“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” – Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple was born in Santa Monica, California on April 23, 1928 and began her career at just 3-years-old. In short time, Temple’s career progressed into super stardom and she became the most famous child star of all time. Acting, singing, and dancing her way through films, Temple was declared the box-office champion for 1936, 1937, and 1938. In fact, Temple was so popular that when Gary Cooper first met her he asked for her autograph! Her bright, bouncy, and cheerful personality also generated millions of dollars worth of merchandise, including dolls and clothing designed in her likeness. And even a soft cocktail was created in her honor! Temple also earned several awards for her outstanding contribution to motion pictures including a Juvenile Award at the Academy Awards in 1935 and a Life Achievement Award at the Screen Actor Guild Awards in 2006. Today, her star on the Walk of Fame can be found on 1500 Vine Street.

“Had I been brighter, the ladies been gentler, the Scotch weaker, the gods kinder, the dice hotter, then it might have all ended up as a one sentence story.” – Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney was born on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. After celebrating his first birthday Rooney made his stage debut by joining his mother and father’s entertainment act. At the age of 4, Rooney’s parents separated and the following year his mother had taken him to Hollywood. Between the ages of 7 and 13 Rooney starred in a series of comedies until he signed his contract with MGM in 1934. It was at MGM where Rooney met good friend Judy Garland. The pair would go on to star in several movies together and make one of the finest on-screen couples. While at MGM Studios Rooney played a variety of youthful characters including the All-American boy Andy Hardy. His roles in countless films made him a star in Hollywood and a valuable asset to MGM. At the height of his career Rooney made history by becoming the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar in a leading role category for his performance in Babes in Arms. Also in 1939 Rooney shared a Juvenile Award with Deanna Durbin. The award was presented to the youngsters by the Academy Awards for their significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personality of youth, as well as for being juvenile players who set a high standard of ability and achievement. However, while Rooney was playing innocent teenagers on-screen, he was a much more notorious teenager off-screen. Fearing Rooney’s All-American image would be tainted, the studio head of MGM, Louis B. Mayer, worked constantly to keep Rooney’s sexual relationships with numerous starlets from the press. One scandal Mayer managed to hide from the public was Rooney’s affair with Norma Shearer. Their romance began just after Shearer’s husband had passed. She was 38 and Rooney was barely 18. A few years later Rooney decided to marry girlfriend Ava Gardner. The marriage was filled with alcohol, adultery, arguments, and ultimately short-lived. After Rooney and Gardner divorced, Gardner went on to become an A-list actress and Rooney went on to marry another seven times! During World War II, Rooney was drafted into the army and served twenty-two months overseas. When he finally returned home his box-office success had decreased significantly. Then in 1949 his contract with MGM ended. Since Rooney was typecast as a child star, he found it difficult to break as an adult star. Very often the roles being offered to Rooney were simply supporting roles. Nonetheless, Rooney found work on television, toured nightclubs and theatres, plus performed on Broadway. Today, at almost 90-years-old, Rooney has found himself far more in demand than he was thirty years ago. Currently, as an active actor, Rooney is known for playing cheerful mentors with youthful spirits. As a triple threat, Rooney has earned a total of three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, he has earned several awards including: two Golden Globes, one Emmy, and a Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award at the Young Artist Awards. And, it is key to mention Rooney’s four Oscar nominations and his Honorary Award at the 1983 Academy Awards in recognition of more than fifty years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances.

