James Stewart

1908 - 1997

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 some English, descent.Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he was a keen athlete (football and track), musician (singing and accordion playing), and sometime actor. In 1929 he won a place at Princeton, where he studied architecture with some success and became further involved with the performing arts as a musician and actor with the University Players.After graduation, engagements with the University Players took him around the northeastern United States, including a run on Broadway in 1932. But work dried up as the Great Depression deepened, and it wasn't until 1934, when he followed his friend Henry Fonda to Hollywood, that things began to pick up.After his first screen appearance in Art Trouble (1934), he worked for a time for MGM as a contract player

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