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James Stewart

James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor. Known for his distinctive drawl and everyman screen persona, Stewart's film career spanned 80 films from 1935 to 1991. With the strong morality he portrayed both on and off the screen, he epitomized the "American ideal" in the mid-twentieth century. In 1999, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked him third on its list of the greatest American male actors. He received numerous honors including the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 1968, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1980, the Kennedy Center Honor in 1983, as well as the Academy Honorary Award and Presidential Medal of Freedom, both in 1985.

Born and raised in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Stewart started acting while at Princeton University. After graduating in 1932, he began a career as a stage actor, appearing on Broadway and in summer stock productions. He landed his first supporting role in The Murder Man (1935) and had his breakthrough in Frank Capra's ensemble comedy You Can't Take It with You (1938). The following year, Stewart garnered his first of five Academy Award nominations for his portrayal of an idealized senator in Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). The following year he received the Academy Award for Best Actor, the only competitive Oscar of his career, for his performance in the George Cukor romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story (1940). Stewart's first postwar role was as George Bailey in Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

Although the film was not a major success upon release, he earned an Oscar nomination, and the film has become a Christmas classic, as well as one of his best-known roles. As one of the most popular film stars of the '50s, Stewart played darker, more morally ambiguous characters in movies directed by Anthony Mann, including Winchester '73 (1950), The Glenn Miller Story (1954), and The Naked Spur (1953), and by Alfred Hitchcock in Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), and Vertigo (1958). During this time he received Academy Award nominations for his roles in the comedy Harvey (1950) and the courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder (1959). Stewart also starred in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) as well as the Western films How the West Was Won (1962), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). He appeared in many popular family comedies during the 1960s.

Stewart remained unmarried until his 40s and was dubbed "The Great American Bachelor" by the press. In 1949, he married former model Gloria Hatrick McLean. They had twin daughters, and he adopted her two sons from her previous marriage. The marriage lasted until McLean's death in 1994; Stewart died of a pulmonary embolism three years later.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 20, 1908 (Indiana County), Died July 2, 1997 (Beverly Hills)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1965

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca L 13714 4/23/1965 The legend of Shenandoah James Stewart vocalist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Stewart, James," accessed May 17, 2024,

Stewart, James. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from

"Stewart, James." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 17 May 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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