Gentleman Jimmy, matinee idol, dies

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The actor Jimmy Stewart, star of It's a Wonderful Life, died at his home in Beverley Hills, it was announced last night.

Stewart, who won an Oscar for his performance opposite Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story died of a heart attack. He was 89.

Stewart was probably the last of Hollywood's great leading men and played some of cinema's most memorable roles in a career spanning some 75 films.

But he was best known for his role as a suicidal businessman who finds redemption in It's a Wonderful Life, among the best-loved films in Hollywood history.

In an age of elegant, handsome matinee idols, including Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and John Wayne, Stewart was more the average-looking guy next door, but no less popular for that.

He lived quietly with his wife, Gloria, avoiding the Hollywood social whirl, and on her death in 1994 he became a virtual recluse.