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Full Biography for Christopher "Chris" Mitchum
"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done." - Ronald Reagan
Christopher Mitchum was born the second of three children in Los Angeles, California, where he grew up. He attended public school until the 9th grade, then attended Webb School for the next four years. From there, he went on to the University of Pennsylvania, taking time to attend Trinity College, Dublin, for his "Junior-year abroad." He finished one year of Master's work at the University of Arizona. He has a Bachelor's degree in Literature.
In 1964, Chris was married to Cynthia Davis, his high school sweetheart. They have four children, Caroline (Carrie), Christopher Robert ( AKA Bentley), Jennifer (Jenny) and Kian.
When Chris was in his mid teens, his family moved to a farm in Maryland. At sixteen, he received a two-year old horse as his 16th birthday present. The following year, he began competing on the AQHA circuit winning state championships in both raining and cutting two years in a row along with an AQHA Register of Merit.
It is fitting, then, that his acting career began while attending the University of Arizona. He would work as an extra at Old Tucson (a western film town) for $13.80 a day (and a free lunch). He went from there into production where he worked on more than half a dozen features in various capacities, including associate producer and co-producer, until he was offered, at the last minute, the lead role in a film entitled BIGFOOT. (He appears as both "starring" and "second assistant director" in the credits!) He went on to do several more films in both production and as an actor until John Wayne and Howard Hawks co-starred him in RIO LOBO. "Howard taught me to love acting," relates Chris. "From that moment, I never looked back."
Although he worked several years in production ranging in positions from "go-for" to co-producer, he has gone on to work in over 60 films, starring in more than 50, including 3 movies made for television and one mini-series. His career has taken him around the world to some 14 countries, earning him such awards as the Golden Horse (Chinese Academy Award, 1981-1982) and The Golden Reel, Best Actor, (1988, Indonesia), as well as the Photoplay Gold Medal Award for Best New Actor, 1972, and Box Office & NATO Top Ten New Stars, 1972, in this country. Known best as an "action star", he has experience in many sports, including skiing, horsemanship, motocross, and karate, to name a few. He often has performed his own stunts, although, he admits, "Age, and a number of scars, brings wisdom. It's amazing I've survived my youth!"
He has had the joy of starring in films with such talent as John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Brian Dennehy, Brian Keith, Yoko Shamada, Ernest Borgnine, Sammy Davis Jr., Richard Thomas, Richard Boone, Tom Selleck, John Mills, Bonnie Bedelia, Claire Bloom, Tess Harper, Tony Curtis, Karl Malden, Raf Vallone, Barbara Hershey, Olivia Hussey, Dorothy Malone, Stephane Audran, James Colburn, Charlton Heston, Jack Palance, Helmet Berger and Telly Savalas, and once with his father, to name just a few.
Chris' political "training" came first in six years on the Board of Directors at the Screen Actors Guild. He also served two years as National 1st VP, making him the number two person leading a 74,000 plus member National union + the same political training ground as SAG President Ronald Reagan. His next "boot camp" came when leader of the Republican Assembly in Sacramento, Bill Leonard, called him and asked him to run for State Assembly in 1998. The call came in February 1998, and he out-polled the other two Republicans combined in the June primary. From announcement on February 28th until the election in November, he raised $996,000, more money than had ever been raised in a CA state Assembly race. Though 14 points behind in registration, he picked up 14 points from the 16% Decline To State registration, picking up 87.5% of those voters. The deciding factor was poor turnout by Republican women in a Democrate year (12% of registration compared to Democratic women at 28% of registration.)
In 1776, Patriots picked up their musket and joined the Continental Army not because they wanted to, but because they had to. It was a time for action to defend their new country and protect their freedom. They did "all that could be done." Chris is running for Congress not because he wants to be a Congressman, but because he sees his country in dire straights and he must take action to defend his country and preserve freedom. He wants his children and his children's children to say of him, "He did all that could be done."
Chris, divorced in 1996, has lived in Santa Barbara since 1984. Always holding the belief that we are on Earth to contribute, he has served as a fundraiser for a number of charities and has served on the Board of Directors of a variety or organizations. He recently joined the Board of Directors of Zona Seca.
Leading up to his run for Congress, Chris has spent his time managing several rental properties he owns, running Mitchum Enterprises, and writing.
EDUCATION University of Pennsylvania, 1962-1966 Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 1964-1965 Jr. Year Abroad University of Arizona, 1966-1967 He has a BA in Literature
ELECTIVE POSITIONS HELD:
Board of Directors, Screen Actors Guild: Elected to two three year terms. 1983 -1989
1st Vice President, Screen Actors Guild: Two year term. 1987 - 1989
Republican Candidate 35th State Assembly District, 1998 Ventura and Santa Barbara Central Committees 1998-2000
APPOINTMENTS & HONORARY POSITIONS HELD
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Since 1978
Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Board of Directors: One year term. 1987
Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Honorary Board 1988 - 1992
Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera: Founding Chairman of the "Star Circle" fund-raiser. 1989
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) Advisory Board. 1992 -1996
Autistic Treatment Center "Roundup of Autism": Honorary Advisory Council: 1994 + 2002
Hollywood Benefit Horse Show: Advisory Board since 1996.
Community Outreach for Prevention and Education (COPE) Chair, an outreach program run in conjunction with Community Partners (LA) and UCLA Medical Center. 1998- Now, and honorary chair.
Liberty Program: Board member. A gang-member rehabilitation program run through St. Francis Hospital, Santa Barbara. 1999- 2001
Criminal Advisory Board for Fighting Back, Santa Barbara. 1999 + 2004
Public Policy Advisory Board for Fighting Back, Santa Barbara. 1999 + 2004
Board of Directors, Police Activities League, Santa Barbara 1999 - 2001
Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Commission, Chair, for the Governor's Office, State of California, OCJP January 1999 - January 2000 Revamped the way the Committee did business. Brought $3,000,000 to Santa Barbara police Pal and gang programs and Teen Court, and $1,000,000 to the Ventura Police Department.
ZONA SECA Board of Directors, 2011-
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