Millard Mitchell was born to American parents in Havana, Cuba. He was a popular stage and radio actor in the 1930's in New York, where he also filmed his first cinema appearances (industrial short features). His first Hollywood role was in Mr. and Mrs. North (1942). After World War II, Mitchell acted in a several movies, often cast as sardonic, yet stolid characters. He was in the highest-grossing movie of 1953, Anthony Mann Western, The Naked Spur (1953), adding his unique style playing an old prospector who falls in with James Stewart. He received top billing in 1952's My Six Convicts (1952), but fans of movie musicals most admired his screen role as movie mogul 'R. F. Simpson' in the classic film Singin' in the Rain (1952). A heavy smoker, Millard died too young - lung cancer ended his life at the age of 50.