“The only thing you owe the public is a good performance.” – Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart was born on Christmas Day in 1899. Growing up in New York, Bogart attended Trinity School in Manhattan. Then to prepare for medical studies at Yale, he was sent to Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. But when Bogart was expelled from Phillips Academy his plans drastically changed. First, he decided to join the US Naval Reserve. Then in 1920, Bogart began managing a stage company owned by William A. Brady, a family friend and the father of actress Alice Brady. Two years later, Bogart finally began performing on stage. In 1930 he earned a contract with Fox Studios. However, after two years, Fox released him from his contract. For the next four years he earned his living performing on stage and in minor film roles. In 1936 Bogart earned his breakthrough role in The Petrified Forest. Warner Bros had offered Bogart the supporting role of Duke Mantee after Leslie Howard had threatened Warner Bros that he would quit unless Bogart was a part of the film. Nonetheless, the movie was a success and led Bogart to a long-term contract with Warner Bros. Years later, Bogart named his daughter Leslie to show his gratitude to Leslie Howard who got him his big break. From 1936 to 1940, Bogart appeared in twenty-eight films, typically playing the role of a gangster. His landmark year was in 1941. He starred in High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon, classic films that allowed him to transfer himself into an honorable leading man on-screen. He followed up 1941 by starring in Casablanca, The Big Sleep, and Key Largo, among many other great films. He formed his own production company in 1947, which produced The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Bogart was well-known for playing smart, courageous, tough, and occasionally reckless characters who lived in a corrupt world. His characters captured an audience, and so he was voted the greatest screen actor by the American Film Institute. Throughout his career, Bogart also earned the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar for his 1951 performance in The African Queen, plus two additional nominations for his performances in Casablanca and The Caine Mutiny. And his star on the Walk of Fame can be found at 6322 Hollywood Blvd. Sadly, since he was a heavy smoker and drinker, he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus at a young age. Following some surgeries, Bogart died in his sleep at his Los Angeles home on January 14, 1957 at the age of 57. When Bogart died he left behind his fourth wife, actress Lauren Bacall. The couple had been married for eleven years and had two children together, Stephen and Leslie.

“She’s a beautiful woman, a good friend, and fun to be around.” – Howard Keel on Kathryn Grayson

Kathryn Grayson was born on February 9, 1922 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. At the age of 5 she moved to Kirkwood, Missouri with her two older siblings and parents Charles and Lillian. Growing up in Missouri, Grayson spent her days singing at Church and with her talented family. Grayson also had big dreams of becoming an opera singer. At the age of 11 she was discovered by a Chicago opera singer named Frances Marshall, soon Marshall would become her vocal teacher. At the age of 15 Grayson moved to California with her family to pursue a music career. A few years later MGM talent scouts heard her singing on the radio and wanted to sign her to a contract. Grayson initially rejected the offer as she desperately wanted a career in the music industry instead. But MGM was relentless and eventually Grayson agreed to a career in films. Grayson was given acting lessons and took countless publicity photos to promote herself. In 1941, she filmed Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary, her first featured film. In time, Grayson was cast opposite some of MGM’s top musical stars, including Gene Kelly. Her most famous works came in the 1950s when she starred in Show Boat and Kiss Me Kate. After thirteen years Grayson ended her partnership with MGM and made only one additional film after 1953, The Vagabond King. After films, Grayson continued to work in nightclubs, on stage, and began giving private vocal lessons. Shortly after celebrating her 88th birthday Grayson died of natural causes in Los Angeles on February 17, 2010. Today her star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, honoring her place in motion pictures, can be found on 1600 Vine Street.

“It is up to us to give ourselves recognition. If we wait for it to come from others we feel resentful when it doesn’t and when it does we may well reject it.” – Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy was born on April 5, 1900 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to proud parents John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy. During Tracy’s college days he held the lead part in a play titled “The Truth” and decided at that point to pursue an acting career. He then moved to New York to attend the Academy of Dramatic Arts. To support himself during his early acting gigs, Tracy sometimes took extra work as a bellhop, janitor, and salesman. In 1931 he moved his wife and two children to Hollywood. Within the first three years of arriving to Hollywood Tracy made sixteen films. In 1935 he signed a contract with MGM and in short time MGM made Tracy a household name. Remarkably, Tracy did not enjoy rehearsing and would simply read through a scene once before shooting. He also never liked to shoot a scene more than once, and in most cases he didn’t have to. He exercised his talent in a variety of genres and starred in several very popular films. Some of his most successful roles were played opposite Katharine Hepburn. The two stars appeared in a total of nine film, the first of which was Woman of the Year in 1942. Hepburn and Tracy also had one of the most notorious romantic relationships in Hollywood history. But because Tracy was a Catholic he never divorced his wife, though the couple lived separately. During the filming of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Tracy suffered from lung congestion. Then on the morning of June 10, 1967, just seventeen days after Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was completed, Tracy was making a cup of coffee when he suffered a sudden heart-attack in his Beverly Hills home. Katharine Hepburn found him dead on the kitchen floor. Thereafter, Hepburn was never able to watch Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner because it was his last film and watching it with him gone was too painful for her. Over the course of Tracy’s career he won two Oscars. The first for 1937’s Captains Courageous and the second in 1938 for his portrayal of Father Flanagan in Boys Town. Once Tracy accepted his awards he made history by becoming the first actor to win back-to-back. And that same night Tracy became the first actor to play a factual person who was still alive at the evening of the award ceremony. Tracy also receive seven additional Oscar nominations for his leading performances in: San Francisco, Father of the Bride, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Old Man and the Sea, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Moreover, Tracy won a Golden Globe for his work in The Actress and earned three additional nominations for Golden Globe awards. Currently, his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame can be found on 6812 Hollywood Blvd.

