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Veteran Actor James Whitmore Dies

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Feb 06, 2009 | 8:53pm EST

Veteran character actor James Whitmore, probably best known for his performance as Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption, has died of lung cancer, the Associated Press reports. He was 88.

Whitmore’s son Steve Whitmore says his father was diagnosed with the disease a week before Thanksgiving and died Friday afternoon in his Malibu home.

Whitmore started his career in the late 1940s in movies, such as The Asphalt Jungle and early television series, such as The Twilight Zone. He also delivered strong performances in the theater with his popular one-man shows about Harry Truman, Will Rogers and Theodore Roosevelt.

He worked up until the last moment, starring in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2007.

"My father believed that family came before everything, that work was just a vehicle in which to provide for your family," Steve told AP. 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."

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