Thursday, May 20, 2010
James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American film and stage actor, best known for his self-effacing persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime Achievement award. He was a major MGM contract star. He also had a noted military career, a WWII and Vietnam War veteran, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve.
From the beginning of James Stewart's career in 1935 through his final theatrical project in 1991, he appeared in 92 films, television programs and shorts. Through the course of this illustrious career, he appeared in many landmark and critically acclaimed films, including such classics as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rear Window, The Spirit of St. Louis and Vertigo. His roles in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, It's a Wonderful Life, Harvey, and Anatomy of a Murder earned him Academy Award nominations (he won for Philadelphia Story). Stewart's career defied the boundaries of genre and trend, and he made his mark in screwball comedies, suspense thrillers, westerns, biographies and family films.