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James Stewart

James Stewart

Birthday: 20 May 1908, Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA
Birth Name: James Maitland Stewart
Height: 191 cm

James Maitland Stewart was born on 20 May 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and s ...Show more

James Stewart
[his last words] I'm going to be with Gloria [deceased wife Gloria Stewart] now. [his last words] I'm going to be with Gloria [deceased wife Gloria Stewart] now.
[on Joan Crawford] My first impression of Joan Crawford was of glamor. [on Joan Crawford] My first impression of Joan Crawford was of glamor.
[Asked in March 1957 interview "What do you do for kicks when you're not working":] I like to fly. A Show more [Asked in March 1957 interview "What do you do for kicks when you're not working":] I like to fly. And I like music. I've got a cabinet full of pop stuff. Also some Elvis Presley and that sort of thing that the kids drive me nuts with. When I had a press conference in Chile a few weeks ago, I happened to remark that I didn't like rock 'n' roll. Well, you'd think I had insulted the whole Chilean republic. I had to backtrack on my statement. Hide
[in 1976] I am sixty-eight years old and I feel every damn day of it. [in 1976] I am sixty-eight years old and I feel every damn day of it.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing a Jimmy Stewart imitation myself. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing a Jimmy Stewart imitation myself.
[on draft-age men who evaded military service during the Vietnam war] I hate them! I absolutely hate Show more [on draft-age men who evaded military service during the Vietnam war] I hate them! I absolutely hate them! Whether right or wrong, their country was at war and their country asked them to serve, and they refused and ran away. Cowards, that's what they were. Hide
[in 1970] I don't think there's any question that the Communists are behind a great deal of unrest i Show more [in 1970] I don't think there's any question that the Communists are behind a great deal of unrest in the United States. In addition, I feel they are still a potential danger in show business. Hide
The big studios were an ideal way to make films - because they were a home base for people. When you Show more The big studios were an ideal way to make films - because they were a home base for people. When you were under contract, you had no chance to relax. Hide
[Asked in March 1957 interview "What do you think of your future":] Eventually I'd like to direct. I Show more [Asked in March 1957 interview "What do you think of your future":] Eventually I'd like to direct. I'd like to use the tools I've developed in my years in the movie business. If I haven't learned enough in all this time, I'd better quit and go back to my father's hardware store. Hide
I don't act. I react. I don't act. I react.
[Stewart testifying before Congress about Hollywood colourizing It's a Wonderful Life (1946)] I trie Show more [Stewart testifying before Congress about Hollywood colourizing It's a Wonderful Life (1946)] I tried to look at the colourized version, but I had to switch it off - it made me feel sick. Hide
[5/20/58, from a speech at a Boy Scout Testimonial Dinner celebrating his 50th birthday] Through the Show more [5/20/58, from a speech at a Boy Scout Testimonial Dinner celebrating his 50th birthday] Through the years Indiana [his home town of Indiana, PA] has been something of tremendous importance in my life. It's true there is something special about the place where you were raised--your hometown. I have found through the years during the times when I've been here in Indiana that almost every direction I look, and so many faces I see, immediately cause a picture to be formed of an event, a happening in my life that I remember well. I think the main thing that has kept Indiana so close to my heart is the fact that Indiana has been, and still is, the headquarters of Mr. Alex Stewart and his family ... My father has been almost fanatical in his determination to keep our family together--and he has done it. Time and distance haven't seemed to have affected this headquarters in Indiana. I've settled down three thousand miles from Indiana. I've traveled to points in the world three times that distance. At times I've stayed away several years at a stretch, but I somehow have never felt that I was very far from here ... somehow I don't feel that I have ever been away. Hide
[to longtime friend Ronald Reagan, on his inauguration as US President on 1/20/81] I cannot tell you Show more [to longtime friend Ronald Reagan, on his inauguration as US President on 1/20/81] I cannot tell you, Mr President, just how happy I am to finally be able to call you my Commander-in-Chief. Hide
If I had my career over again? Maybe I'd say to myself, "Speed it up a little". If I had my career over again? Maybe I'd say to myself, "Speed it up a little".
