Jimmy Stewart Biography (1908-1997)

Born James Maitland Stewart, May 20, 1908, in Indiana, PA; died of a blood clot in his lung, July 2, 1997, in Beverly Hills, CA. Actor. Whether he was talking to an imaginary rabbit, conversing with an angel named Clarence, or packing his bags to head for Washington, Stewart was loved by millions for his portrayals of a common man thrown into unusual circumstances. Throughout his lifetime Stewart appeared in more than eighty films, made numerous guest appearances on radio and television, and delighted audiences on the stage. In westerns, wartime dramas, thrillers, and biographies, Stewart's characters received international acclaim; many of his films are considered classics, includingHarvey, It's a Wonderful Life, Rear Window, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Anatomy of a Murder, and How the West Was Won. After receiving a degree in architecture from Princeton in 1932, Stewart joined the summer stock University Players in Massachusetts appearing as the chauffeur in Goodbye Again. Later that year he made his Broadway debut at the Biltmore Theatre in Carrie Nation.In 1935 Stewart signed a contract with MGM Studios, portraying a reporter inThe Murder Man. Over the next five years he appeared in more than twenty films, including The Philadelphia Story, for which he received an Academy Award for best actor in 1940. During World War II Stewart served as a combat pilot with the U.S. Army Air Force, rising from the rank of private to colonel. Forhis twenty combat missions, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and France's Croix de Guerre. He refused the military's efforts topublicly recognize him as a wartime hero and insisted upon being treated as all other service personnel. After the war Stewart remained in the Air Force Reserves until 1968, retiring with the rank of Brigadier General. After his wartime service he returned to the screen in Frank Capra's holiday classic It'sa Wonderful Life. He continued to appear on stage and screen for the next four decades. In the 1970s NBC aired the Jimmy Stewart Show in which he portrayed a professor, and from 1973 to 1974, he played the lead in CBS's Hawkins. His recognizable voice was heard as the spokesman for Campbells Soup and in the children's classic An American Tale 2: Fievel Goes West. Later in life Stewart wrote a book of poetry titled Jimmy Stewart and His Poems. He was a staunch advocate of preserving the integrity of black-and-white films, lobbying against the colorization and editing of these films for television. In additionto his Oscar, Stewart received three other nominations and was given a Special Academy Award in 1985. He was also honored with a Life Achievement from the American Film Institute, among many other awards. His film credits also include The Greatest Show on Earth, The Glenn Miller Story, Shenandoah, CheyenneSocial Club, Airport '77, The Shootist, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Flight of the Phoenix.

Birth Details
May 20, 1908
Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States
Death Details
July 2, 1997
Beverly Hills, California, United States

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