James Maitland Stewart (20 May 1908 – 2 July 1997), popularly known as Jimmy Stewart especially in the United States, was an iconic, Academy Award-winning American film and stage actor, best known for his self-effacing screen persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Oscars, winning one in competition and one life achievement. He also had a noted military career, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force.
Born in Indiana, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, Stewart first pursued a career as an architect before being drawn to the theater at Princeton University. His first success came as an actor on Broadway, before making his Hollywood debut in 1935. Stewart's career gained momentum after his well-received Frank Capra films, including his Academy Award nominated role in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Throughout his seven decades in Hollywood, Stewart cultivated a versatile career and recognized screen image in such classics as The Philadelphia Story, Harvey, It's a Wonderful Life, Rear Window, Rope, and Vertigo. He is the most represented leading actor on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list. As of 2007, 10 of his films have been inducted into the United States National Film Registry.
Stewart left his mark on a wide range of film genres, including screwball comedies, westerns, biographies, suspense thrillers and family films. He worked for a number of renowned directors later in his career, most notably Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Billy Wilder, Frank Capra and Anthony Mann. He won many of the industry's highest honors and earned Lifetime Achievement awards from every major film organization. He died in 1997, leaving behind a legacy of classic performances, and is considered one of the finest actors of the "Golden Age of Hollywood." He was named the third Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.