Bodybuilder and actor Gordon Mitchell, who appeared in many sword-and-sandal epics as well as Federico Fellini’s “Satyricon,” died Sept. 20 in Marina del Rey, Calif. He was 80.
Born Charles Pendleton, he was born in Denver and raised in Inglewood, Calif. He worked out at Venice’s Muscle Beach in the 1950s, where he caught the eye of Mae West and was invited to join her all-male chorus line. The exposure earned him a role as a slave laborer in “The Ten Commandments.” He also appeared in “The Man With the Golden Arm,” “The Spirit of St. Louis,” “Rio Bravo” and “Spartacus.”
In the 1960s he moved to Italy, where he played roles including Pluto, Goliath and Ali Baba in dozens of Italian and Spanish epics. In 1969 classic “Satyricon,” he played a robber in debauched ancient Rome.
He appeared in few films after 1988 but was still in good physical shape. He had recently completed a film in Germany and starred in the 2002 sci fi pic “An Enraged New World.”