Stewart, James (1908–97), U.S. popular screen actor acclaimed for his sympathetic portrayals of the American common man. He was known for his lanky build, midwestern drawl, and folksy charm. Stewart starred in several films directed by such cinematic pioneers as Frank Capra and Alfred Hitchcock. Among his most well-known films are It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Rear Window (1954). In 1985 he received an Academy Award for his complete works.