EW Staff
September 27, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

For Hollywood producers, Jimmy Stewart was a gold mine: an actor who made his name by elevating unassuming, earnest characters to star status. But when actor Eddie Albert says Stewart was ”a no-crap guy,” that’s about the closest that author Donald Dewey gets to the film legend’s true personality, despite hundreds of interviews with neighbors, fellow actors, old loves, airmen who flew with him during World War II, family members, and friends. Dewey manages to convey the divine sort of discontent that surrounded Stewart off the screen, a loneliness that nothing could take away — a privacy, perhaps, never to be penetrated (at least, not by Dewey). That said, James Stewart: A Biography does a first-rate job analyzing the actor’s trademark performances. B

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