James Stewart, a.k.a. Jimmy Stewart was the star of some of the most beloved and highly acclaimed movies in the history of Hollywood.
He possessed a boyish charm and effortless style that may never be matched again by any actor.
That said, to be sure there was a lot more to him than meets the eye. He was dripping with talent and also fearlessly dedicated to his country.
Even though he was off to a promising start in Hollywood when wartime came, he felt it was his obligation to serve in the armed forces.
How many of the following things did you already know about his life?
1. He Had Both a Private And Commercial Pilot License
He got his private license in 1935, and would often return to his home in Pennsylvania to visit his relatives. It was in 1938 when he got a commercial license.
2. Initially He Was Turned Away From The Military For Being Too Slight of Build
After being drafted in 1940, he was initially rejected upon reporting below what was then the minimum weight for his height. He would go on to gain some weight and was eventually inducted into the Army. Joining the Air Corps.
3. He Was The Very First Hollywood Star To Wear A Military Uniform For WWII
Both his father and grandfather before him were military men, so you could say serving his country was in his blood.
4. He Helped the Army Recruit More Than 150,000 Other Servicemen
Winning Your Wings was a short film starring Jimmy that was very successful at getting many new recruits to enlist in the military.
5. He and Henry Fonda Were Roommates For a Time
It was the summer of 1932 when he was roommates with Henry Fonda while living on Cape Cod.
6. His Father Tried Very Hard To Discourage Him From A Career In Acting
7. His Celebrity Status Nearly Kept Him Out of Combat
Jimmy enlisted to fight for his country like his father and grandfather had. Early on he was put in instructor positions and far away from combat. However, he expressed his desire to be put in combat roles and his commander obliged him.
8. He Started His Acting Carreer On Broadway
9. He Was Not The First Choice For The Iconic Role He Played In “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”
The star that was intended to star in the movie was Gary Cooper.
10. His Official Tally For WWII Missions Was 20
Between 1943 and 1944 he flew 20 missions.
He also flew with the Air Force during the Vietnam war and finally retired in 1968 with numerous awards. One of which is the United States Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross.
11. He Had A Short Romance With Norma Shearer
He also had a brief romance with Ginger Rogers.
12. He Never Felt Like He Deserved His Academy Award
13. He Gave His Award To His Father
14. During His Summers While In High School He Performed
15. Esteemed Director Frank Capra Adored Him
After working with him in 1938, Capra said of Jimmy I think he’s the best actor who’s ever hit the screen.
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