James Mitchell, who plays Palmer Cortlandt on All My Children, was born February 29, 1920 in Sacramento, California.
He began as a modern dancer, and early on became a leading dancer, and favorite of the great American choreographer Agnes de Mille. She featured him as the "Dream Curly" in the 1955 film musical Oklahoma. (This astonishing dance segment was later re-released in the film That's Dancing!). Mr. Mitchell has had a long varied career which spanned several theatrical worlds. The briefest of highlights include:
Dance: Working with Agnes de Mille, Gower Champion, Lester Horton, and Jerome Robbins, for whom he was a lead dancer in the American Ballet Theatre in the 1950's….
Film: Featured in The Turning Point (1977), The Band Wagon (1953), Oklahoma (1955), Stars in My Crown (1950)….
Broadway Theater: Mack and Mabel (1974), Paint Your Wagon (1951), Brigadoon (1947) – for which he won the Theatre World Award for his portrayal of Harry Beaton.
Television: Armstrong Circle Theatre, Edge Of Night (1964). And in 1979 he began on All My Children as the powerful, crafty Palmer Cortlandt. For which he has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award six times (Outstanding Actor: 1980, 1981, 1982, (1983, 1985 and 1989).
James Mitchell has been a teacher, choreographer, director, and of course, wonderful actor. He has always been an ardent supporter of many dance companies and theatres companies. Long considered the heart of All My Children by his colleagues there, he remains the benevolent connective between then and now.
James Mitchell passed away January 22, 2010 in Los Angeles.