Jimmy Stewart: A Biography

Marc Eliot, Author . Harmony $25.95 (480p) ISBN 978-1-4000-5221-9

Eliot, a seasoned leading-man biographer (Cary Grant ), turns in an exhaustive report on Stewart, throwing open new windows on America's boy-next-door with archival research, new photographs and anecdotes from Stewart's daughter, Kelly. Born to reserved parents in Pennsylvania, Stewart dipped his feet into theater at Princeton, joining the University Players troupe and cementing a fateful friendship with Henry Fonda. In the lean years of the Depression, Stewart won acclaim for Broadway roles, striking out West in 1935 to star in Capra films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington . Stewart, whose grandfather was a Civil War hero, obligingly joined the air force to lead bombing raids in Europe during World War II. Upon a safe return, he took on diverse genre roles from westerns to thrillers, shading his characters with depth and dimension. Alfred Hitchcock played deftly on Stewart's Boy Scout likability by giving him vaguely sinister roles in Rear Window and Vertigo . Stewart's heyday came in 1955, when the media anointed him king of Hollywood, knocking John Wayne to second banana. As Eliot chronicles Stewart's films and friendships, he entertains the usual speculation of illicit starlet affairs and brooding disillusionment, but he can't find much to tarnish this Golden Age icon. Photos. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 06/12/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 329 pages - 978-0-307-35268-2
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-1-4000-5222-6
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