Jimmy Stewart's hometown celebrates actor's 100th birthday

May 20, 2008 5:24:16 PM PDT
The wonderful life of actor Jimmy Stewart is being remembered in his Pennsylvania hometown on the centenary of his birth.

Stewart's hometown Indiana, Pa., will celebrate with a cake, bands, screenings of his movies and the presentation of a posthumous award to co-star Grace Kelly.

The man who played George Bailey, Elwood P. Dowd, Glenn Miller and Wyatt Earp would have turned 100 on Tuesday.

Centennial Festival Day on Saturday will center around the Indiana County courthouse and Jimmy Stewart Museum. The museum, which opened in 1995, attracts about 10,000 visitors annually and is the county's main tourist attraction.

"People can see a true story about a real individual ... who never forgot the values he learned in his community," said museum board President Carson Greene.

Displays at the museum include gifts fans gave to Stewart - ranging from a poem ripped from a notebook to an ostrich egg.

Stewart's two daughters will receive a gift from Eisenhower Elementary School students, and Kelly's nephew will accept the Harvey Award on behalf of the late actress, who starred with Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window."

The Harvey Award honors those who worked with Stewart and shared his standards for citizenship, service to country and love of family.

Stewart, who died in 1997, was nominated for an Academy Award five times and won for "The Philadelphia Story." His other films include "It's a Wonderful Life," "Harvey," "The Glenn Miller Story," "Cheyenne Autumn," "Vertigo," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "Anatomy of a Murder."