James Whitmore began acting professionally after having served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. His first role was in the 1949 film Battleground, and his performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Other notable films in which James Whitmore can be seen include Kiss Me, Kate, Them!, Oklahoma!, Tora! Tora! Tora! and Give ’em Hell, Harry! I swear, all of those exclamation marks are actually part of the titles. Also the films The Majestic, The Relic, and, of course, The Shawshank Redemption.
He appeared on TV shows including The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, The Practice, and CSI. James Whitmore died on February 6, 2009 at the age of 87.