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Versatile actor James Whitmore dies

world Updated: Feb 07, 2009 09:47 IST

AP
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The son of James Whitmore says the versatile actor has died of lung cancer.

Steve Whitmore says his father was diagnosed with the disease in November and died on Friday afternoon in his Malibu home.

"My father believed that family came before everything, that work was just a vehicle in which to provide for your family," said Steve Whitmore, who works as spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "At the end, and in the last two and a half months of his life, he was surrounded by his family."

Whitmore was a many-faceted character actor who delivered strong performances in movies, television and especially the theater with his popular one-man shows about Harry Truman, Will Rogers and Theodore Roosevelt. The Tony- and Emmy-winning actor, who was also nominated for an Oscar.

Besides Steve Whitmore, James Whitmore is survived by his third wife, Noreen; sons James Jr and Dan; and eight grandchildren.