The younger brother of film star Robert Mitchum, American actor John Mitchum shared his family's Depression-era travails before striking out on his own. As brother Robert's star ascended in the mid '40s, John remained his elder sibling's boon companion, severest critic and drinking buddy. In later years, John was a convivial anecdotal source for books and articles about Bob, each reminiscense becoming more colorful as it was repeated for the next interview. After holding down a variety of jobs, John decided to give acting a try as a result of hearing Bob's tales of Hollywood revelry; too heavyset to be a leading man, John became a reliable character actor, usually in military or western roles. He frequently had small parts in his brother's starring films, notably One Minute to Zero (1951) and The Way West (1967). Most of John's movie work was done outside Robert's orbit, however, in such films as Cattle King (1963) and Paint Your Wagon (1970). Perhaps John Mitchum's best screen role was as Goering in the 1962 biopic Hitler; he may have been utterly opposed ideologically to the late German field marshal, but John certainly filled the costume.