America’s hero in more ways than one, James “Jimmy” Stewart portrayed the average Joe on screen and defended him overseas. Known for his exaggerated accent and salt-of-the earth demeanor, Stewart reached out to audiences in a way other leading men could not. Throughout his career, he collaborated with some of film’s most influential directors and brought to life its most classic roles: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, Rear Window, Vertigo, It’s a Wonderful Life – any one of these movies would stand out as the pinnacle of another actor’s body of work, but Stewart’s resume reads like a textbook of cinematic history. After the war, audiences changed, and Stewart along with them. He shed sentimentality for introspection into the darker parts of man and came out the other end a Hollywood legend.