“Playing good girls in the ’30s was difficult when the fad was to play bad girls. But, I think playing bad girls is a bore. I have always had more luck with good girl roles because they require more from an actress.” – Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo, Japan on July 1, 1916. The following year her younger sister, Joan, was born. When de Havilland was 3-years-old her parents divorced and she moved to Saratoga, California with her sister and mother, actress Lillian Fontaine. While attending high school de Havilland fell prey to the acting bug. After graduation she enrolled in Mills College in Oakland. At Mills College she participated in the school play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. One particular audience member who was impressed by de Havilland’s performance was Max Reinhardt. Reinhardt decided to cast her in his stage version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and later the Warner Bros film version in 1935. Executives were also impressed with de Havilland’s acting and signed her to Warner Bros. Immediately after she signed the contract, de Havilland began working and appeared in multiple films. In 1939 Warner Bros loaned her out to film Gone with the Wind. Playing the sweet Melanie Hamilton, de Havilland was able to earn her first nomination for an Academy Award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role, but lost out to her co-star Hattie McDaniel. After Gone with the Wind, de Havilland continued to make film after film. In 1941, she played Emmy Brown in Hold Back the Dawn which resulted in her second Oscar nomination, but this time for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Again she lost, but this time to her sister Joan Fontaine for her role in Suspicion. Relations between de Havilland and her younger sister were never all that strong to begin with. Their mutual dislike and jealously escalated into an all-out feud after Joan won the Oscar. As a result, the sisters remained permanently estranged. It wasn’t until To Each His Own, in which de Havilland played Josephine Norris, that allowed her to win her own Oscar. In 1948, de Havilland turned another strong performance in The Snake Pit as Virginia Cunningham, which also resulted in another Oscar nomination. During the year 1949, de Havilland made only one movie. The Heiress allowed her to win the Best Actress in a Leading Role category for the second time. She also earned a Golden Globe for starring in The Heiress. Though de Havilland was one of the brightest stars in Hollywood during the 1940s, after she filmed The Heiress the actress decided to take a four year hiatus. Finally in 1952, de Havilland emerged to star in My Cousin Rachel, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. After 1952 de Havilland made fewer appearances on-screen but did take the time to perform on Broadway and in television. In 1986 de Havilland was nominated for an Emmy and won a Golden Globe for her performance in Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. Her last film appearance was in 1979’s The Fifth Musketeer and her last career appearance was in the TV movie The Woman He Loved. Today, de Havilland enjoys a peaceful retirement in Paris, France. Back in Hollywood her star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame can be found on 6764 Hollywood Blvd.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

James Dean was born in Marion, Indiana on February 8, 1931. In 1940, when he was just nine-years-old, his mother died of cancer. Since Dean’s father remained absent for much of his life, he was sent to live on his aunt and uncle’s farm in Fairmount. After graduating high school, Dean moved to California to further his education. Once Dean graduated from Santa Monica College he then enrolled in UCLA for business studies. At UCLA Dean appeared in the stage production “Macbeth” and became anxious to begin an acting career. He left UCLA and soon after moved to New York to follow in Marlon Brando’s steps. Dean was greatly influenced by Brando’s style. Dean’s acting breakthrough was in the Broadway drama “See the Jaguar”. Dean also received rave reviews for his work in the New York production of “The Immoralist”. The rave reviews earned Dean a trip to Hollywood. At first, Dean’s film career was made up of only bit parts. Finally in 1955 Dean snagged his first major role as Cal Trask in East of Eden. Next, he played Jim Stark in the teenage drama Rebel Without a Cause with Natalie Wood. Before Rebel Without a Cause could be released, Dean began to work on his third and final film. In Giant, Dean played Jett Rink alongside Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. On September 30, 1935, just as Giant was coming to a close, Dean was driving his Porsche Spyder racecar when he collided with another car near Cholame, California. Dean was killed almost immediately from the impact of the accident. He was only 24-years-old. Because of Dean’s untimely death he could not honor his $1,000,000 contract with Warner Bros to complete nine films. After his death he became the first actor to receive an Academy Award nomination posthumously. The nomination was for his role in East of Eden. The following year, he was nominated again for the Best Actor in a Leading Role award, but this time for his part in Giant. He remains the only actor in history to receive more than one Oscar nomination after death. Dean was also rewarded two Golden Globes after he died, a special achievement award in 1956 and the Henrietta Award in 1957. Moreover, Dean received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Though Dean was never given the chance to achieve many of his ambitions, including his writing and directing goals, he still inspired millions. Even Elvis Presley stated his idol was James Dean. His very brief career and violent death transformed him into a legend. Today, Dean is still regarded as America’s rebel.

