Monday, August 25, 2014

HOLLYWOOD LOVE: JIMMY AND GLORIA STEWART


It is so rare to find true Hollywood love stories that last. However, in the classic years of Hollywood it was possible. One such great love story was the marriage of screen legend Jimmy Stewart and model Gloria Hatrick McLean.

In 1949, James Stewart, distinguished actor, trend setter and military hero, added one more part to his growing repertoire, that of a family man. He met Gloria Hatrick McLean in the summer of 1948 when he accepted a dinner invitation to the home of Gary and Rocky Cooper. The 31 year old Gloria stole Stewart’s heart. She was beautiful, outgoing, well educated and she liked to play golf. She loved animals and the outdoors, and she was not an actress. When Stewart married her on August 9, 1949, they had a ready-made family. Gloria had two children, Ronald then five and Michael, three, from a previous marriage. Stewart, for years considered one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood, was 41 years old. In the fall of 1950, the Stewarts learned they were to become parents of twins. On May 7, 1951, fraternal twins Kelly & Judy were born. The Stewarts lived in Beverly Hills where many other celebrities resided. Yet their son Michael says they “were raised with that small-town Christian Presbyterian ethic that nobody owes you a living. If you have bad breaks, get up and move on. That was the attitude of both my parents, and it never changed.”

The Stewart family lived on Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills, an area that was home to many of Hollywood's top stars. She was one of the few Hollywood types to plant and tend her own garden, and she would give the excess vegetables to Jimmy to take around to their neighbors. She and her husband also owned a ranch in Hawaii, returning to it every year for vacation when time permitted, to manage cattle and a macadamia nut orchard. They planned to build a retirement home there, but Gloria died before the house could be built in 1994. Jimmy never recovered and faded away after her death. He died in 1997, and his final days were spent dreaming of when he would be reunited with his beloved Gloria once again...





4 comments:

  1. Enduring and true love, reflected in their faces. Lovely to see.

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  2. I'm so touched by their love story.

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  3. Thanks for this perspective on the Stewarts. Nice to know how down to earth they were.

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  4. a love story every girl dreams of

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