James Stewart

james-stewart

James Stewart was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania on May 20th, 1908 and was popularly known as Jimmy Stewart.

James Stewart attended Princeton as a member of the Class of 1932. He excelled in the study of architecture and was awarded a scholarship for graduate studies but he was drawn to the drama and music clubs.

As a member of the University Players Club he met Henry Fonda in 1932. Henry Fonda encouraged James to screen test for MGM.

In April 1935 he signed a 7 year contract with MGM. He would earn $350 per week as an MGM contract actor.

He had a long and varied career spanning more that five decades for which he received 5 Academy Award nominations. Many of his films continue to be considered classics including “Mr Smith Goes to Washington”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Harvey” and “Anatomy of Murder”. In 1941 he won his only Best Actor Academy Award for his role in “The Philadelphia Story” and in 1985 he was awarded an Academy Honorary Award.

James Stewart also had a decorated military career. He was drafted 1940 and due to his lifelong passion for aviation he became a military flyer. He was the first major movie star to wear a military uniform. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross twice and also received the Croix de Guerre.

When asked at age 80 how he would like to be remembered he said “As someone who believed in hard work and love of country, love of family and love of community.”

James-Stewart-grave

He died on July 2nd, 1997 in Los Angeles, California at age 89. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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