“Me, I’m good at nothing but walking on the set with a pretty dress.” – Sandra Dee

Sandra Dee was born in Bayonne, New Jersey on April 23, 1942. Growing up, her mother, Mary Douvan, would often lie about her age in order to benefit both their lives. For instance, Douvan misrepresented Dee’s age so that she could enroll her daughter in school and get herself a full-time job. This lie helped Dee get an early start on her education. For example, she was just 4-years-old when she entered the second grade. Her mother continued to lie about Dee’s age for the rest of her life. Dee’s mother had also envisioned a show business career for her daughter and was responsible for booking many of Dee’s earlier gigs. Dee’s extremely pretty looks enabled her to get into modeling. She made her modeling debut in Girl Scouts Magazine. By the time Dee was 12-years-old she was successful at her craft. Soon after Dee began appearing in television commercials, she started her acting career. At 14, Dee made her film debut as the youngest of four sisters in Until They Sail. In 1958, Dee won a Golden Globe for being declared the Most Promising Newcomer. In 1959, Dee made her most popular films. She scored with teenagers in the summer hit Gidget, starred in the young love movie A Summer Place, and acted alongside Lana Turner in Imitation of Life. These films, among many others, made Dee one of the most successful teenage movie stars of the 20th century. On December 1, 1960, Dee married singer Bobby Darin. She and Darin worked together in three films: Come September, If a Man Answers, and That Funny Feeling. The couple also had one child together, son Dodd Mitchell Cossotto. But over the years, Darin and Dee were battling a stormy marriage. On March 7, 1967, their marriage was officially over. The divorce hurt Dee’s squeaky-clean image and career. By the time Dee was 26-years-old her career was essentially over due to poor scripts and a tainted image. After her hot career fell apart in the 1970s Dee became the victim of anorexia, alcoholism, and depression. Yet, to the delight of her fans she resurfaced briefly after two decades of seclusion to be warmly embraced at the Beverly Hill’s Canon Theatre in a stage production of “Love Letters”. In 2000 Dee battled throat cancer and five years later, on February 20, 2005 died from kidney complications in Thousand Oaks, California.

