Biography of James Stewart (1908-1997)

James Stewart.

Film actor American, born in Indiana (Pennsylvania, United States), on May 20, 1908, and died in Los Angeles (California, United States), on July 2, 1997. His real name was James Maitland Stewart.


He studied architecture at Princeton University, and already there showed his inclination for the theatre, by intervening in University groups in roles that led to the decision to become an actor.

After intervening in some theater plays Broadway, he was hired by MGM in 1935 began his tour of the cinema with the voice that accused, of Tim Whelan, although the following year, and after play other roles, got to be the protagonist in Speed, Edwin L. Marin.

Over the years 1930s and 1940s was brewing his artistic personality, more as social prototype that as an actor with real qualities (which would come later). During that period films such as live wheel as you like (1938), with Frank Capra, who would become one of its most representative actors; Knight without sword (1939), also Capra; (e) Philadelphia stories (1940), with which he received his only Oscar.

In all this filmography, Stewart was consolidated as an actor who knew how to embody the hallmarks that were perfectly adapted to the policy that the President was developing Roosevelt, in their attempt to get to the United States of what was the great depression of the year 1929. Stewart was the good, naive and somewhat messianic, which exceeds, without knowing very well why, traps that society tends to her around, getting good to shine at the end. High, thin, somewhat ungainly and sympathetic par excellence, Stewart in recent years perfectly embodied the image of an America that did not exist, but some thought that he could come to exist.

After the parenthesis that was World War II, in which he participated, James Stewart changed his way of acting, leaving it launching a new personality, in which his talent as an actor would be enhanced. A new job with Frank Capra, how beautiful it is to live! (1946), got no success - but then it would be revalued by the critics- and with more than thirty years behind him, the actor won the idea that already not could continue playing the kind of papers that did achieve prestige. It remained an honest actor, but it was hardening. The experience of the war was not something superfluous, as it is normal to assume.

In 1948 he began an important collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock in rope, a curious film, apparently shot in flat sequence; a typical story of crime and high society, with a gay twist, which went unnoticed in the year of its release.

Between 1950 and 1955 was the period in which he worked with Anthony Mann in a series of westerns, a genre that, at first, didn't seem that it fit in the form of be Stewart, even though he was going to become one of their most valuable and expressive forms of action. In this line include Wichester (1950), the story of the man seeking the murderer of his father; and Colorado Jim (1953), where he played a bounty hunter - a role which never before imagined for him, but showed where his actor - category. Angelic and innocent boy had given way to a man that shaving from time to time, solo, and he often had to cope with their own obsessions in the solitude of the landscapes of the old West.

Certainly, the director Anthony Mann took the fragile side that the actor had to soften some of the types that was given him to represent. Equipped with a great sense of discipline, Stewart made simple the relationship with him and not took to understand what writers and directors wanted to do (became an expert in the handling of firearms).

His dedication to the western not prevented him from appearing in other various productions, as when he did medical and blind clown in a circus, fleeing from police in the spectacular the greatest show on Earth (1952), of Cecil B. de Mille.

In 1954 wheel one of the emblematic titles of Hitchcock, rear window, one of those few works that pass to the history and left its influence on many later films. He was a photographer who, for plaster, spends the time looking at the courtyard of neighbors from his window and one day, by chance, discovers that a murder has been committed. However, the Assassin is aware that has been discovered and tries to put an end to the photographer. The female protagonist was Grace Kelly --whose physical, blonde and aristocratic, aspect was very pleased of the director, who knew imbue a disturbing erotic relationship with the invalid, without resorting to nudity or provocative scenes; It was enough with the arising in Nightie to the concerned photographer.

Another important collaboration with this director was (from the dead) Vertigo (1958), where played a policeman who suffered from vertigo; as noted philosopher Eugenio Trías, it was a complicated story of necrophilia and sexual charge hidden, taking advantage of the powerful presence of Kim Novak.

During all these years, James Stewart maintained an appearance of exemplary man in his private life. It was never linked with any scandal. He married late, already forty years old. In 1951, Gloria, his wife, gave birth two twins. In the world war came to have the rank of Colonel in the air force - won numerous awards for its military missions - and, later, because after the war, was promoted to general.

Always been considered him conservative, although he maintained a deep friendship with Henry Fonda, who had a diametrically opposed ideology; such friendship surguio between them since they appeared in the same theatre company.

The career of actor said: "one trade rather than an art and much less is a mysterious religion". It is true that quite theorists are not very much agree with his way of acting, but there's no denying that his personality has been evident even in the most committed performances.

