Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S for James Stewart



BORN: May 20, 1908

DIED: July 2, 1997

AGED: 89 yrs from old age

MARRIED: Once and he loved her deeply-happy marriage

DATED: Oh he was a happy man-Ginger Rogers, Olivia De Havilland, Marlene Dietrich

UNREQUITED LOVE: Margaret Sullivan

GREAT FRIENDS:  Henry Fonda, Gary Cooper

An all around nice guy and my favourite film actor. Henry Fonda and Jimmy met doing theatre with Margaret Sullivan. Henry married Margaret(didn't last) and poor Jimmy just carried a torch. Many said she was his greatest love and there is a resemblance between Margaret and his wife Gail Hatrick McLean. He was one of the first  to volunteer for war when America entered this horrible drama. He was too thin-over 6ft(I think 6' 3" but not sure right this moment) and only 136lbs-thin bugger eh? He ate a lot of peanut butter and banana sandwiches and just scraped by. He flew 20  missions over Germany and won flying cross. He is the highest ranking actor to this day (got to be Brigadier General). While in the war, he still sent his agent 10% of his wages-I thought that quite funny. Walter Matthau was in his company during the war and he stated all the men respected Mr. Stewart as he stood up for them.  When he came back he placed it in his contract that he would not make any war films and the studios could not use his experiences he had of the war. It came out, after his death, that he flew combat missions in Vietnam as well. Shrewd in business and was the first star to get a percentage of the profits. He loved to write poems  and would recite them on Johnny Carson-I have his book of poems which I cherish. He loved Africa and tried to help the plight of the elephants. Comics love his voice and it is often imitated. It is even placed in a song by Jon and Vangelis-"The Friends of Mr. Cairo". He, accidentally, broke the news at the 1960 Oscars when he accepted an honorary Oscar for Gary Cooper and he broke down. People realized then that Mr. Cooper was terminal with cancer and shortly after Mr. Cooper died. When his wife passed away he was devastated and, later, often wished he could still see his old friends and was lonely. He was great in comedies, dramas and westerns. He had a wonderful life.

OSCAR: The Philadelphia Story

FILMS: The Shopwarn Angel, You Can't Take It With You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's A Wonderful Life, Winchester '73, Harvey, Rear Window, Vertigo, Flight of the Phoenix.




46 comments:

  1. I really liked this actor! He was smooth and easy going, and quite a cute charmer too, I thought :) Reading your assessment of him being an all around nice guy, I think that some of that goodness reflected in his characters too, he was one guy you could easily love and be friends with. Enjoyed this post!

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    1. Thank you and he was a great actor and person

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  2. Another good 'un! Hollywood is slipping....

    Anabel at Anabel's Travel Blog

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    1. Yup I think Hollywood is slipping or maybe the media just likes to talk about the crappy people

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  3. Great actor. Enjoyed your summary. One movie he made with Margaret 'The Shop Around the Corner' was remade as 'You've Got Mail'.

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    1. Yes that is a great movie and was remade even as a musical with Judy Garland called "In The Good Ole Summertime"

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    1. Skinny was not the word but I can't think of one right now but he was a stick man:)

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  5. I looked up Margaret Sullivan. She was beautiful. Her marriage to Henry Fonda ended almost as soon as it began, though. Wonder why she didn't head straight for Jimmy Stewart when that happened--or maybe he was married by then? From what Jane Fonda wrote about her dad in her biography, Jimmy Stewart would definitely have been the better choice. Henry Fonda seemed like an extreme workaholic who was always distant from his family. Jimmy Stewart sounds like he was a really great dad and husband.

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    1. Yup many people did not understand why she did not go for Jimmy Stewart. She could be a difficult actress and Jimmy could always calm her down and bring out the best in her so the directors, other actors, etc.. loved it when they were paired together. She led a sad life especially when she lost her hearing and he was devastated when she committed suicide

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  6. I've always been just a little in love with him. It's hard not to be.

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    1. Oh I was totally loving this man and feel bad that I never got a chance to meet him

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  7. James Stewart has to be one of my all time favourites, Birgit. He was such a lovely man. One of my favourite films of all time is also 'It's a Wonderful Life'. There's a lot to be said about the way we live our lives and interact with others. It's amazing how what we do can touch so many people.
    You must be so thrilled to own that book of poems.

