Lew Ayres: Hollywood's Conscientious Objector by Lesley L. Coffin

By Lesley L. Coffin

Lew Ayres (1908-1996) turned recognized to the general public while he portrayed the prime personality within the epic struggle movie All Quiet at the Western Front. The position made him a family identify, brought him to his closest buddies, introduced him to the eye of his first better halves, and could overshadow the remainder of his occupation. To be a film big name used to be his first and in simple terms ambition as a toddler, yet as soon as he came upon good fortune, he was once by no means absolutely chuffed in his collection of occupation. even supposing missing a proper schooling, Ayres spent the remainder of his lifestyles pursuing dozens of highbrow reports, pursuits, and leisure pursuits. He even thought of ended his performing occupation after quite a few years to pursue a extra "respectable and pleasurable" direction as a director.

Ayres used to be given no longer one yet comeback possibilities in his performing profession, in 1938 and 1945. He was once solid within the movie sequence Dr. Kildare the place he confirmed his skills in comedy and his precise energy at bringing a degree of sincerity to even the main outlandish or idealist personality. yet he was once prepared to renounce his superstar prestige so that it will persist with his ethical compass, first as a conscientious objector and finally as a noncombat medic in the course of international struggle II. To everyone's shock, he was once welcomed again to Hollywood with open hands and new possibilities regardless of his objector status.

Biographer Lesley L. Coffin offers the tale of a guy of quiet dignity, continually looking for how you can dwell his existence and torn among the general public global of Hollywood and secluded lifetime of religious introspection.

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Extra info for Lew Ayres: Hollywood's Conscientious Objector

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Although his career was on a high after the January release, one month later his personal life was at an all-time low. 23 According to Lew’s second wife, Ginger Rogers, Lew believed the divorce decree was unfair and that, because he was earning more money as an actor than she did as an actress, he had been taken advantage of during his marriage to Lane. 24 40 A N e w Ki n d o f S ta r Months after his divorce, and the success he had on loan to Fox, Lew was cast opposite Ginger Rogers in his next Universal film, Don’t Bet on Love, which was his first of many romantic comedies.

The role of Paul Baumer was, as Lew knew, one of the great opportunities for a young actor. Nor did the remarkable success of the film go over Lew’s head. For an American film studio to make a film from the perspective of German soldiers, granting them a degree of sympathy and dignity less than fifteen years after World War I was an artistic triumph. As Lew later explained to an interviewer, “The audience had always been told that the men on the other side were horrible people. That they took babies on their bayonets and things like that.

Occasionally, between takes Lew would speak with Wolheim about academia and his work as a teacher. 13 Filming the war film was extremely difficult for all involved. 15 But the most challenging test of stamina for Lew and roommate Billy Bakewell, along with Slim Summerville, was filming an intentionally comedic scene, when the boys go swimming and spot women for the first time in months. The scene was filmed one especially cold night, and the bitterly cold water nearly caused the actors hypothermia.

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