“I bring to a role everything I am, was, and hope to be.” – Clark Gable

Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio. Before his first birthday his mother died and his father sent him to live with his aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania. When Gable was 2-years-old his father returned and took him back to Cadiz. At the age of 16, Gable quit high school and went to work at a tire factory. He also worked other odd jobs to scrape up additional cash. After seeing the play “The Bird of Paradise” Gable decided to become an actor. Though his father disapproved of his career choice, Gable still decided to join a traveling theater company. Gable made it to Hollywood in 1924 with the help of theater manager Josephine Dillon. Dillon coached Gable and later married him. She was 17-years his senior. In 1930 Gable divorced Dillon and later married Maria Langham, who was also 17-years older than him. Also in 1930 Gable finally signed a contract with MGM Studios. Soon he began working alongside superstars: Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, and Jean Harlow. The public’s love for Gable made him MGM’s most important star. At one point he refused an assignment and the studio punished him by loaning him out to Columbia Pictures. Columbia Pictures put him in Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night, which allowed him to win his first and only Oscar. When he returned to MGM he starred in more substantial films including Mutiny on the Bounty and Gone with the Wind. Both films won the Best Picture award at the Academy Awards and earned Gable nominations for the Best Actor in a Leading Role award. In 1935, he starred in The Call of the Wild with Loretta Young. On set, Gable and Young began a romantic affair which resulted in the birth of their daughter. In order to hide that she and Gable had an illegitimate child, fearing that it would ruin both of their careers, Young secretly gave birth to her daughter Judy while pretending she was vacationing in Europe. When she returned to Hollywood, Young claimed Judy was adopted. However, the child’s resemblance to both parents is uncanny. Throughout his life Gable met Judy only once. In 1939 Gable divorced Langham and married actress Carole Lombard. On January 16, 1942 Lombard was returning home from a war bond drive when she died in a plane crash. Gable was so grief-stricken from his wife’s death that he drank heavily for six months straight and attempted suicide. For three years Gable refused to make another picture until the war ended and joined the US Army Air Force. In 1949 Gable married Douglas Fairbanks’ widow. But the marriage was short-lived and the couple divorced before their third wedding anniversary. When Gable returned to Hollywood, MGM regarded his salary as excessive and his contract was not renewed. Since Gable was not obligated to a studio contract he decided to freelance for work. In 1955 he formed a production company with Jane Russell and her husband Bob Waterfield. The trio produced The King and Four Queens in 1956. The stress of making the film took such a toll on Gable’s health, he decided not to produce ever again. In 1959 he was nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Motion Picture Actor – Comedy/Musical for his performance in Teacher’s Pet. The following year he earned a nomination for that same award for his performance in But Not for Me. While filming The Misfits Gable announced he and his fifth wife, Kay Williams, were expecting a child. Two months later, on November 5, 1960 Gable suffered from a heart-attack while changing a tire on his jeep. Later that month, on November 16, 1960 Gable was resting in a Los Angeles hospital when he sat up to read a magazine and suffered his fourth and final heart-attack. He was dead within seconds. At the age of 59 Gable was laid to rest beside Lombard at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Hollywood remembered Gable and his work by rewarding him a star on the Walk of Fame at 1610 Vine Street. And in March of 1961, Williams gave birth to a boy whom she John Clark Gable.

“Movie acting may not have a certain kind of glory as true art, but it is damn hard work.” – William Holden

William Holden was born into a wealthy family on April 17, 1918 in O’Fallon, Illinois. When Holden was 3-years-old his family moved to Pasadena, California. In 1937, while studying chemistry at Pasadena Junior College, Holden was signed to a film contract with Paramount. His first starring role was as a young man torn between the violin and boxing in 1939’s Golden Boy. It was Barbara Stanwyck who insisted he be casted in Golden Boy. Holden was very grateful to Stanwyck and sent her flowers every year on the anniversary of the first day of the filming. Holden played two very important roles in 1950 after returning from World War II military service. In Born Yesterday he played a tutor and in Sunset Blvd. Holden earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Joe Gillis. These films were followed by other popular films for decades including his Oscar-winning role in Stalag 17 in 1953. When Holden accepted his statue at the Academy Awards he simply stated “thank you” and walked off the stage. In 1974 Holden earned an Emmy as Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his role in The Blue Knight. Two years later Holden was nominated for the Best Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award for his performance in Network. Much of Holden’s later life was spent co-owning the Mount Kenya Safari Club, an animal sanctuary, which divided his time between Africa, Switzerland, and the United States. He was very instrumental in animal preservation in Africa. Often appearing on talk shows, Holden would promote saving of animals and discourage illegal animal trade. At 63-years-old, Holden suffered a laceration to his forehead and bled to death after slipping on a rug and hitting his head on a table. He was pronounced dead on November 16, 1981 in Santa Monica, California. Holden is still remembered in Hollywood and his star on the Walk of Fame is located at 1651 Vine Street.

“Failure and its accompanying misery is for the artist his most vital source of creative energy.” – Montgomery Clift

