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Image for James Stewart

James Stewart

James Stewart (actor, born May 20, 1908, Indiana, Pennsylvania; died July 2, 1997) James Stewart may best known to the young people of today for his role as George Bailey in the classic 1946 Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life, but his ambling stride, sincere, deliberate way of talking, and quiet brand of artistic genius have woven him into the fabric of Americana. Like George Bailey; like Mr. Smith, who goes to Washington in another famous Capra film; like the son in You Can't Take It with You; like Monty Stratton from The Stratton Story; and like many of the other memorable characters he brought to life on film, Stewart was born in a small town. The town was Indiana, in the hills of western Pennsylvania. The Stewart family hardware store on Philadelphia Street, established by the actor's grandfather and great uncle in 1853, has been demolished for urban renewal, but it was run by Stewart's father, Alex, until the elder Stewart was 88.