Action hero Stuart Whitman, best known for his cowboy movies, has died at the age of 92 of complications from cancer. He passed away at his home in Montecito, California on March 16, 2020.
Whitman was best known for his work in western action-adventures, Marshal Jim Crown in Cimarron Strip, Paul Regret in The Comancheros, Hugh McRae in Run, Cougar, Run, and Captain Haven in Rio Conchos, but he appeared in superhero and science fiction roles as well as westerns. In the late ’80s/early ’90s syndicated Superboy TV show, he played Superboy’s father, Jonathan Kent. He also featured as Roy Bennett in that immortal cult classic B picture horror movie, Night of the Lepus (think giant killer bunnies. Yeah, that one).
He was born February 1, 1928 in San Francisco, CA, and his acting career stretched over half a century. His first movie was the 1951 science fiction classic film When Worlds Collide. His final role was in the Chuck Norris failed television pilot The President’s Man in 2000 (he had previously worked with Norris as a guest star on Walker, Texas Ranger).
Stuart Whitman graduated from high school in Los Angeles. After three years in the army, he attended Los Angeles City College, where he developed an interest in acting. He then changed schools, to the Los Angeles Academy of Dramatic Art, where he honed his craft.
In addition to When Worlds Collide, he appeared in the science fiction movie Omega Cop, and guest starred on Time Trax in a role that was deliberately reminiscent of the part he played on Cimarron Strip. He appeared in the horror movie Eaten Alive with Carolyn Jones (Morticia on The Addams Family) and Robert Englund (Willie in V, Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street). Whitman also appeared in the horror movie The Cat Creature, written by Robert Bloch. He co-starred in Monster Club with Vincent Price and John Carradine.
Whitman was twice nominated for Laurel Awards. He won the Golden Boots Award in 2002. He was granted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998, and earned an Oscar nomination for his role as Jim Fuller in The Mark.
He was married three times, divorced twice, and had five children. His family has requested that fans and well-wishers make donations in his name to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.