Montgomery Clift was born just minutes after his twin sister Roberta on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska. Following his appearance in the 1933 Broadway production “Fly Away Home”, Clift had decided to remain in New York. Before succumbing to Hollywood Clift gained excellent theatrical notice and became a throughly accomplished actor. While working in New York during the early 1940s Clift met a wealthy and former Broadway star named Libby Holman. Holman developed an intense obsession over the young actor. Clift’s relationship with Holman would be the main, and likely the last, heterosexual relationship of his life and only cause him further anguish over his sexuality. Holman was also responsible for influencing Clift with regards to the early stage of his film career. Surprisingly she advised him to decline lead roles in Sunset Blvd. and High Noon. Clift’s film debuts finally occurred in 1948. He starred with John Wayne in Red River and earned his first Oscar nomination in The Search. These films made Clift an overnight sensation and instant star. He had embodied a new type of man on-screen: the beautiful, sensual, and vulnerable man who appealed to a wide  audience. After starring in A Place in the Sun with good friend Elizabeth Taylor, Clift earned his second Oscar nomination. Soon he was known as Hollywood’s hottest male star and adored by millions. He looked incredible and was a fine actor! His only rival in this regard was Marlon Brando. In 1953 Clift filmed From Here to Eternity which earned him a nomination as Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards for the third time. But Clift’s drinking and drug problems began affecting his talents and prevented him from staying at the top of his game. His mental problems forced him to spend a great deal of time and fortune on psychiatry. Good friend Marilyn Monroe described Clift as “the only person I know who is in worse shape than I am.” In 1956, during the filming of Raintree Country, Clift ran his car into a tree after leaving a party at Elizabeth Taylor’s house. It was she who saved him from choking by pulling out two teeth lodged in his throat. The accident left Clift dependent on painkillers and took a great toll on his dashing, good looks. Despite the fact that Clift’s career was in an obvious downward spiral, he still managed on occasion to give a riveting performance such as his supporting role in Judgment at Nuremberg. This movie allowed Clift to be nominated for both an Oscar and Golden Globe. In the 1960s Clift returned to New York in hopes of living a more sensible lifestyle. But on July 23, 1966 Clift’s friend Lorenzo James found him dead while lying nude on top of his bed. An autopsy declared Clift had died from coronary occlusion at the age of 45. Today, Clift is still remembered at 6104 Hollywood Blvd. where his star on the Walk of Fame is located.

“A James Stewart Picture must have two vital ingredients: it will be clean and it will involve the triumph of the underdog over the bully.” – Jimmy Stewart

Jimmy Stewart was born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania. At the age of 24 Stewart completed his education and graduated from Princeton University with a degree in architecture. Three years later Stewart was credited with his first film role. Stewart never took an acting lesson because he felt that performers could learn more when actually working rather than studying the craft. For several years Stewart played supporting characters. Numerous works of Stewart concerned honest, average middle class individuals who were unwittingly drawn into some type of crisis. In 1939 Stewart starred as the idealistic Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The film made Stewart a superstar and earned him his first Oscar nomination. Though Stewart lost the prize to Robert Donat, the following year he won the award. He was declared Best Actor in a Leading Role for playing Macaulay Connor in The Philadelphia Story. Stewart sent the Oscar to his father who was still living in Pennsylvania. The Oscar was kept in the window of Stewart’s father’s hardware store located on Philadelphia Street and remained there for twenty-five years. Stewart was the first movie star to enter the service for World War II, joining a year before Pearl Habor was bombed. He held the highest active military rank of any actor in history. In 1946 Stewart starred in what he referred to as his favourite film. It’s a Wonderful Life earned Stewart another nomination as the Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards. Three years later Stewart married a former model from New York named Gloria Hatrick McLean. McLean brought two sons to the marriage, Ronald and Michael, whom Stewart adopted. The following year Stewart was nominated for both an Oscar and Golden Globe for his performance in Harvey. During this time Stewart become one of the first stars to begin receiving a percentage of the gross of his movies. Nevertheless, Stewart truly was an average American. He genuinely disliked the glamour often basked in by Hollywood stars and avoided expensive clothes and fancy cars. On May 7, 1951 Stewart and his wife welcomed their twin daughters Judy and Kelly. Throughout the 1950’s Stewart worked with director Alfred Hitchcock, who turned him into a dramatic leading man through films like Rear Window and Vertigo. Stewart also starred in several Westerns and exercised his talent on stage, radio, and television. In 1960 Stewart earned his final Oscar nomination as Best Actor in a Leading Role for Anatomy of a Murder. In 1963 Stewart was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. Then finally in 1974 Stewart won a Golden Globe for Best TV Actor – Drama. Throughout the rest of Stewart’s life he was awarded countless grand honors for his craft including: a Star on the Walk of Fame, Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the American Film Institute and Screen Actors Guild Awards, plus the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes. In addition, Stewart won an Honorary Award at the 1985 Academy Awards ceremony. Upon accepting his Oscar in 1985, he stated “this was the greatest award I received, to know that after all these years I haven’t been forgotten.” The audience gave him a ten minute standing ovation. On February 16, 1994 Stewart’s wife passed and he vowed to make no further public appearances after her funeral service. Thereafter he spent most of his time in his bedroom, coming out only at the insistence of his housekeeper for meals. In December 1996, when he was due to have his battery changed in his pacemaker, he told his children that he’d rather not have that done. He wanted to let things take their natural course. On January 31, 1997 Stewart tripped over a potted plant in his bedroom and cut open his forehead. He was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica where he was given twelve stitches. A few weeks later he was hospitalized in Los Angeles for a blood clot and irregular heartbeat. He had a blood clot in his right knee and the swelling soon spread throughout his entire leg. At 11:05AM on July 2, 1997 Stewart died of cardiac arrest and pulmonary embolism following respiratory problems at the age of 89. His last words were, “I’m going to be with Gloria now.” Over 3,000 people, mostly Hollywood celebrities, attended his funeral to pay their respects. Stewart was remembered for his hard work and love for family, country, and community.

