Pieces of Time: The Life of James Stewart

Gary Fishgall, Author Scribner Book Company $27 (416p) ISBN 978-0-684-82454-3
Jimmy Stewart (1908-1997) is widely viewed as the All-American boy-next-door. Fishgall (Against Type: The Biography of Burt Lancaster) supports this view as he meticulously profiles the Hollywood legend in a comprehensive biography. The exhaustive research presented here gives a full account of Stewart's career. Part of Stewart's ""All-American"" image comes from his birthplace: a small, modest town in Pennsylvania. With values rooted in family, community and God, Stewart lived a life that was somewhat less glamorous than the average Hollywood star's. He studied architecture at Princeton, served as a bomber pilot in WWII and enjoyed one stable marriage (to Gloria Hatrick McLean). He successfully raised four children and maintained strong ties with his family back home. Meanwhile, he appeared in 79 films, 12 TV programs and 10 theater productions. This impressive resume, coupled with his humanism and sincerity, made Stewart one of the most-loved actors in film history. Although Fishgall's intensive delving into Stewart's life, including detailed descriptions of the making of his films, may end up wearying readers not already smitten with Stewart, fans of the man who brought George Bailey and Elwood P. Dowd to life will relish this enthusiastic life. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
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