Just place the 1960s intervened in one of the most memorable westerns in the history of this genre, the man who shot Liberty Valance (1962), John Ford, with the ineffable John Wayneco-star. It's a somewhat special western; in it he narrates as the career of a prominent politician - role portraying James Stewart - has been, in a way, made possible by a friend, John Wayne, which killed a dangerous Bandit -Lee Marvin-, but believe that it was Stewart who made it, which reports the admiration of everyone and the rise in the career that had begun. This film is a work of great importance. The western was not at its best, and Ford was at the end of his career, although he knew how to give with a master degree, where violence, reflection, irony and melancholy made the heroic scenario in a place where things were not what they seemed. Stewart was almost fifty-five years old and, although it was not old, hair beginning to gray you and face already gave the first signs of ajar is. The paper was made to suit, and did an excellent job. They were right who thought that the nice guy of the comedies of Capra or Cukor had a hidden side, he knew do appear when I thought it appropriate.

Thus, in 1968, when he participated in Bandit, Andrew V. MacLaglen, did not care you the least embody someone unscrupulous; or in 1970, in the Cheyenne social club, along with his friend Henry Fonda, someone who ran a brothel.

Although his career would be extended until the early 1980s, his last major role was reflected in siege of fire (1971), again with Andrew V. MacLaglen. The story chronicled the adventures of an ex-prisoner who tries to remake his life out of the prison. In the end, wears a coat that is full of dynamite, willing to take their enemies ahead.

The son of an ironworker has gone through a long film and adventure-filled way (are not many actors who become generals in real life), showing that, despite its appearance a both "inocentón" was someone who knew to use screen to vent his most hidden passions, doing see the work that served to make him famous not is more than, as he said, a trade that has been able to perform in a simple way.

In its stage of already mature and old actor, James Stewart has been recreated is, not without malicious irony, in developing the corners more sad and instinctive of your particular way of being. And he has succeeded without therefore deleting the memory of fans Game Boy memory, beyond initiated by the 1930s and 1940s. In this sense, he has shown that he has made one of the most interesting evolutions of the mythical and classic Hollywood actors. He has made all kinds of roles, from galan, energetic man and even supporting actor, while it imported back him, assuming that the passage of time is something natural and an opportunity to really be yourself.


1934: Art Trouble (uncredited); This Side of Heaven (uncredited). 1935: the voice that acusa.1936: Rose Marie; When we come back to love; Between wife and Secretary; Speed; Born to dance; A girl from the provinces; The Gorgeous Hussy; She, he and Asta.1937: the seventh heaven; The sea cadets; The last ganster.1938: the black angel; Of human hearts; Female ruse; Live like quieras.1939: sacred tie; Ice Follies of 1939; Arizona; Knight without sword; In this traidor.1940 World: the shop around the corner; No time for comedy; Mortal storm; Filadelfia.1941 stories: Ziegfeld girls; I can't live without you; Ark of oro.1946: how beautiful it is to live! 1947: Magic town.1948: A survey called miracle; The rope; Long live life!; I believe in ti.1949: Malacca; The Stratton story.1950: 73 Winchester; Arrow rota; The invisible Harvey; Beware the inspectores.1951: peligro.1952 moments: distant horizons; The greatest show in the world; Cabine Williams.1953: Black Bay; Colorado Jim.1954: Rear window; Music and lagrimas.1955: Strategic air command; Distant lands; Laramie.1956 man: the man who knew demasiado.1957: the last bullet; Solitario.1958 hero: Vertigo (from the dead); I fell in love with a bruja.1959: FBI: against the Empire of crime; Anatomy of an asesinato.1960: furia.1961 Trail: two rode juntos.1962: the man who shot Liberty Balance; The conquest of the West (an episode); An optimist in vacaciones.1963: gift for a soltero.1964: the big match; Dear Brigitte.1965: The Valley of the violencia.1966: the flight of the Phoenix; A lady from vaqueros.1967: the evil of Firecreek.1968: Bandolero.1970: Cheyenne.1971 social club: siege of fuego.1976: the last pistolero.1977: private Detective; Airport 77.1978: The magic of Lassie.1981: Afurika Monogatari.1991: Fievel goes West (only voice).

Works for television

1955: The Windmill (episode of General Electric Theater). 1959: Cindy's Fella (episode of Startime). 1961: X-15 (only voice). 1962: Flashing Spikes.1971: The Jimmy Stewart Show (series); Directed by John Ford; The American West of John Ford.1972: Harvey.1973: Hawkins (series). 1980: Mr. Kruegger completo Christmas.1983: Right of Way.1986: North and South (series). 1987: James Stewart: A Wonderful Life.1991: The Invisible Dr. J. (My Secret Identity episode). 1994: A Century of Cinema.1996: Marlene Dietrich: Shadow and Light.