‘All My Children’ thesp James Mitchell, dies at 89

Actor logged 30-year run on ABC daytime soap

James Mitchell, an accomplished dancer, Broadway and film thesp who logged a 30-year run on ABC’s “All My Children,” died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 89.

Mitchell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications from pneumonia, according to ABC. The thesp made his final appearance on “All My Children” on Jan. 5, on the episode that marked the sudser’s 40th anniversary. Mitchell was a mainstay of the show from 1979-2008, playing Palmer Cortlandt, the wealthy patriarch of one of the fictional Pine Valley’s most prominent families.

Born and raised in Sacramento, Calif., Mitchell began his career as a dancer. He landed leading roles in a number of Broadway tuners, including “Brigadoon,” “Billion Dollar Baby,” “Bloomer Girl,” “Carousel,” “Carnival” and “Paint Your Wagon.”

He appeared with the American Ballet Theater in New York and toured Europe and South America and the Agnes de Mille Dance Theater, and he appeared in touring productions of “Funny Girl,” opposite Carol Lawrence, and “The King and I,” opposite Ann Blyth, among other legit productions. Later in his career, Mitchell taught dance and movement at Yale University and Drake University in Iowa.

Mitchell’s film roles include the 1985 hoofer retrospective “That’s Dancing” and 1977’s “The Turning Point.” Earlier film roles included 1953’s “The Band Wagon” with Fred Astaire, 1954’s “Deep in My Heart” with Cyd Charisse, and 1955’s “Oklahoma.”

Before “All My Children” Mitchell spent four years on the ABC daytime soap “Where the Heart Is.”

Survivors include his longtime partner, Albert Wolsky. A memorial service is pending.

More TV

  • Late-Night TV's Growing Problem: Maybe There's

    Late-Night TV Has a Growing Problem: Maybe There's Too Much of It

    James Mitchell, an accomplished dancer, Broadway and film thesp who logged a 30-year run on ABC’s “All My Children,” died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 89. Mitchell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications from pneumonia, according to ABC. The thesp made his final appearance on “All My Children” on Jan. 5, on […]

  • David Harbour'Stranger Things' event, Los Angeles,

    'Stranger Things' Season 3 Is Inspired by 1985's 'Fletch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    James Mitchell, an accomplished dancer, Broadway and film thesp who logged a 30-year run on ABC’s “All My Children,” died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 89. Mitchell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications from pneumonia, according to ABC. The thesp made his final appearance on “All My Children” on Jan. 5, on […]

  • Disney Channel logo

    TV News Roundup: Disney Channel Announces 'Coop & Cami' Premiere Date

    James Mitchell, an accomplished dancer, Broadway and film thesp who logged a 30-year run on ABC’s “All My Children,” died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 89. Mitchell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications from pneumonia, according to ABC. The thesp made his final appearance on “All My Children” on Jan. 5, on […]

  • Star Wars Resistance Trailer

    'Star Wars Resistance': Disney Drops Trailer for 'The Force Awakens' Prequel Series

    James Mitchell, an accomplished dancer, Broadway and film thesp who logged a 30-year run on ABC’s “All My Children,” died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 89. Mitchell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications from pneumonia, according to ABC. The thesp made his final appearance on “All My Children” on Jan. 5, on […]

  • Michelle Wolf Joel McHale

    Michelle Wolf, Joel McHale Talk Shows Canceled by Netflix

    James Mitchell, an accomplished dancer, Broadway and film thesp who logged a 30-year run on ABC’s “All My Children,” died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 89. Mitchell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications from pneumonia, according to ABC. The thesp made his final appearance on “All My Children” on Jan. 5, on […]

  • Jeremy Corbyn Brexit

    British Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn to Deliver Edinburgh TV Festival Lecture

    James Mitchell, an accomplished dancer, Broadway and film thesp who logged a 30-year run on ABC’s “All My Children,” died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 89. Mitchell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications from pneumonia, according to ABC. The thesp made his final appearance on “All My Children” on Jan. 5, on […]

  • The Affair

    The Debate Over 'The Affair' Star Ruth Wilson's Awkward Exit (Column)

    James Mitchell, an accomplished dancer, Broadway and film thesp who logged a 30-year run on ABC’s “All My Children,” died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 89. Mitchell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications from pneumonia, according to ABC. The thesp made his final appearance on “All My Children” on Jan. 5, on […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content