Actor Stuart Whitman died Monday morning. He was surrounded by family in his Montecito, California, home.
The famous actor was born on Feb. 1, 1928, in San Francisco, California. Whitman didn’t start his career as an actor, and after graduating from high school he joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
According to The New York Times, during his three years in the Army, he became well-known for his boxing prowess, losing only one match out of a total of 33.
Still holding on to sports, he played football during his time at Los Angeles City College, according to The Hollywood Reporter, where he also began to study acting — but that wasn’t what paid the bills.
It was manual labor that kept him eating until his film potential was recognized: He acquired a bulldozer and used it to perform a variety of jobs, including leveling and clearing properties.
His first big movie break came in 1951, when he landed a role in “When Worlds Collide,” though perhaps his best-known appearance was in 1961 alongside John Wayne in “The Comancheros.”
“I didn’t need to act to make a living, but had a real passion for it,” he said, according to The New York Times. “I just loved to act.”
Recently, Whitman had been in and out of the hospital due to his skin cancer spreading to his blood, one source told TMZ.
“Old Hollywood lost another one of its true stars,” Whitman’s son Justin told the outlet. “Stuart Whitman was known for his rugged roles and handsome charm.”
“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.”
Whitman is survived by third wife Yulia as well as his five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
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