Stuart Whitman, the San Francisco–born actor known for his work on screens both big and small since the 1950s, has died at age 92, multiple outlets report.
A son of the star, Justin, confirmed the news to TMZ, saying that “Old Hollywood lost another one of its true stars,” revealing that Whitman died at his home in Montecito, Calif. on Monday surrounded by family.“Stuart Whitman was known for his rugged roles and handsome charm,” the family said in a statement to the outlet. “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.”
In 1961, Whitman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Mark. Whitman, with more than 180 acting credits across his decades-spanning career, shared the big screen with such stars as John Wayne in 1961’s The Comancheros.
The star also had stints on TV series like Highway Patrol in the ’50s, Cimarron Strip in the ’60s, Fantasy Island in the ’70s and Superboy in the ’80s and ’90s, among other television roles.
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Reflecting on his Oscar nomination in a 2014 interview with The Oklahoman, Whitman conveyed the shock and excitement he had upon learning of the awards recognition.
“I was living in North Hollywood and heard the nomination on the radio while driving. I was shocked and almost crashed the car,” he said at the time.
The actor also recalled a story about legendary Western actor Wayne (who died in 1979) and how he landed one of his most iconic roles in The Comancheros.
“Director Michael Curtiz wanted me for the part of Paul Regret in the film, but said it had already been cast. He suggested I go talk to Wayne,” Whitman said. “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. Finally he said, ‘Okay kid, you’ve got it.'”
He added: “That’s the kind of power John Wayne had!”
According to the outlet, Whitman earned his income via real estate investments, but continued his onscreen pursuits out of a love for the work.
“I didn’t need to act to make a living, but had a real passion for it,” said Whitman. “I just loved to act.”