[on John Ford] The set was anything but tranquil on a Ford picture. Ford believed that acting is a c Show more [on John Ford] The set was anything but tranquil on a Ford picture. Ford believed that acting is a competitive thing. That it's good to be tense, good to be suspicious of other actors. His direction would be mostly asides, whispers ... In a Ford film you never exactly sure of what was going to happen next. And this is the way he wanted it. Hide
You hear so much about the old movie moguls and the impersonal factories where there is no freedom. Show more You hear so much about the old movie moguls and the impersonal factories where there is no freedom. MGM was a wonderful place where decisions were made on my behalf by my superiors. What's wrong with that? Hide
[It's a Wonderful Life (1946)] Such a pure movie. It wasn't taken from a novel or a play. It was dev Show more [It's a Wonderful Life (1946)] Such a pure movie. It wasn't taken from a novel or a play. It was developed from one little paragraph. Simple story, no message, no violence, no mob scenes. When the movies have a story like this, they do it better than any medium there is. Hide
[on John Wayne] I can't imagine there's anyone in the country who doesn't know who he is. Kids will Show more [on John Wayne] I can't imagine there's anyone in the country who doesn't know who he is. Kids will be talking about him long after the rest of us are gone. John will make the history books, as Will Rogers did, because he as lived his life to reflect the ideals of his country. Hide
I suppose people can relate to being me, while they dream about being John Wayne. I suppose people can relate to being me, while they dream about being John Wayne.
[on Jean Arthur] Jean was the finest actress I ever worked with. No one had her humor, her timing. [on Jean Arthur] Jean was the finest actress I ever worked with. No one had her humor, her timing.
[to Frank Capra when he was offered the role of George Bailey] Frank, if you want to do a movie abou Show more [to Frank Capra when he was offered the role of George Bailey] Frank, if you want to do a movie about me committing suicide, with an angel with no wings named Clarence, I'm your man. Hide
I've always regretted that I didn't spend more time on the stage because there's nothing like that f Show more I've always regretted that I didn't spend more time on the stage because there's nothing like that for experience - real experience - and to bring you up to snuff as far as the acting is concerned. Hide
[to Philip Van Doren Stern, the author of The Greatest Gift, the short story that inspired It's a Wo Show more [to Philip Van Doren Stern, the author of The Greatest Gift, the short story that inspired It's a Wonderful Life (1946) via letter on December 31st, 1946] More important than anything, thank you for giving us that idea, which I think is the best one anyone has had for a long time. It was an inspiration for everyone concerned with the picture to work in it, because everyone seemed to feel that the fundamental story was so sound and right, and that story was yours, and you should be justly proud of it. Hide
[in 1983] I'd like people to remember me as someone who was good at his job and seemed to mean what Show more [in 1983] I'd like people to remember me as someone who was good at his job and seemed to mean what he said. Hide
I am James Stewart playing James Stewart. I couldn't mess around with the characterizations. I play Show more I am James Stewart playing James Stewart. I couldn't mess around with the characterizations. I play variations on myself. Hide
I'm the inarticulate man who tries. I don't really have all the answers, but for some reason, someho Show more I'm the inarticulate man who tries. I don't really have all the answers, but for some reason, somehow, I make it. Hide
It's much easier, for example, to play a heroin addict and you're withdrawing - you tear the ceiling Show more It's much easier, for example, to play a heroin addict and you're withdrawing - you tear the ceiling off - that's much easier than it is to come in and say, "Hello" or "I love you". When you judge it in that way, the heavy isn't as difficult. Hide
[10/1/48, upon being named a Pennsylvania Ambassador (he was born and raised in the town of Indiana) Show more [10/1/48, upon being named a Pennsylvania Ambassador (he was born and raised in the town of Indiana) by Gov. James Duff] Indiana means home to me. It is a town for me to cling to, because my mother and father are here. I was born and reared here. I have a great love and pride for Indiana. I love every bit of it. Hide
[on Margaret Sullavan] She could do maybe a look, or a line or two, but they would hit like flashes Show more [on Margaret Sullavan] She could do maybe a look, or a line or two, but they would hit like flashes or earthquakes. Hide
I've always thought [John Wayne] is underrated as an actor. I think The Searchers (1956) is one of t Show more I've always thought [John Wayne] is underrated as an actor. I think The Searchers (1956) is one of the most marvelous performances of all time. Hide
There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy. There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy.
