James Stewart

James Stewart


5/20/1908, Indiana, Pennsylvania



Birth Name

James Maitland Stewart



Also Known As

Lt. James Stewart, Jimmy Stewart
out of 10
User Rating
45 votes


During his younger days, James was an accordian player and an amateur magician. He first acted in a Boy Scout play. He later acted in shows for the Princeton Triangle Club. He graduated from Princeton with a degree in Architecture. JOSHUA LOGAN, one of his classmates, talked him…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • James is buried in the Wee Kirk Churchyard plot at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.

    • The Jimmy Stewart Museum and the Boy Scouts of America teamed together to have a new award available to Boy Scouts across America--The James M. Stewart Good Citizenship Award. The first awards were presented to scouts on May 11, 2003.

    • While in the military, James was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, seven Battle Stars and the Croix de Guerre.

    • James was 6' 3" tall.

    • During World War II, James flew over 20 bombing raids in Europe, and ended up a Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve.

    • In 1985, James received an Honorary Award from the Academy for his 50 years of work on film, and his high ideals off screen.

    • In response to Stewart's death in 1997, President Bill Clinton said that "America lost a national treasure. Jimmy Stewart was a great actor, a gentleman and a patriot."

    • When Stewart was first sent to Europe to fly bombing missions, his father gave him a letter in which he wrote, "Jim, I'm banking on the enclosed copy of the 91st Psalm. The thing that takes the place of fear and worry is the promise of these words. I am staking my faith in these words. I feel sure that God will lead you through this mad experience. God bless you and keep you. I love you more than I can tell you. Dad." Stewart carried the letter with him for the rest of his life, and the words from the Psalm that his father gave him are written on his grave marker: "For He shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways."

    • There is a small airport called Jimmy Stewart Airport located in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

    • While in his junior year at Princeton University, Stewart joined the cheerleading squad, and he became head cheerleader in his senior year.

    • When President Harding's funeral train passed through a nearby town, Stewart's father took him to watch it pass. They put two pennies on the track to be flattened by the train, and they kept these pennies for many years.

    • James was the firstborn son of Alexander and Elizabeth Stewart and had two sisters, Mary and Virginia.

    • There is a museum dedicated to James Stewart, located on the main street in the town of Indiana, PA. In front of the museum is a statue of the actor.

    • The sign that welcomes people to Indiana, Pennsylvania also declares the town the "Birthplace of Jimmy Stewart".

    • In 1985, James was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by his close friend President Ronald Reagan.

    • James said his favorite film of his was the 1946 classic It's a Wonderful Life.

    • James died only one day after Hollywood lost another acting icon, Robert Mitchum.

    • He co-hosted the Academy Awards twice, once in 1946 and another time in 1958.

    • James was never professionally trained as an actor.

    • When James passed away in 1997, over 3,000 people, mostly Hollywood celebrities, attended his funeral to pay their respects.

    • When James served as an officer and a pilot in the Army Air Corps in WWII, one of the sergeants in his unit was another famous actor, Walter Matthau.

    • He was of Northern Irish heritage from County Antrim.

    • His adopted son, Ronald Stewart, was killed in action while serving in the Vietnam War.

    • In 1983, James was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor.

    • James was a regular on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts.

    • James knew how to play the accordian.

    • When James won the Best Actor Oscar in 1940 for The Philadelphia Story, he sent it to his father in Indiana, Pennsylvania, who set it in his hardware shop.

    • In 1932, James graduated from Princeton University.

    • In 1980, James was the recipient of an American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award.

    • James was good friends with actor Henry Fonda.

  • Quotes

    • James Stewart: Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing a Jimmy Stewart imitation myself.

    • James Stewart: As a football player at Princeton, I always felt like Dolly Parton's shoulder straps. I had a job to do, but I felt totally incapable of doing it.

    • James Stewart: I always watch Dean Martin's show... just to see if he falls down.

    • James Stewart: It's much easier, for example, to play a heroin addict and you're withdrawing - you tear the ceiling off - that's much easier than it is to come in and say, 'Hello.' Or, 'I love you'. When you judge it in that way, the heavy isn't as difficult.