“Getting angry doesn’t solve anything.” – Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 12, 1929. Though her childhood was uneventful for the most part, one clear thing was established at a young age, Kelly’s goal to become an actress. The youngster’s desire to act stemmed from watching Ingrid Bergman, her favourite actress, on-screen. Once graduating Stevens School in 1947, Kelly left Philadelphia and headed to New York on her own. In New York Kelly attended and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She also spent time working as a model, plus made debuts on both Broadway and in television. But Kelly was not content with her work in New York and decided to move to California for a more prestigious career. In 1951 Kelly appeared in her first film. Her start in motion pictures was a small part in Fourteen Hours. The following year she landed the role of Amy Kane in High Noon, a western starring Gary Cooper which turned out to be very successful. In 1953 Kelly appeared in the popular film Mogambo alongside Clark Gable and Ava Gardner. Kelly’s supporting role in the film earned her a Golden Globe win and an Academy Award nomination. In 1954 Kelly began her first of a series of projects with Alfred Hitchcock. The film was Dial M for Murder and it made Kelly a star. Overtime Hitchcock continued to work with Kelly on films like Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. It was her calm, cool, and collective demeanor that Hitchcock appreciated and which also captivated her audience. During 1954 Kelly made a total of five films and earned a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress – Drama for her work in The Country Girl. The Country Girl also allowed Kelly to receive an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Reportedly Judy Garland’s loss of the Academy Award to Kelly for The Country Girl was the result of the closest Oscar vote up until that time with just six votes separating the two. Nonetheless, the matter was a heartbreak for Garland which she never really recovered from and remained a source of controversy ever since. In 1956 Kelly won the Henrietta Award at the Golden Globes for being the World Film Favourite Female. Throughout Kelly’s career gossip columns would often link her romantically to her co-stars until she met future husband Prince Rainer of Monaco at the Cannes Festival. Following the couple’s engagement announcement, lavish wedding plans soon followed. Kelly’s wedding gown was the most expensive garment that MGM designer Helen Rose had ever made. The dress used twenty-five yards of silk taffeta and one-hundred yards of silk net. Its 125-year-old rose point lace was purchased from a museum and thousands of tiny pearls were sewn on the veil. On April 19, 1956 the couple exchanged their vows infront of six-hundred guests including: Ava Gardner, Conrad Hilton, and Gloria Swanson. By becoming a princess, Kelly gave up her blossoming career. As a result, Kelly had to turn down several movie offers, including a role in Giant. In 1964 plans were arranged for Kelly to return to the silver screen in an upcoming Hitchcock feature entitled Marnie. But the people of Monaco did not want their princess to play a thief or romance Sean Connery, hence her return never happened. Nonetheless, the rest of Kelly’s life remained in the news with her marriage and three children. As biographers have noted the life of a princess was not exactly lived happily ever after. On September 14, 1982 Kelly was killed in an automobile accident in Monaco. The road accident was caused by a stroke she suffered from driving. The princess was dead at the age of 52. Though Kelly made only eleven feature films, Hollywood still regards Kelly as a legend. Today she is remembered for her style and class at 6329 Hollywood Blvd. where her star on the Walk of Fame is located.

