Stuart Whitman, an icon of the silver screen who was known for his starring roles in classic western films and television series, died at his California home on March 16. He was 92.
The actor had been hospitalized recently for skin cancer that had seeped into his bloodstream.
"Old Hollywood lost another one of its true stars. Stuart Whitman was known for his rugged roles and handsome charm," Stuart's son, Justin, told TMZ. "We were proud of him for his tv, film roles and his Oscar nomination, but what we will really remember is his exuberant love of his family and friends."
Whitman, whose first role was in the 1951 movie When Worlds Collide, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1961 film The Mark. He also starred in the comedy Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines and starred as Marshal Jim Crown in the western series Cimarron Strip, which was produced by the creators of Gunsmoke, and the series Highway Patrol (as Broderick Crawford), and episodes of Knight Rider, Love, American Style, A-Team, Fantasy Island and Murder, She Wrote. He also appeared in the television movie Once Upon a Texas Train. He had a recurring role on Dallas spin-off Knot's Landing and appeared in the cult favorite series The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. and Walker, Texas Ranger. Whitman was perhaps best known for his role in the 1961 filmThe Comancheros, starring John Wayne.
In a 2014 interview with The Oklahoman, Whitman said he convinced John Wayne to get him the role of Paul Regret in The Comancheros.
"I found him on the Paramount lot coming out of his trailer. I'd never met him before, but walked right up to him and spent 20 minutes pitching for the part,"Whitman told The Oklahoman. "Finally he said, 'OK kid, you've got it.' That's the kind of power John Wayne had!"
Though he appeared in films such as The Sound and the Fury, Darby's Rangers, The Story of Ruth, The Decks Ran Red, the World War II epic The Longest Day and more, Whitman later found work outside the industry, making millions from real estate investments.
"I didn't need to act to make a living, but had a real passion for it - I just loved to act," Whitman told The Oklahoman.
Whitman's last role was in the 2000 film The President's Man, starring Chuck Norris.
Whitman has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Yulia, and his five children.
His family captured the spirit of Stuart Whitman in a statement.
"He loved Jack Daniel's, Padron cigars, getting his hands dirty with work on his ranch, watching the birds and gazing out upon the Pacific Ocean," his family said in a statement. "He adored people and embraced everyone equally, whether it was his longtime colleague Frank Sinatra, his ever-growing collection of friends or a repairman in his home. He took daily tennis lessons in preparation for heated matches and was gracious in both victory and defeat. An avid storyteller, he was forever the center of attention, living by his mother's creed, which he took joy in repeating, 'Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.'"
Donations in Whitman's name can by made to the Boys & Girls Club of America.