Whether you like to call him James Stewart or Jimmy Stewart, there’s no denying the actor played a very important role in Hollywood history.
And that’s why today the Oscar-winning actor is our classic Hollywood throwback Thursday. Jimmy (as I like to call him) had a long and varied career in Hollywood. His distinctive voice and “everyday man” attitude made him one of Hollywood’s favorite stars.
So how did he become the actor we know and love today?
Well, we’ve got Princeton to thank for that. While studying architecture at the famed school, Jimmy found himself interested in drama and music; and clearly he excelled. He made his way to Broadway and quickly caught the eye of Hollywood with 1934′s Divided by Three.
Encouraged by Henry Fonda, Jimmy headed west where he was bit player for MGM. Bigger roles started to come following his turn in 1936′s After The Thin Man, and in 1938 things really got going thanks to his collaboration with director Frank Capra. The two would make 1938′s You Can’t Take It With You, 1939′s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (for which he received his first Oscar nomination) and 1946′s It’s A Wonderful Life.
After 1938, Jimmy was a bonafide star. He received his only competitive Oscar in 1941 for 1940′s The Philadelphia Story. During the early 1940s, Jimmy was heavily involved in the war effort and earned the rank of Major General.
Jimmy continued to work steadily for the rest of his life, starring in amazing films like 1950′s Harvey and a slew of films by Alfred Hitchcock, Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and Vertigo (1958).
James passed away in 1997 at the age of 89 from a blood clot in his lung. He wife of 45 years, Gloria Hatrick McLean, had passed away in 1994. For a good Jimmy Stewart night, check out Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, The Philadelphia Story and Vertigo. Enjoy!