Lew Ayres

Born Dec 28, 1908

Lew Ayres was an American actor, best known for starring as Paul in All Quiet on the Western Front and for playing Dr. Kildare in several movies.

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1908 Birth Born on December 28, 1908.


1929 20 Years Old Ayres was discovered at a night club by talent agent Ivan Kahn. In 1929 he was cast to play opposite Greta Garbo in 1929's The Kiss, but it was his leading role in the 1930 version of All Quiet on the Western Front which made him a star, secured him a contract with Universal—and made him a conscientious objector to World War II. (See below.) He made a number of mostly forgotten B movies for Universal, with the exception of Iron Man (with Jean Harlow). … Read More
1931 22 Years Old Ayres was married three times. He was married to actress Lola Lane from 1931 to 1933, and to actress Ginger Rogers, whom he met while starring in the film Don't Bet on Love, from 1934 to 1940. … Read More
1936 27 Years Old He left Universal to sign with Fox Films, before moving to poverty row studio Republic Pictures to pursue a second career as a director, including the film Hearts in Bondage in 1936, starring James Dunn and Mae Clarke.
1938 29 Years Old 1 More Event
He moved to Paramount Pictures before finally being signed to MGM in 1938.


1942 33 Years Old 1 More Event
His final film as Dr. Kildare, Born to Be Bad, was re-edited after he was drafted and controversially declared himself a conscientious objector in March 1942.
1948 39 Years Old In 1948, his role in Johnny Belinda earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. … Read More


1958 49 Years Old Ayres gradually moved to television, appearing in several anthology series in guest roles. In the summer of 1958, he hosted eleven original episodes of a CBS Western anthology television series called Frontier Justice, a production of Dick Powell's Four Star Television. … Read More


1961 52 Years Old But his prescient request that the show have no cigarette advertising led to the offer being withdrawn, and the part going, in 1961, to Richard Chamberlain.
1962 53 Years Old In 1962 he appeared as the Vice-President in Advise & Consent, and in The Carpetbaggers in 1964, but he was by then primarily a television actor, with only occasional film work every few years.
1964 55 Years Old His third marriage, to Diana Hall, lasted from 1964 until his death in 1996. … Read More


1975 66 Years Old In 1975, he was nominated for an Emmy as best guest actor on Kung Fu, for the episode "The Vanishing Image."
1976 67 Years Old His 1976 documentary film Altars of the World (based on a series of documentaries he made in 1956 titled Altars of the East) brought his Eastern philosophical beliefs to the screen and earned him critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for best documentary in 1977.
1985 76 Years Old In 1985, he was cast in his first series as a regular cast member, as the father of Robert Wagner in the short-lived series Lime Street.
1994 85 Years Old His last role was in the made-for-TV film Hart to Hart: Crimes of the Heart, also starring Wagner, in 1994. … Read More
1996 88 Years Old Lew Ayres died December 30, 1996, just two days after his 88th birthday. … Read More
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