Stewart performed in bit parts in the Players' productions in Cape Cod during the summer of 1932, after he graduated.
The troupe had previously included Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullavan.
In 1999, Stewart was named the third-greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood by the American Film Institute, behind Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant.
He also had a noted military career and was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran and pilot, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve, becoming the highest-ranking actor in military history.
Many of the films he starred in have become enduring classics.
Stewart was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition for The Philadelphia Story (1940), and received an Academy Lifetime Achievement award in 1985.
However, he abandoned visions of being a pilot when his father insisted that instead of the United States Naval Academy he attend Princeton University.