“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.” – Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall was born on September 16, 1924 in New York City to a middle-class couple. When she was 5-years-old her parents divorced and from that point forward Bacall was raised by her single mother. Growing up Bacall originally envisioned a career for herself as a dancer but later she became enthralled by acting. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after high school until she lost her job as a showroom model and quit the acting school due to lack of funds. The teenage Bacall eventually found work as a Broadway theater usher before entering the modeling world. As Bacall became a professional model, her beauty allowed her to appear in popular magazines in the United States including Harper’s Bazaar. When the wife of director Howard Hawks spotted Bacall’s picture she arranged with her husband to have Bacall take a screen test. The screen test was a success and Bacall was granted the opportunity of playing Marie ‘Slim’ Browning in Hawks’ upcoming film To Have and Have Not. In the thrilling film 19-year-old Bacall played opposite Humphrey Bogart. Bogart and Bacall fell in love on set and one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories emerged. The couple married a year after they met and later had two children together, Stephen and Leslie. Bogart and Bacall also made another three films together. Although she was only making one film per year, each production was eagerly awaited by her fans and her films were very successful across the theaters of America. On January 14, 1957 Bacall was left devastated when Bogart died from cancer. She focused on her career to ease her sorrow. In 1958 Bacall returned to the silver screen with The Gift of Love but the production turned out to be a big disappointment. At that point Bacall decided to move back to New York City and appeared in several Broadway plays to huge critical acclaim. She won two Tony Awards as Best Actress (Musical) for her roles in “Applause” and “Woman of the Year”. On July 4, 1961 Bacall married Jason Robards and soon welcomed the birth of their son Sam. However, Robards and Bacall’s marriage ended in divorce eight years later. Eventually Bacall returned to the big screen and has since continued to make movies. In between movie productions Bacall has also acted on Broadway. In 1997 she played a supporting role in the film The Mirror Has Two Faces. Her role earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role as well as a Golden Globe award. The Academy Awards also nominated Bacall for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Mirror Has Two Faces too. Throughout Bacall’s career she has received several honors including her own star on the Walk of Fame and the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 1993 Golden Globes ceremony. Plus, Bacall has been nominated for three Emmys. In 2010 Bacall won an Honorary Award at the Academy Awards in recognition of her centeral place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.

“I’m not that pristine, I guess I’ve broken as many rules as the next feller. But I reckon my face looks honest enough and if people buy it, Hallelujah!” – Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska to William Brace Fonda and Herberta Jaynes on May 16, 1905. He made his acting debut with the Omaha Community Playhouse. The Omaha Community Playhouse was a local amateur theater troupe directed by Dorothy Brando, the mother of Marlon Brando. Eventually he moved to the Cape Cod University Players and later Broadway to expand his theatrical career from 1926 to 1934. The play “The Farmer Takes a Wife” was transferred to the silver screen in 1935 and started Fonda’s lifelong Hollywood career. For the next fifty years Fonda played strong, defensive, heroic characters that would seek peace and justice. In 1941 he received his first Academy Award nomination as the Best Actor in a Leading Role for playing Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath. In 1957 he produced and starred in 12 Angry Men, a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. Playing Juror #8 also earned Fonda his first Golden Globe nomination as Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama. Throughout Fonda’s film career, he still took the opportunity to continue working on the stage. In 1968 he formed a partnership with Robert Ryan and Martha Scott. Together the trio founded the theatrical production company Plumstead Playhouse in New York. Later called the Plumstead Theatre Society, it co-produced the Broadway production “First Monday in October” which starred Fonda and Jane Alexander. In addition, Fonda found work on television and earned a total of three Emmy nominations. In 1978 he won a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Then in 1979 he won a Special Tony Award in New York City. The following year he won the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes. At the 1981 Academy Awards’ ceremony Fonda was recognized for his brilliant accomplishments and enduring contribution to the art of motion pictures. In return he was rewarded an Honorary Oscar. The next year Fonda won an Oscar as the Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in On Golden Pond. Although Fonda was not present at the awards ceremony, his daughter and co-star, Jane Fonda, accepted the award on his behalf. At age 76, he remains the oldest person to win the award. On Golden Pond also allowed him to win the Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama award at the Golden Globes ceremony. Fonda’s last project, which happened to be the last film of Myrna Loy as well, was Summer Solstice. The following year Fonda had died from a cardiorespiratory arrest on August 12. He was 77-years-old. Fonda is remembered at 1601 Vine Street where his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame is located.


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