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    1. I am thrilled to own his book of poems and I consider It's A Wonderful Life my favourite film and watch it every year with my best friend and we always cry at the end out of sheer joy. We have been drinking a little Baileys too

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  8. One of the best actors ever I think. So good in everything he did.

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    1. He was great in comedies, dramas, westerns. he was so great to listen to as he spoke of old Hollywood too

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  9. Oh, Jimmy Stewart! I've always loved him, and this post just makes me love and respect him even more.

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    1. Yes he really was a wonderful man:)

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  10. He was one of the greats!
    Nice post, and I'm glad to be your newest follower.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  11. I agree! My favourite actor of all-time. My favourite actress by the way, would also fit in on this day, as it is Barbara Stanwyck. Anyway, as for Stewart, the guy was just great. He could do it all, from comedy to drama to action to western to screwball to romance, from hero to villain, and he was so natural at doing it, that it seemed as if he wasn't even acting.

    I live only a few hours away from his hometown. The museum there is something ever cinephile should go and see. Even the traffic signals in the center of town use Jimmy's voice to tell you to walk or not.

    See ya 'round the web. All Things Kevyn.

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    1. OMG-I am going there on a road trip this summer!!! My best friend and I watch It's A Wonderful Life every year and this has been in the making for 10 yrs (She has kids and couldn't get away, blah, blah) so we are going there and to Jamestown for her favourite-Lucille Ball. This will be fun to hear his voice on the traffic signals-can't wait!

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  12. I knew he was a classy guy but I didn't know all those wonderful things about him. I loved him in Who Shot Liberty Valance with John Wayne too.

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    1. he was a great man and love this movie

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  13. Wow! I always knew he was a nice guy but I had no idea of his background. He was a great actor.

    Thanks for visiting the UR blog today! I'm still picturing Errol Flynn as a satyr. ;)

    River Fairchild – A to Z April Challenge
    Untethered Realms

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  14. He is one of my very favorite actors. Thank you for telling us all about him. He was a great man as well as a great actor. I enjoy watching his films over and over.

    I hope you have a nice day. Hugs, Lura

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    1. Oh I can watch his film over and over as well and love his Westerns and his Hitchcock films and the early films-oh all his films:)

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  15. I especially liked James Stewart in The Shop Around the Corner. Margaret Sullivan was his love in that one. The next time I see the movie, I'm going to watch for that extra spark in Stewart's eyes when his character finally realizes how much he loves her.

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    1. Yes and so many who knew them together said how much he was secretly in love with her. It is such a gentle film

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  16. James Stewart is amazing! I remember how my uncle couldn't praise Rear Window enough! :) And It's a Wonderful Life, of course!
    I love Westerns!
    :-) Thank you Birgit!

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    1. He is my favourite and I still wished I could have met him. You should read his poem about his dog blue. He read it on Johnny Carson and most cried including Johnny...maybe you can find it on Youtube

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  17. Loved reading what you included about him; a gem of a man!

    betty

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  18. Oh, ya I saw Mr. Smith goes to Washington! : )

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    1. Great movie and he drank something to make his voice hoarse during the final scenes

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  19. Loved reading this post. I think it would have broken my heart a bit if he was a jerk in real life.

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    1. Thankfully he is a wonderful man throughout

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  20. Waitaminutewaitaminute... he flew combat missions in Vietnam? When he was in his SIXTIES?

    Or are we talking about when he and Matthau got lost on a mission in '44 and accidentally bombed Hanoi? That would actually be a pretty good movie...

    In all seriousness, Stewart was a gem with an amazing life.

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    1. he is a rare gem and yes he flew in Vietnam-it was not a lot of missions-I think only a couple and it was kept secret and was not revealed until after he passed away. Now if he did bomb Hanoi in '44 then i would be calling him wrong way Feldman:

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  21. I haven't watched his movies yet. He seemed to have an adventurous life. Loved reading about him

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  22. I am happy that one of my favorite actors was truly an honorable man with such an outstanding record both in his public and personal life. Neat that he also wrote poetry...not surprising, the more I think about it. He apparently "walked the talk."
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. Oh you should you tube Jimmy Stewart reading his poetry on Johnny Carson-it was great to hear and many people were moved-he is not Keats but he doesn't pretend to be. His Dog Bo is my Fav

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  23. He was a great man and a hero. And he loved Gloria to bits!
    xxx Asha

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