James Stewart - Early Career
Stars on Art
Mixed Media - Digital Art
An illustration of James Stewart from early in his career. James Stewart (1908-1997), also known as Jimmy Stewart, was a leading American actor known for his everyday-man screen image and personality. His acted in over 80 films between 1935 and 1991. In those, he portrayed a strong moral character on the screen, which epitomized the "American ideal" in the twentieth century. In 1999, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked him third on its list of the greatest American male actors.
In 1938 he got his big breakthrough in director Frank Capra's ensemble comedy “You Can't Take It with You.” The following year, Stewart garnered his first of five Academy Award nominations for his portrayal of an idealized and virtuous man who becomes a senator in Capra's “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939). He won his only Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in the screwball comedy “The Philadelphia Story” (1940), which co-starred Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.
Stewart's first postwar role was in Capra's “It's a Wonderful Life” (1946), which earned him an Oscar nomination. In the 1950s, Stewart played morally ambiguous characters in movies including “Winchester '73” (1950), “The Glenn Miller Story” (1954) and “The Naked Spur” (1953). He also starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope” (1948), “Rear Window” (1954), “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956), and “Vertigo” (1958).
He was honored for life achievement by the American Film Institute in 1980, by the Kennedy Center in 1983, and by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 1990. At the 1985 Oscar Ceremony he was given with a special Academy Award. That same year, having been an honored pilot during WWII, he received the Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.
December 18th, 2020
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