Monday, May 20, 2013
May 20 - James Stewart
Actor James “Jimmy” Stewart was born on May 20, 1908, in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He entered Princeton in 1929 and began performing as a musician and actor with the University Players, an intercollegiate summer stock company, where he met Henry Fonda. He followed Fonda to Hollywood in 1934, where he worked as an MGM contract player and found success in the 1930s in “You Can't Take It with You” (1938) and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939), for which he was nominated for the first of five Best Actor Oscars. He served in World War II as a Colonel and later rose to the rank of Brigadier General. After the war his star rose in movies that included “It's a Wonderful Life” (1946), “Harvey” (1950), “The Glenn Miller Story” (1953), “Rear Window “ (1954), “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956), “The Spirit of St. Louis” (1957), “Vertigo” (1958), and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1961). Stewart excelled in multiple genres: westerns, suspense thrillers, family films, biographies and screwball comedies.