Actor Robert Mitchum was born on August 6, 1917 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He began his film career as an extra in B-Movies, his agent got him an interview with the producer of the Hopalong Cassidy series of B-westerns; he was hired to play the villain in several films in the series during 1942 and 1943. He continued to find further work as an extra and supporting actor in numerous productions for various studios. After impressing director Mervyn LeRoy during the making of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Mitchum signed a seven-year contract with RKO Pictures. He found himself groomed for B Western stardom in a series of Zane Grey adaptations.