimarron Strip, Superboy, The Streets of San Francisco, Knight Rider, A-Team, S.W.A.T., Fantasy Island, Tales of the Unexpected, Murder, She Wrote, Knots Landing, among others. His last onscreen appearance was alongside Chuck Norris in the CBS movie The President’s Man.
Whitman is survived by wife Yulia as well as his children Justin, Anthony, Michael, Linda and Scott and his grandchildren.