Robert Mitchum

Mitchum in 1949, Screenland p. 41, J. Fred Henry Publications

Birth Name: Robert Charles Durman Mitchum

Date of Birth: August 6, 1917

Place of Birth: Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.

Date of Death: July 1, 1997

Place of Death: Santa Barbara, California, U.S.

*English, remote Welsh, possibly other (father)
*Norwegian (mother)

Robert Mitchum was an American actor, director, author, poet, composer, and singer.

Robert’s father, James Thomas Mitchum, was born in Lane, Williamsburg, South Carolina, and had English, remote Welsh, and possibly other, ancestry. Robert’s mother, Ann Harriet/Henrietta (Gunderson), was a Norwegian emigrant, born in Kristiania/Christiania, Oslo, Norway.

Robert had said that he had Native American ancestry, sometimes stated as Blackfoot. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented.

He is also sometimes described as having had Scots-Irish ancestry.

With his wife, Dorothy Spence, Robert had three children, including actor James Mitchum, and actor, screenwriter, and businessperson Christopher Mitchum. Among his grandchildren is actor Bentley Mitchum, and Carrie Mitchum (who was previously married to actor Casper Van Dien, with whom she has two children).

Robert’s paternal grandfather was Thomas Dupree/Dupre “Duke”/Dukes Mitchum (the son of Samuel/Sam M. Mitchum and Mary Ellen Davis). Thomas was born in South Carolina. Samuel was the son of Abraham Mitchum and Maria June.

Robert’s paternal grandmother was named Ida Elizabeth Barfield. Ida was born in South Carolina.

Robert’s maternal grandfather was named Gustavus/Gustav Adophus/Adolph/Adolf/Olav Gunderson/Gundersen. Gustavus was born in Trondheim, Sor-Trondelag, Norway.

Robert’s maternal grandmother was named Petrine Marie Schulerud. Petrine was born in Sravanger Fjord, Norway.

Sources: Genealogies of Robert Mitchum –

Genealogies of Robert Mitchum (focusing on his father’s side) –

Robert’s father on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Robert’s father (focusing on his own mother’s side) –

Robert’s paternal grandfather, Thomas Dupree/Dupre “Duke”/Dukes Mitchum, on the 1870 U.S. Census –

Lil Vacha

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14 Responses

  1. ses101 says:

    Mitchum is a Scottish name, and I have read in the past his dad was of Ulster-Scots descent.

  2. bablah says:

    Can anybody find more about Mary Ellen Davis? She’s the source of the ”Blackfoot Indian” myth in the Mitchum family, but I can’t find her anywhere before her marriage, and that one census I could find in 1870 has the whole family as mulatto (which Samuel certainly wasn’t).

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