All My Children patriarch James Mitchell dies at 89

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    Jan 26, 2010 4:14 AM GMT
    All My Children patriarch James Mitchell dies at 89
    Last Updated: Monday, January 25, 2010 | 9:08 AM ET Comments6Recommend28
    The Associated Press

    James Mitchell, who for nearly three decades played gruff patriarch Palmer Cortland on the ABC soap opera All My Children, has died, his longtime partner said Sunday night.

    Mitchell died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, partner Albert Wolsky said. Mitchell had suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for years, complicated by a recent bout of pneumonia.

    Mitchell appeared in more than 300 episodes of the popular soap from 1979 until a 40th anniversary episode this month. He was a regular on the show until 2008.

    Mitchell enjoyed playing the icy, wealthy Palmer, who wielded power over his children and the show's fictional town of Pine Valley.

    "He loved playing mean," Wolsky said. "A soap gives an actor a chance to develop something because it goes on for so long."

    Born in Sacramento, Calif., in 1920 and trained as a dancer, Mitchell had leading roles in the Broadway musicals Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon, and danced on stage with the American Ballet Theater.

    His film credits include 1953's The Band Wagon with Fred Astaire, 1954's Deep in My Heart and 1955's Oklahoma.

    Mitchell also taught movement for actors at Yale University and Drake University, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate.

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    I didn't know he was gay. R.I.P Palmer Cortland.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jan 26, 2010 6:13 AM GMT
    Ditto. But glad we finally live in a time where his partner can openly declare their relationship.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Jan 26, 2010 6:15 AM GMT
    You all need to move to Canada, where being gay and married is legal, as is smoking pot. Good Lord, 89 and he still hadn't come out?
  • chgobuzz1

    Posts: 155

    Jan 26, 2010 6:50 AM GMT
    He was quite good as Palmer. One of my favorite characters. I suspect in soap operas easily half the male actors are gay and playing straight guys just fine.
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    Jan 26, 2010 12:45 PM GMT
    He didn't need publicity to come out in the closet but his colleagues knew he was gay. That's is business