James Stewart is a Hollywood movie star of the 1940s and 1950s. Throughout his life, he starred in more than 90 film works and received two Oscars, one of which was awarded to him for his contribution to the field of cinema in general. The most famous films with the actor: "The Philadelphia Story", "It's a Wonderful Life", "Dizziness", "Window to the Courtyard". In addition to his creative career, James Stewart achieved success and awards during his participation in World War II.
Childhood and adolescence of the actor
James Maitland Stewart was born in the small eastern town of Indiana, Pennsylvania on May 20, 1908. His father was the owner of a hardware store that was taken over by his family in the 1850s.
Throughout his high school years, James took part in sports activities and also dabbled in school plays. As a teenager, he even learned to play the accordion, which he took with him to Princeton University, where he became part of a musical group. During his student years, James met students who loved creative productions.
James Stewart studied architecture at Princeton University. He graduated from high school in 1932. However, shortly before his graduation, a friend of James asked the future celebrity to join the acting troupe for the summer. Stewart happily agreed as he thought it was a great chance to meet the girls.
In an interview, James Stewart said that if a friend had not asked him to become a part of the acting troupe, he would never have decided to connect his future life with this direction, but instead continued the family business.
The beginning of a Hollywood career
The creative troupe brought a lot of interesting and useful acquaintances to the life of James Stewart. He continued to play in Massachusetts, which later brought him to Broadway. Success was not long in coming, and soon the MGM film company offered the young man a job. In 1935, James Stewart moved to California and played in 24 films over the next 6 years. The aspiring actor did not give preference to any one cinema genre and was equally filmed in both funny and sad and musical films.
James Stewart woke up famous after participating in the comedy "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", which appeared on the screens in 1939.
In 1941, Stewart received his first Oscar for Best Actor in the comedy The Philadelphia Story. His partners on the set were Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Upon learning of his son's film award, James's father called him on the phone and said: “I heard you won some kind of award. You'd better bring it here, we'll put it on the window of our store. " And so it happened. The honorary statuette has stood at the window of the Stewart family's ironmongery for 25 years.
Military career of James Stewart
At the outbreak of World War II, the actor had already become a successful movie star. In 1941, James joined the army, but was soon dismissed due to insufficient weight. Stewart returned home and began to eat heavily, consuming fatty foods. James' second attempt to enter the army was successful. He was sent to the United States Air Force because Stewart knew how to fly an aircraft. In 1943, he traveled to Europe as the commander of an Air Force bomber group. James Stewart returned to the United States in 1945 as a colonel.
He has been awarded several military awards for his achievement and duty in hazardous conditions. At the end of World War II, James remained in the US Air Force reserve. In 1951 he became a brigadier general. Every year he took part in two weeks of hostilities. In 1966, he agreed to take command of the operation in Vietnam.
Film career after World War II
After World War II, James Stewart returned to work in Hollywood, but many new films with his participation were no longer as popular as before. The 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life was initially unsuccessful. But later this touching work entered the list of the most beloved films among the American and world audiences.
The actor himself also stated that the film "This Wonderful Life" was the best in his career. The plot of the film takes place in a small town around a man who is mired in debt and has suicidal thoughts. However, an angel came down to earth and showed him a completely different life. The film emphasizes the importance of family loyalty and love.
James Stewart played the reporter in Call Northside 777, the head of the school in Alfred Hitchcock's crime detective Rope. In the 1950s, the actor starred in many westerns (Winchester 73, Broken Arrow). It was in the 1950s that James Stewart became very popular. Critics and spectators spoke positively about his work in cinema. He won a prize at the Venice Film Festival and has been nominated for several prestigious film awards.
During the 1960s and 70s, James Stewart appeared in several films. The most memorable of them are the images of the senator in the western "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and the doctor of a small town in "Most Apt." In recent years, James Stewart began working in television, but his work did not gain popularity.
Personal life of James Stewart
James Stewart is one of the few actors who has lived in one long and happy marriage. In 1944, he married former fashion model Gloria Hatrick McLean, who already had two sons from a previous marriage, one of whom died during the Vietnam War. James and Gloria also had twin daughters.
With age, the actor developed health problems. He became less likely to act in films and preferred travel. James Stewart also wrote a poetry book in 1981. He was awarded by Ronald Reagan the highest honor in the country - the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The actor passed away on July 2, 1997 at the age of 89.