Lew Ayres Biography (1908-1996)

Born December 28, 1908, in Minneapolis, MN; died December 30, 1996, in Los Angeles, CA. Actor. Ayres starred in the Academy Award- winning film All Quieton the Western Front (1930) and appeared opposite Greta Garbo in The Kiss (1929) before landing the title role in the Dr. Kildare movie series from 1938 to 1942. But his public appeal as an actor was seriously challenged during World War II when he declared himself a conscientious objector. Ayres served ina non-combat role in the U.S. Army's medical corps and eventually was forgiven by the Hollywood establishment. In 1948 he was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as a doctor in Johnny Belinda. Ayres portrayed the vice president who became president in 1962's Advise and Consent and he appeared in roles in such science fiction movies as Battle of the Planet of the Apes (1973)and Battlestar Galactica (1979). Ayres was known for being committed to upholding his personal principles, and so were the characters he portrayed. He wasgiven the opportunity to reprise his film portrayal of Dr. Kildare for a television series, but he refused when the network wouldn't agree to refuse thesponsorship of a cigarette company.

Gender
Male
Occupation
actor
Birth Details
December 28, 1908
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Death Details
December 30, 1996
Los Angeles, California, United States

Further Reference

Periodicals:

  • Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1997, section 3, p. 11.
  • Los Angeles Times, December 31, 1996, p. A3.
  • New York Times, January 1, 1996, p. 47.
  • Washington Post, January 1, 2997, p B6.

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