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About The Book
“[A] remarkably absorbing, supremely entertaining joint biography” (The New York Times) from bestselling author Scott Eyman about the remarkable friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart, two Hollywood legends who maintained a close relationship that endured all of life’s twists and turns.
Henry Fonda and James Stewart were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood for forty years, but they became friends when they were unknown. They roomed together as stage actors in New York, and when they began making films in Hollywood, they were roommates again. Between them they made such classic films as The Grapes of Wrath, Mister Roberts, Twelve Angry Men, and On Golden Pond; and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, and Rear Window.
They got along famously, with a shared interest in elaborate practical jokes and model airplanes, among other things. But their friendship also endured despite their differences: Fonda was a liberal Democrat, Stewart a conservative Republican. Fonda was a ladies’ man who was married five times; Stewart remained married to the same woman for forty-five years. Both men volunteered during World War II and were decorated for their service. When Stewart returned home, still unmarried, he once again moved in with Fonda, his wife, and his two children, Jane and Peter, who knew him as Uncle Jimmy.
For his “breezy, entertaining” (Publishers Weekly) Hank and Jim, biographer and film historian Scott Eyman spoke with Fonda’s widow and children as well as three of Stewart’s children, plus actors and directors who had worked with the men—in addition to doing extensive archival research to get the full details of their time together. This is not just another Hollywood story, but “a fascinating…richly documented biography” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) of an extraordinary friendship that lasted through war, marriages, children, careers, and everything else.