DEAD: ON THIS DATE
James Stewart (aged 89)
James Maitland 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. With a career that spanned 62 years, Stewart was a major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player who 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 in which he starred have become enduring classics.
DEATH: James 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 full military honors. Stewart’s body was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.