Gordon Mitchell

Last updated
Gordon Mitchell
Gordon Mitchell.gif
Charles Allen Pendleton

(1923-07-29)July 29, 1923
DiedSeptember 20, 2003(2003-09-20) (aged 80)
Occupation Film actor, bodybuilder

Gordon Mitchell (born Charles Allen Pendleton; July 29, 1923 – September 20, 2003) was an American actor and bodybuilder who made about 200 B movies. [1]



Charles Allen Pendleton was born in Denver, Colorado, and began working out in his Denver neighbourhood to deal with his tough companions. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army in the Battle of the Bulge where he was taken prisoner of war. He later obtained a degree at the University of Southern California under the G.I. Bill. He became a high school teacher and guidance counselor in Los Angeles, [1] where due to his physique he was given classes containing many delinquent students. [2]

Following a return enlistment for the Korean War, he found film extra work in movies such as Prisoner of War, The Man with the Golden Arm and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments , where he and his friend Joe Gold dragged Charlton Heston's Moses to Pharaoh Yul Brynner. Mae West chose him to appear in her nightclub act as part of her "buffed all-male chorus line". [1]

He was one of the American bodybuilder-actors who migrated to Italy in the wake of Steve Reeves' success in the 1958 film Hercules after he sent a photo to an Italian producer who signed him on a contract. Prior to going to Italy, he saw a clairvoyant who asked him if he had ever been known by the name of Gordon Mitchell. [3] He replied no, but on arrival in Rome, Mitchell was given his new name. [4] He found work first in sword and sandal films such as Sinbad, Seven Slaves Against the World , Treasure of the Petrified Forest (1965), then in Spaghetti Westerns such as Beyond the Law and Savage Guns . Mitchell also appeared in Fellini Satyricon (1969), directed by Federico Fellini.

From the early 1970s onwards, he started to diversify into everything from horror ( Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks - 1974), Nazi exploitation (Achtung! The Desert Tigers! -1977), sexploitation (Porno-Erotic Western - 1979), French criminal comedy ( The Umbrella Coup - 1980), and post-apocalyptic films ( Endgame - 1983). He also appeared in the bizarre 1982 Israeli adaptation of H. Rider Haggard's She as "Hector." The film was directed by Avi Nesher and co-starred Sandahl Bergman.

Mitchell was close friends with fellow American expatriate actors Richard Harrison, Mike Monty (he appeared in a number of films with both and shared an apartment with Monty in Italy during the 1960s),[ citation needed ] and John P. Dulaney. Like Monty, Harrison and Dulaney, Mitchell acted in low-budget action films in the Philippines during the 1980s, having roles in Commando Invasion and SFX Retaliator for director John Gale.

He returned to the United States in the late 1980s and retired from acting, but kept making occasional film appearances until his death from an apparent heart attack in Marina Del Rey, California, aged 80. [1]

Selected filmography

Related Research Articles

William Berger (actor) Austrian actor

William Berger, also known as Bill Berger and Wilhelm Berger, born Wilhelm Thomas Berger was an Austrian American actor, mostly associated with Euro and spaghetti Westerns, as well as travel documentaries.

George Hilton (actor) English-Uruguayan film actor

George Hilton, born Jorge Hill Acosta y Lara, was a Uruguayan actor well known for his many spaghetti western performances. Sometimes credited as Jorge Hilton, he appeared in over 20 Euro-westerns as well as several Giallo and action films.

Federico Boido, was an Italian film actor who appeared in many horror films, spaghetti westerns, and sword and sandal movies. He also acted in the Sadistik photo novels and related his experiences in the film The Diabolikal Super-Kriminal.

Danilo Donati was an Italian costume designer and production designer. He won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design twice: the first time for his work in Romeo and Juliet (1968), the second time for his work in Fellini's Casanova (1976). In addition, he received numerous David di Donatello and Nastro d'Argento awards for his costume and production designs in various films.

Frank Braña Spanish actor

Frank Braña was a Spanish film actor.

Linda Sini Italian film actor

Linda Sini was an Italian film actress.

Ettore Manni Italian actor

Ettore Manni was an Italian film actor. He appeared in 107 films between 1952 and 1979.

Luciano Pigozzi Italian actor

Luciano Pigozzi, also known professionally as Alan Collins, was an Italian character actor. A long-time staple of Italian genre cinema, Pigozzi was noted for his resemblance to Peter Lorre and appeared in such films as Human Cobras, Yor, the Hunter from the Future, Ivanhoe, the Norman Swordsman, Blood and Black Lace, Libido and perhaps his goriest role in Baron Blood.

Luciano Rossi was an Italian film actor. He appeared in 67 films between 1966 and 1987. He was born and died in Rome, Italy.

Franco Ressel Italian actor

Franco Ressel was an Italian film actor. He appeared in 121 films between 1961 and 1985. He was born in Naples, Italy and died in Rome, Italy.

Luigi Bonos (1910–2000) was an Italian comedian and stage, television and film actor. He appeared in 72 films between 1945 and 1992.

Gigi Ballista Italian actor

Gigi Ballista was an Italian film and television actor. He appeared in 60 films between 1961 and 1980.

Umberto Orsini Italian actor

Umberto Orsini is an Italian stage, television and film actor.

George Ardisson actor (1931-2014)

Giorgio Ardisson, best known as George Ardisson, was an Italian actor.

Renzo Marignano Italian actor

Renzo Marignano, sometimes credited as Renzo Marignani, was an Italian actor and film director.

Cris Huerta Portuguese actor

Crisanto Huerta Brieva, better known as Cris Huerta, was a Portuguese actor. He was sometimes credited as Chris Huerta.

John Karlsen, sometimes credited as Charles John Karlsen or John Karlson, was an actor from New Zealand who was active in cinema between 1958 and 2003. He is best known for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), The Black Stallion (1979) and The Sin Eater (2003). In Europe he appeared in mostly Italian films.

Romano Puppo Italian stuntman and actor

Romano Puppo was an Italian stuntman and actor.

Alberto Dalbés (1922-1983) Argentinian actor and film actor

Alberto Dalbés (1922–1983) was an Argentine film and television actor.

Osiride Pevarello Italian actor and stuntman

Osiride Pevarello was an Italian actor. His brother is Renzo Pevarello.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Oliver, Myrna (25 September 2003). "Gordon Mitchell, 80; Bodybuilder Made 'Sword and Sandal' B Movies". Los Angeles Times . Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  2. "Biodata". Find Articles . Retrieved 10 April 2019.[ dead link ]
  3. Tyler, Dick (2004). Draper, Dave (ed.). West Coast Bodybuilding Scene: The Golden Age. On Target Publications. p. 266. ISBN   9781931046299.
  4. Kelly, Devin (12 August 2012). "An Interview with Gordon Mitchell". Cinema Nocturna website. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2019.