James Mitchell


LOS ANGELES (AP) - 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 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.

Funeral plans were pending.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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James was wonderful as Palmer Cortlandt on All My Children. I grew up watching him and was sorry to learn of his passing. He will be sorely missed.

James was a very good actor on All my children sorry to hear about his passing may god be with his family

I know it has been a couple of years since Mr. Mitchell has passed away,,, but I was here thinking when he first started as Palmer Cordtland,,he was Nina's father trying to interfer in his daughter's life,,,I didn't like him,,then I realised he played an excellent role in which no one can ever take his place,,,he was unique as Palmer,,,thru the years I learned to like him very much as an actor and a human being...may you"Rest in Peace" James..... thank you....

To James Mitchell.
I thought you did a great job as Palmer on the soap opera All my Children. You were a great actor. Lisa Weiner

James Mitchell has been in my life since I was 16 and I am now 46. He was always dressed to the 9s!! WOW was a great ICON, I cried and am deeply saddened by the loss and send my thoughts and prayers to the ABC family, as well as his family and friends. To read about his childhood...immigrating from England to Sacto/Turlock area, his mother returned to England with his siblings, then he was fostered out at a young age as his father couldn't care for him. You will truely be missed, you...

James Mitchell was a great actor. I have been watching AMC since the 70s.My sympathy goes out to his AMc family,Partner,family and friends, and all his fans. You"ll be missed.

He was a wonderful actor and will be missed. I just lite a candle in his memory. I watched him for many, many years and missed him since he wasn't on the show. My prayers are with all of his friends and family. A. Grechen, Pittsburgh, pa

Wow I've been watching All My Children since I was 14 and now I'm 31 its been a real treat to be old enough to be a Palmer fan. He will be missed I know he is not just an actor, but a family man and my prayers are with the family. T. Thomas California