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post Family Life Preferred by  Cameron Mitchell

September 13th, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:55 am

Vintage article reprint from December, 1967

Cameron Mitchell, the rough-riding co-star of “High Chaparral,” says his primary objective in life is a quest for sanity in the television jungle.

A longtime movie star Mitchell finds the pace of his new NBC-TV series a kind of brinkmanship with insanity.

He’s up every morning at 4:30 and by noon is dead on his feet.  But the show grinds on, often until 9 or 10 o’clock at night, much of it on location.

Mitchell returns to his Pacific Palisades home too tired to do anything but tumble into bed.

The actor is married to Lissa Hamilton. They are the parents of Cameron (Buttons), 5, and Jonathan (Jono), 2. The family is rounded out with three cats and a German shepherd.

“The cats and dog belong to the kids,” Mitchell says. “But I’m getting a miniature donkey for myself. There’s something basic and simple about a burro.”

Fortunately, the Mitchell’s have space enough to keep a burro. Their home is located in a canyon with some five square miles for Buttons and Jono to play cowboy and Indians, just as their father does on the screen.

The house itself is an old Spanish place with five bedrooms and a den. Mitchell, however, spends what little free time he has in a small cottage at the rear of the property surrounded by tall trees.

There is a swimming pool for the family, but the head of the house rarely swims.

Frequently he works out in his small retreat with leaded weights to give added strength to his hands and arms for the arduous horseback riding he does as Buck Cannon, the hell-for-leather character he plays.

“I try to play golf whenever I can on Sundays,” says Mitchell. “But Lissa and I entertain as little as possible. The fewer people there are around the easier it is to save your sanity.”

Mitchell arises early to avoid waking the rest of the family and to beat the traffic to Paramount studios. He has breakfast at a small restaurant near the studio and grabs a quick lunch during the noon break.

On location he is required to work six days a week in the desert country outside Los Angeles or in Arizona.

Mitchell says he is determined never to wear a formal shirt and necktie again as long as he lives.  At home he goes barefoot and shirtless in the summer months.  During the winter months he makes a concession – shoes.

“The schedule of a big western like this is murder,” Mitchell says. “I drink too much coffee and smoke too many cigarettes. That’s why I take every advantage I can of being at home alone with the family. “

“You’ve only got one life to live and with this much work the only way you can enjoy it is within the solitude of the family.”

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