Five years later, having flown combat missions over Europe, the actor who had previously won an Oscar for Mr. Smith Goes To Washington returned to Hollywood a seemingly changed man. Donna Reed ultimately accepted the role. Curiously, the film, which was rushed into theaters for Christmas , failed at the box-office before earning its place in film history.
'Hank And Jim' Highlights The Long Friendship Of 2 Hollywood Legends
Actor James Stewart's daughter Judy Stewart attends Hollywood Stars News Photo - Getty Images
James Stewart, whose movie portrayals of decent, idealistic and naive small-town Americans made him a beloved national icon, died yesterday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was Stewart's performances in some 80 movies earned him every major award bestowed for his craft, and consistent acclaim and popularity for more than half a century. He was the last of that rare breed of male stars whose careers certified the star system as it operated virtually from the beginning of the sound era. Actors like Mr. Stewart, Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, John Wayne and Henry Fonda were larger than life, and because the fusion of the performers' public and private personalities created something bigger than the sum of the two parts, something mythical. The lanky actor with unruly hair and an ungainly stride had a boyish grin and an engaging manner.
James Stewart talks Home And Away's new same-sex relationship
Root around the history of Hollywood, and you won't find many too stars with a cleaner, more wholesome reputation than Jimmy Stewart. But that, hasn't stopped his latest biographer from digging up the dirt. Marc Eliot, author of a previously acclaimed biography of Cary Grant, says the notoriously tyrannical MGM boss, Louis B Mayer, was so concerned about the young Stewart's apparent lack of interest in ladies he forced him to visit a brothel so people wouldn't start gossiping that he was gay. The episode may say more about the glorious clash between Hollywood licentiousness and American puritanism than it does about Stewart.
But it does have some curiosity value thanks to its title character. The reclusive novelist William Forrester, played by Sean Connery , has a secret that is never mentioned on screen. I discovered it by accident when I met Van Sant in while he was editing Milk , his film about the openly gay politician Harvey Milk. He looked mildly startled. Who was gay in that?