* biography: Jimmy Stewart

Biography: Jimmy Stewart (United States, 1908-97)

Figure 1.--Here we see the Stewart family in 194=51/ By thus time Stewart had become a major star. We see the twins and two boys: Ronald (1944–1969) and Michael (1946- ). The boys wear vested short pants Eton suits. Note that they wear abkle socks ear=herr rhan knee socks. The boys would have been 5-7 years old.

James Maitland 'Jimmy' Stewart was part of the Golden Age of Hollywood generation. He was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania (1908). His parents were Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English, descent. The attended a local prep school--Mercersburg Academy. He had caruied intersm a keen athlete (football and track), musician (singing and accordion playing), and pccasionally theatrics. He entered Princeton University (1929), studying architecture. He participoated in the performing arts as a musician and actoras part of the University Players. After graduation it was acting that attraccted him. As part of the University Players he jad engamenents thtough the northeast, including a run on Broadway (1932). The Depression slowed his career, but he moved to Hollywood where he had more success. But work dried up as the Great Depression deepened, and it was not until 1934, when he followed his friend Henry Fonda to Hollywood, that things began to pick up. He appeared in Frank Capra films incliding 'Mr. Smith Goes to Wasjington' (1939) helped launch his career, this was interupted by World War II. He learned to fly (1935). He had trouble gettig into the Army because he was underweught. He entered the Army as a private (1940). Hollywood at the time was patriotic and did not spend time runnung down their country with no real understanding like the modern Hollywood generation does. The Air Corps at the time was part of the Army, although largely autonomous and it was the Air Corps that imterested him . He rose to the rank of colonel. He beggan as an instructor in the United States, and later flying combat missions in Europe. He remained involved with the United States Air Force through the Reserve. He even did a film ob the Strategic Air Command--something that would be anethma to modern Hollywood. Stewart retired as a brigadier general (1959). It was after the War that Stewart's career took offr. This began with final Capra film, 'It's a Wonderful Life' (1946) which set off his career as a star and to established his screen persona as the likable 'ordinary man'. It was not a huge box office success, but very important for his career. He had a long, successful career, appearing in some of Hollywood's best remembered films and baroed henres. He did many Wesrerns, including 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' (1962). There were several biopics: 'The Stratton Story' (1949), 'The Glenn Miller Story '(1954), and 'The Spirit of St. Louis' (1957). There were several thrillers, especially collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock. There were a few screwball comedies. Stewart did not marry until reaching his 40s. Movie magazines had began calling him 'The Great American Bachelor". He finally married former model Gloria Hatrick McLean (1949). It was a successful marriage. They had twin daughters, and he adopted her two twin boys from a previous marriage.


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Created: 6:10 PM 6/20/2020
Last updated: 6:10 PM 6/20/2020