The wife of late actor Robert Mitchum has died. She was 94.

Dorothy Spence Mitchum passed away on Saturday (12Apr14) in Santa Barbara, California.

The couple was childhood sweethearts in Delaware and married in 1940, just before moving out to Los Angeles so he could pursue his acting career.

While Robert went on to star in classic film noir movies, Dorothy was a homemaker and also served as a founding member of Share Happily and Reap Endlessly, an organisation which benefited disabled people.

She remained steadfast in their relationship despite a number of high-profile legal and public relations scandals, including an arrest for marijuana possession in 1948.

The pair was married for 57 years until his death in 1997 at the age of 79.

Dorothy is survived by their three children; sons James and Robin and daughter Petrine.

A private celebration of her life is set for May (14).