James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor and military officer who is among the most honored and popular stars in film history. A major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player, Stewart was known for his distinctive drawl and down-to-earth persona, which helped him often portray American middle-class men struggling in crisis. Many of the films he starred in have become enduring classics.
Stewart was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition for The Philadelphia Story (1940), and received an Academy Lifetime Achievement award in 1985. In 1999, Stewart was named the third-greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood by the American Film Institute, behind Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant. The American Film Institute has also named five of Stewart's films to its list of the 100 best American films ever made.
He also had a noted military career and was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran and pilot, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve, becoming the highest-ranking actor in military history.
He is also known as Jimmy Stewart and James Maitland Stewart.
Stewart was hospitalized after falling in December 1995. In December 1996, he was due to have the battery in his pacemaker changed, but opted not to, preferring to let things happen naturally. In February 1997, he was hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat. On June 25, a thrombosis formed in his right leg, leading to a pulmonary embolism one week later. Surrounded by his children on July 2, 1997, Stewart died at the age of 89 at his home in Beverly Hills, California, with his final words to his family being, "I'm going to be with Gloria now." President Bill Clinton commented that America had lost a "national treasure ... a great actor, a gentleman and a patriot". Over 3,000 mourners, mostly celebrities, attended Stewart's memorial service, which included a firing of three volleys for his service in the Army Air Forces and the U.S. Air Force. Stewart's remains are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.