James Stewart was born today in 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA. He made his acting debut in a boy scout play. After graduating from Princeton in 1932 with a degree in architecture, he joined the University Players whose members included such future stars as Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullavan.
His first motion-picture appearance was in 1935 in ‘The Murder Man’. Stewart’s career gained momentum after his well-received Frank Capra films, including his Academy Award nominated role in ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ (1939) and ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ (1946).
James served in the US Army Air Forces in World War II and was heavily decorated. After the war, he returned to the theater in ‘Harvey’ (1947) (he later re-created the role in the 1950 film version of the play). Then made his first collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock with ‘Rope’ (1948). During the 1950s, he took on more challenging roles and expanded into the western and suspense genres, thanks largely to collaborations with directors Anthony Mann in ‘Winchester ’73’ (1950) and ‘The Naked Spur’ (1953) and 3 more features with Alfred Hitchcock, including Rear Window (1954), The man Who Knew Too much (1956), Vertigo (1958)).
In the early sixties there were roles in three John Ford films, including the classics ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ (1962) and ‘How The West Was Won’ (1962). He won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1941 for his role in ‘The Philadelphia Story’ and was awarded an Honorary Award in 1985 for ‘Fifty years of memorable performances, for his high ideals both on and off the screen, with respect and affection of his colleagues’ James Stewart died in 1997.