Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Eye Candy Wednesday

Lately I've been catching up on my classic movies, particularly Hitchcock movies. This past weekend I revisited  Rear Window starring one of Hitchcock's favorite lead actors; Jimmy Stewart, and thought I would dedicate Eye Candy Wednesday to him since he remains one of the best remembered performers of the studio era and remains one of my all time favorite actors.  Oh, and by the way, if you haven't seen Rear Window..you have to watch it! It's fantastically suspenseful!
Jimmy Stewart had the guy next door ability to pull you in. His “Aww shucks” way of life was just that. he wasn’t acting, that WAS Jimmy Stewart. Born May 20, 1908 (He shared the same birthday as Goobie!), in Indiana, Pennsylvania, James Maitland Stewart was the son of Elizabeth Ruth (nĂ©e Jackson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. James, who was to take over the family business attended Princeton University.
President Harry S. Truman once stated that “If Bess and I ever had a son, we would have wanted him to be just like Jimmy Stewart.” One of the best loved actors of his generation within the Hollywood community and with his fans, Jimmy Stewart had the guy next door ability to pull you in. His “Aww shucks” way of life was just that. he wasn’t acting, that WAS Jimmy Stewart.
Some of his romantic liasons early in his career were Ginger Rogers and Norma Shearer. He remained single until the age of 41, marrying former model Gloria Hatrick McLean (1918-1994) on 9 August 1949. As Stewart loved to recount in self-mockery, “I, I, I pitched the big question to her last night and to my surprise she, she, she said yes!”. Stewart adopted her two sons, Michael and Ronald, and together they had twin daughters, Judy and Kelly, on 7 May 1951. They remained devotedly married until her death on 16 February 1994, due to lung cancer.
Stewart died at the age of 89 on 2 July 1997, at his home in Beverly Hills, of cardiac arrest and a pulmonary embolism following a long illness from respiratory problems. He had also suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. His death came just one day after fellow screen legend and The Big Sleepco-star Robert Mitchum had died of lung cancer and emphysema. Stewart is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.


Among Stewart’s most popular films of the era, some on loan to other studios, are the Academy Award-winning You Can’t Take It with You (1938), with Jean Arthur and Lionel Barrymore; the amusing Vivacious Lady (1938), with Ginger Rogers; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), also with Jean Arthur; Destry Rides Again (1939), in which Stewart is overshadowed by Marlene Dietrich; The Philadelphia Story (above), opposite Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Ruth Hussey; and The Shop Around the Corner (1940), with Margaret Sullavan.

6 comments:

Gingerella said...

Excellent tribute, he's one of my favorite classic actors as well. :)

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

What a nice tribute! I'm a old movie junkie, and I love what you've written here. Jimmy's done so many great movies, yet my favorite will always be It's a Wonderful Life. I've seen it thousands of times, and I cry during EVERY one!

Thanks for this!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

You've gotta love Jimmy Stewart! Great, great actor!

Gingeyginge said...

Love this post...

Spuds said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog... "Rockin' Momma!" As a "Rockin' Dad" I am FULLY able to see why you like those old movies! I just introduced my youngest sons to some of my old movies and they actually enjoyed them... not so much the dancing scenes, of course. But as men we have to endure such "frivolous gallavanting" in order to see the beautiful women! It's a fair trade-off! Stop by anytime!

Beth's Blog said...

I just love Jimmy Stewart!