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Overview for Paul Stewart
Paul Stewart

Paul Stewart



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Also Known As: Paul Sternberg Died: February 17, 1986
Born: March 13, 1908 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Cast ... actor TV director


Although he had already performed in various theater productions, Paul Stewart's career as an actor received a significant boost when he became a member of Orson Welles's Mercury Theater group in the mid-1930s. In 1938, he was the producer, writer, and studio announcer on Welles's infamous Halloween radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds," a program that sent a significant portion of the American public into panic because they believed that earth was being attacked by Martians. Like many of the Mercury group, Stewart followed Welles out to Hollywood to make a career in the movies. He co-starred in Welles's ground-breaking cinematic debut, "Citizen Kane," playing newspaper mogul Kane's butler. More work followed, with many directors utilizing Stewart's taciturn, gruff demeanor to good effect in crime and war melodramas. After World War II, Stewart co-starred with Gregory Peck in the aerial combat film "Twelve O'Clock High," played a boxing manager opposite Kirk Douglas in the fight drama "Champion," and starred alongside Dana Andrews and Farley Granger in the film noir "Edge of Doom." He also acted with Humphrey Bogart in the hard-hitting crime film "Deadline - U.S.A.." Three of his most notable films during the 1950s were "Appointment with Danger," where he played a hitman, "The Bad and the Beautiful," reuniting with Kirk Douglas, and the brutal noir "Kiss Me Deadly" playing a venal criminal. In the mid-1950s, Stewart began directing for television, as well as continuing to work as an actor.


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Esteemed character actor made his living for decades playing dark, callous, shiftless villains. Not a well-known name per se, he was nevertheless a reliable and perfectly determined sort for film noir and gangland crime drama. Born in New York City on March 13, 1908, Stewart make his Broadway debut with "Two Seconds" in 1931, following graduation from Columbia University. He met and made an impression upon Orson Welles. As a result he became a founding member of the Mercury Theatre. He married band singer/actress Peg La Centra (1910-1996) in 1939. Welles next put Stewart in films with the classic Citizen Kane (1941)and found himself in demand. He essayed a number of stark, sinister types to perfection, including roles in Johnny Eager (1942), Mr. Lucky (1943), Champion (1949), Twelve O'Clock High (1949), Carbine Williams (1952), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Kiss Me Deadly (1955). In the 1950s Stewart turned to stage and TV directing, helming a number of popular crimers such as "Peter Gunn," "Michael Shayne, "Perry Mason," "It Takes a Thief," "Hawaii 5-0" and "Remington Steele." In 1974 Stewart suffered a heart attack while on location in New Mexico for the movie Bite the Bullet (1975), but returned sporadically to films. He suffered a second and fatal heart attack in 1986 at age 77.

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