John Wayne was probably the biggest star in the world, yet he retained the qualities of a small boy. Show more John Wayne was probably the biggest star in the world, yet he retained the qualities of a small boy. He had the enthusiasm for life that would make a high school football star envious. And through it all, Duke never changed. As a man he was exactly the boy he started out. And as a friend . . . well, you just wouldn't want a better one. In his lifetime, Duke stamped AMERICA across the face of the motion picture industry. Few other men, living or dead, have ever portrayed the fine, decent, and generous American qualities as Duke did. He portrayed on screen the values he lived off screen. Gentle - so much so, it would have surprised his critics. Loyal - once your friend, always your friend. Courageous - if you doubt it, remember his fight against cancer, or the way he faced heart surgery. And decent. Above all, Duke was a decent man. He was also far from perfect. He made his mistakes as I have made mine and you have made yours. All in all, I would say they were unintentional. Mistakes of the heart, I would say. Let me say this about the John Wayne I knew. He was an original. He was the statue of his times. All in all, I think it was the man's integrity that speaks most of him. His principles never varied. Nor did his ideals. Nor did his faith in mankind. Hide
From 1932 through 1934 I'd only worked three months. Every play I got into folded. From 1932 through 1934 I'd only worked three months. Every play I got into folded.
[on Grace Kelly] We all say she made as good a princess as she did a movie actress, even better. [on Grace Kelly] We all say she made as good a princess as she did a movie actress, even better.
If a western is a good western, it gives you a sense of that world and some of the qualities those m Show more If a western is a good western, it gives you a sense of that world and some of the qualities those men had - their comradeship, loyalty, and physical courage. The vogue for the new kind of western seems pretty unimportant to me. They try to destroy something that has been vital to people for so long. Hide
I was six feet three and 138 pounds. They must have thought I looked like I had just survived a fami Show more I was six feet three and 138 pounds. They must have thought I looked like I had just survived a famine. Hide
[on longtime friend Henry Fonda, a liberal Democrat] Our views never interfered with our feelings fo Show more [on longtime friend Henry Fonda, a liberal Democrat] Our views never interfered with our feelings for each other, we just didn't talk about certain things. Hide
I have my own rules and adhere to them. The rule is simple but inflexible. A James Stewart picture m Show more I have my own rules and adhere to them. The rule is simple but inflexible. A James Stewart picture must have two vital ingredients: it will be clean and it will involve the triumph of the underdog over the bully. Hide
[asked how he wanted to be remembered] As someone who believed in hard work and love of country, lov Show more [asked how he wanted to be remembered] As someone who believed in hard work and love of country, love of family and love of community. Hide
[It's a Wonderful Life (1946)] It didn't do well at all. I don't think it was the type of story peop Show more [It's a Wonderful Life (1946)] It didn't do well at all. I don't think it was the type of story people wanted right after the war. They wanted a war-related story or a pure slapstick, Red Skelton type of comedy. Our movie just got lost. Hide
John Wayne was the greatest cowboy. Henry Fonda was the better actor but John Wayne, well, he was a Show more John Wayne was the greatest cowboy. Henry Fonda was the better actor but John Wayne, well, he was a champ. Hide
Mr. Hitchcock [Alfred Hitchcock] did not say actors are cattle. He said they should be treated like Show more Mr. Hitchcock [Alfred Hitchcock] did not say actors are cattle. He said they should be treated like cattle. Hide
James Stewart's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (26)
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