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Profile of the Day: James Stewart

Today we remember actor James Stewart, who was born on this day in 1908.

Image: James Stewart / U.S. Air Force

Stewart was the eldest of three children born to Alexander Maitland Stewart and Elizabeth Ruth Jackson. He got his first taste of performing while a student at Princeton University. Although he earned a degree in architecture, Stewart would ultimately choose to pursue an acting career after graduating college.

He began his career on stage before finding success in film as one of Hollywood’s leading men. He earned his first of five Academy award nominations in 1940 for his role in the Frank Capra film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. However, when World War II began, Stewart put his career on hold to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

After the war, Stewart returned to acting with one of his most memorable roles in the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Although the film was a box office flop in its initial release, it earned five Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actor nomination for Stewart. Today, it is remembered as one of the most beloved films in the history of cinema.

Stewart died on July 2, 1997 at the age of 89.

What’s your favorite James Stewart film?

Explore his family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the Hollywood legend!

View James Stewart’s Geni Profile

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