Lew Ayres Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (13)  | Personal Quotes (1)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (complications from a coma)
Birth NameLewis Frederick Ayer III
Height 5' 9½" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Lew Ayres was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in San Diego, California. A college dropout, he was found by a talent scout in the Coconut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles and entered Hollywood as a bit player. He was leading man to Greta Garbo in The Kiss (1929), but it was the role of Paul Baumer in All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) that was his big break. He was profoundly affected by the anti-war message of that film, and when, in 1942, the popular star of Young Dr. Kildare (1938) and subsequent Dr. Kildare films was drafted, he was a conscientious objector. America was outraged, and theaters vowed never to show his films again, but quietly he achieved the Medical Corps status he had requested, serving as a medic under fire in the South Pacific and as a chaplain's aid in New Guinea and the Phillipines. His return to film after the war was undistinguished until Johnny Belinda (1948) - his role as the sympathetic physician treating the deaf-mute Jane Wyman won him an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor. Subsequent movie roles were scarce; an opportunity to play Dr. Kildare in television was aborted when the network refused to honor his request for no cigarette sponsorship. He continued to act, but in the 1970s put his long experience into a project to bring to the west the philosophy of the East - the resulting film, Altars of the World (1976), while not a box-office success, won critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award. Lew Ayres died in Los Angeles, California on December 30, 1996, just two days after his 88th birthday.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bruce Cameron <dumarest@midcoast.com>

Spouse (3)

Diana Hall (7 February 1964 - 30 December 1996) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Ginger Rogers (14 November 1934 - 20 March 1941) ( divorced)
Lola Lane (15 September 1931 - 3 February 1933) ( divorced)

Trivia (13)

Died in his sleep after being in a coma for several days.
Born at 12:15am-CST
Following his death, he was interred next to Frank Zappa at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Had portrayed the title character for the syndicated radio show "The Story of Dr. Kildare" (1950-1951).
Big Band musician before becoming an actor. His instruments were tenor banjo, long-neck banjo and guitar.
Had one son with Diana Hall: Justin Ayres.
As a child, he wanted to be a doctor.
His wife, Diana Hall, is a former flight attendant.
Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 22-23. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
He was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6385 Hollywood Boulevard; and for Radio at 1724 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
He was a conscientious objector during World War II, which made him rather unpopular at the studio.
Had played the Vice-President of the United States twice (in Advise & Consent (1962) and The Man (1972)), the President twice (in Advise & Consent (1962) and Earth II (1971)), and the Galactic President (in Battlestar Galactica (1978)).
Appears in three Best Picture Oscar nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), State Fair (1933) and Johnny Belinda (1948), with All Quiet on the Western Front the only winner.

Personal Quotes (1)

To me, war was the greatest sin. I couldn't bring myself to kill other men.

Salary (1)

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) $250 .00

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page