Birthdate: Tuesday, May 6th, 1913
Location: London, UK
Died: Monday, August 16th, 1993
Location: Santa Monica, California, USA
Cause of death: Bone and prostate cancer
Best known for: Actor associated with heroic and romantic leading roles between the 1940s and 1960s. Although he was never nominated for an Oscar, he found great fame and success in films such as Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), Blanche Fury (1948), King Solomon's Mines (1950) and North to Alaska (1960). He had two famous wives - the English actresses Elspeth March (1938-48) and Jean Simmons (1950-60).
North to Alaska was actually the last Hollywood film Stewart made, having turned down a role in 1959's Ben-Hur as he refused to take second billing to Charlton Heston. The 1960s was taken up with productions in Europe, principally Germany, where he took on the role of Old Surehand in three adaptations of Karl May's Western novels - Amongst Vultures aka Frontier Hellcat (1964), The Oil Prince aka Rampage at Apache Wells (1965) and Old Surehand aka Flaming Frontier (1965). Further 1960s work included the Italian production Requiem for a Secret Agent (1966), the British/ German co-production The Trygon Factor (1966) and the British/ American co-production The Last Safari (1967).
|Stewart as Alan MacKenzie in|
The Virginian (aged 57)
In 1972 a 58-year-old Stewart was cast as Sherlock Holmes in a TV adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, with Bernard Fox as his Watson. It also starred William Shatner, Sally Ann Howes and John Williams, but the venture was poorly received. After this, Stewart decided to go into semi-retirement and moved to southern Spain where he invested in real estate in Estepona, Malaga.
|Stewart aged 76 in the wine-making|
melodrama Fine Gold
In 1980 Stewart was diagnosed with lung cancer, and was told by doctors that he had only three more months to live. He later said: "I was 67 and had smoked 60 cigarettes a day for 40 years, but the doctor said if I had an operation there might be a chance of two to four more years of life. So I said, 'Who the hell needs that, but you better give me three months to put my house in order'." He had the operation and had both a lung and a rib removed - but was shocked to later be told he didn't have cancer at all, only tuberculosis!
|Stewart as Prince Philip in|
1982's The Royal Romance of
Charles and Diana
Stewart's final acting role was in the pretty much forgotten ABC crime series Pros and Cons, which was an extension of the 1990 series Gabriel's Fire, featuring James Earl Jones as detective Gabriel Bird. Stewart appeared in the October 10th, 1991 edition entitled It's the Pictures That Got Small, co-starring June Allyson.
|Stewart, aged 74, on Aspel and Company|
Stewart - who often claimed he didn't rate anything he'd done in his career - died of bone and prostate cancer on August 16th, 1993, aged 80.
|Stewart, aged 77, in The Tales of Helpmann (1990)|