    • James Stewart: Film itself is very technical, and I think you need this period when things are a little out of control for it to work right.

    • James Stewart: My mother approved, my father just didn't accept the idea of my being an actor. I think that's the reason he kept the hardware store in operation, because I think he was pretty sure that I was going to be found out sooner or later, and he wanted to have a job for me to come back to.

    • Jimmy: Well, I mean, nobody wants their kids on drugs. So if we can help whoever we can help make a better life and a better future, we need to do what we can do.

    • James: (about his acting style) It's well done if you can do a part and not have the acting show.

    • James: Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.

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  • One of the best actors that ever lived.

    James Stewart is truly one of the best actors that I have ever seen. Although he is gone now, I truly look forward to watching his movies. I have seen many of his movies but there are several that I haven't seen.

    The actors in Hollywood today can learn a lesson from Mr. Jimmy Stewart. He was so very talented. He could convey so much with just a look or with a single line. Not many actors have that much power. Jimmy Stewart could command the screen or fade into the background when necessary. He also had the talent to be be funny and silly as well as serious. He excelled at serious emotions such as sad, scared or depressed. His suspense movies and thrillers are some of the best I have ever seen. It's not just the directors; it's Jimmy Stewart. He is utterly believable in every single role that I have seen him in thus far.

    I look forward to seeing more of James Stewart's movies. I have seen about a dozen so far and I am truly convinced that he is one of the best actors to ever grace the screen.moreless
  • Princenton Grad/WWII vet/five time Academy nominated best Actor truly lived a wonderful life.

    While attending Princenton, he became attracted to the drama and music clubs, and eventually became a part of the University Players, after some bit parts he moved to New York to become an actor where he roomed with Henry Fonda. Getting parts here and there eventually got him a notice from a MGM scout who signed him up and forcing Jimmy to move to Los Angeles. In 1938, Jimmy collarborated with Frank Capra where he starred in 'You can't take it with you" which went on to win best picture Oscar, the following year Capra and Jimmy Stewart hooked up again to film "Mr.Smith goes to Washington", in doing so Stewart received critical acclaim for his work and was nominated for his first, which would be the first of five, Oscars for best actor. In 1940, Jimmy starred with Carey Grant and Katherine Hepburn in the Philadelphia Story, where Stewart won Best Actor Oscar for his perfromance. In March of 1941, Jimmy Stewart enlisted into the military where he would go on to be the highest ranking actor in history. After active duty military service ended, he decided to join forces with Frank Capra once again and filmed "Its a Wonderful Life" though the movie got nominated for five Oscars the movie bombed at the box office. And in doing so, it pretty much ended Capra's movie career and made Stewart question his own ability, even though he was nominated once again for a Best Actor Oscar. Jimmy Stewart has said that "Its a Wonderful Life" was his favorite movie. Later he would go back to acting on Broadway, where he would star in the quirky play Harvey, which was made into a movie and once again Stewart found himself nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. In 1950, Jimmy Stewart teamed up with director Anthony Mann to film many movies most of them Westerns, which established Stewart as a box office success in Western genre. They collaborated on such movies as "Winchester '73", "The Man from Laramie", "The Naked Spur", "The Far Coun try", etc. In 1954, Stewart collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock their second collaboration together after 1948's "Rope", in the movie "The Rear Window", which most consider Hitchock and Stewart's best movie. Next they went on to film a remake of "The Man That Knew Too Much" and "Vertigo", after the box office failure of Vertigo, Hitchcock blamed Jimmy and decided to let Cary Grant star in "North by Northwest" in doing so, Hitchcock and Stewart had a falling out and never filmed a movie together again. In 1959, Jimmy Stewart received his final nomination for a Best Actor Oscar for his work in Otto Preminger's "Anatomy of Murder". Stewart would go back to doing Westerns with heralded director John Ford, in movies such as "How the West was Won", "Two Rode Together", "The Man who Shot Liberty Valance" among others. In the early 70's Stewart would find himself working in television, including starring in a show featuring his name. He would finish his career, in the early 80's and would receive an Academy Award Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985. In July of 1997, Jimmy Stewart passed away, leaving behind 3 kids and a wonderful life.moreless