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James Stewart's Last Words Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes

Known for his charming demeanor and unique drawl, James Stewart continues to remain one of the Hollywood Golden Age's most iconic faces. With a career spanning from the 1930s all the way up to the early 1990s, Stewart's turns as the face of the idealist everyman became his claim to fame. His body of work spans far and wide, from his breakout performance in 1939's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," to his subsequent roles in classics such as "It's a Wonderful Life" and "The Philadelphia Story," as well as the acclaimed collaborations Stewart made with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock such as "Rope," "The Man Who Knew Too Much," and "Vertigo." He would go on to earn five Oscar nominations for best actor, winning one for "The Philadelphia Story" and earning an additional Honorary Oscar in 1985 (via IMDb). In addition to this, Stewart is also noteworthy for his numerous accomplishments and honors in the military (via The Jimmy Stewart Museum), where he primarily served as a pilot. 

James Stewart led an incredible life full of thrilling accomplishments and opportunities others could only dream of. In his tribute to the beloved actor, Roger Ebert would say, "Whether he played everyman, or everyman's hidden psyche, Stewart was an innately likable man whose face, loping gait and distinctive drawl became famous all over the world." As if Stewart's loss in 1997 wasn't sad enough, the final words of the acclaimed performer are as poignant as it gets. 

James Stewart's last words were about his deceased wife

James Stewart would pass away from a heart attack following a pulmonary embolism on July 2, 1997 (via The New York Times). However, three years earlier in February 1994, his wife Gloria Hatrick McLean had died from lung cancer (via The New York Times). The two had been married since 1949, and her loss was noted to be a heavy blow to Stewart. According to "James Stewart: A Biography" by Donald Dewey, these last few years would see Stewart become somewhat reclusive and avoid interacting with others outside of his family. 

Knowing this makes his final words all the more emotional. Surrounded by family and friends, Stewart's last words uttered were, "I'm going to go be with Gloria now" (via CheatSheet). While that is certainly a tear-jerker, it seems to have been Stewart's manner of a peaceful transition. After having gone through such a rough time following his wife's death, it seems as though Stewart had made peace with the world around him and chose to focus on what truly mattered to him at that moment. There's something so poetic about someone best known for embodying the everyman to have their last words be dedicated to something so personal and human. It goes to show why Stewart has remained such an enduring figure throughout the decades. Truly, his was a wonderful life.

Stewart's final on-screen appearance would be in 1980's "A Tale of Africa" and his final ever performance would be as the voice of Wylie in the 1991 animated film, "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West," a sequel to the 1986 Don Bluth film "An American Tail" produced by Steven Spielberg