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Stewart Granger

Stewart Granger
Stewart Granger 1970.jpg
Granger circa 1970.
Born James Lablache Stewart
(1913-05-06)6 May 1913
Kensington, London, England
Died 16 August 1993(1993-08-16) (aged 80)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Resting place Ashes Given to Family
Other names Jimmy Stewart
Occupation Actor
Years active 1933–1993
Spouse(s) Elspeth March (1938–48) (divorced) two children
Jean Simmons (1950–60) (divorced) one child
Caroline LeCerf (1964–69) (divorced) one child
Children Lindsey Granger, Jamie Granger
Tracy Granger (b. 1956)

Stewart Granger (born James Lablache Stewart; 6 May 1913 – 16 August 1993) was an English film actor, mainly associated with heroic and romantic leading roles. He was a popular leading man from the 1940s to the early 1960s, rising to fame through his appearances in the Gainsborough melodramas.

He was born James Lablache Stewart in Old Brompton Road, Kensington, West London, the only son of Major James Stewart, OBE and his wife Frederica Eliza (née Lablache). Granger was educated at Epsom College and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He was the great-great-grandson of the opera singer Luigi Lablache and the grandson of the actor Luigi Lablache. When he became an actor, he was advised to change his name in order to avoid being confused with the American actor James Stewart. (Granger was his Scottish grandmother's maiden name.) Offscreen friends and colleagues continued to call him Jimmy for the rest of his life, but to the general public he became Stewart Granger.

He made his film debut as an extra in 1933. It was at this time that he met Michael Wilding and they remained friends until Wilding's death in 1979. Years of theatre work followed, initially at Hull Repertory Theatre and then, after a pay dispute, at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Here he met Elspeth March, a leading actress with the company, who became his first wife.

At the outbreak of World War II Granger enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders, then transferred to the Black Watch with the rank of second lieutenant. However he suffered from stomach ulcers and he was invalided out of the army in 1942.

Year Program Episode/source
1952 Lux Radio Theatre King Solomon's Mines

  • 1945 – 9th biggest star in Britain (2nd most popular British star)
  • 1946 – 6th biggest star in Britain (3rd most popular British star)
  • 1947 – 5th most popular British star in Britain
  • 1948 – 5th most popular British star in Britain.
  • 1949 – 7th most popular British star in Britain.
  • 1951 – most popular star in Britain according to Kinematograph Weekly
  • 1952 – 19th most popular star in the US
  • 1953 – 21st most popular star in the US and 8th most popular in Britain
  • In 1944 it was reported Granger's ambition was to play Rob Roy – J. Arthur Rank announced he was interested in a Rob Roy project in 1945 but it was never made
  • Digger's Republic for Leslie Arliss as Stafford Parker (1946) – this became Diamond City with David Farrar in the role instead
  • Self-Made Man (1947) from a script by Alan Campbell about a cocky type who comes out of the RAF and makes and loses a million dollars
  • Christopher Columbus in the title role (1947) – film was eventually made with Fredric March
  • Pursuit of Love for producer Davis Lewis at Enterprise Studios (1947)
  • Treacher (1947) produced by Nunnally Johnson for Universal
  • The Saxon Charm (1947)
  • Reported as testing for John Huston in Quo Vadis (1949)
  • The House by the Sea based on book by Jon Godden, with Granger as producer (1949)
  • The Donnybrook Fighter (1952)
  • Robinson Crusoe (early 1950s)
  • Highland Fling (1957)
  • Ever the Twain (1958)
  • biography of Miguel Cervantes for his own production company(1958)
  • The Night Comers with Jean Simmons - adaptation of Eric Ambler book State of Siege
  • The Four Winds from a 1954 novel by David Beatty - for his own production company, Tracy Productions (1958)
  • I Thank a Fool (1962)
  • Continuous Performance – the Film – BBC, December 1946


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