Image of Lew Ayres

Lew Ayres

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.

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Dec 28, 1908 In Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Holidays
Latest Project:
Movie Hart to Hart: Crimes of the Hart 1994-03-25
Known For
Poster of Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Poster of The Ken Murray Show
Poster of Holiday
Poster of All Quiet on the Western Front
Movie Holidays Edward 'Ned' Seton 2022
Movie Hart to Hart: Crimes of the Hart Professor Cabel 1994-03-25
Series MGM: When the Lion Roars 1992-03-22
Movie Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker 1991-10-28
Movie Cast the First Stone Martin 1989-11-13
Movie Under Siege John Pace 1986-02-09
Series Outlaws Unknown 1986-12-28
Series L.A. Law Unknown 1986-09-15
Series Lime Street 1985-09-21
Movie Geschundenes Zelluloid - Das Schicksal des Kinoklassikers "Im Westen nichts Neues" Himself 1984-01-01
Series Highway to Heaven Unknown 1984-09-19
Movie Don Camillo Doc 1984-02-08
Series Finder of Lost Loves Unknown 1984-09-22
Series The A-Team Bernie Greene 1983-01-23
Series Fame Unknown 1982-01-07
Series Hotel Unknown 1982-08-21
Series Cagney & Lacey Unknown 1982-03-25
Series Simon & Simon Unknown 1981-11-24
Series Magnum, P.I. Unknown 1980-12-11
Series Trapper John, M.D. Unknown 1979-09-23
Series Knots Landing Unknown 1979-12-27
Movie Letters from Frank Dan Miller 1979-11-22
Series Salem's Lot Jason Burke 1979-11-17
Movie Damien: Omen II Bill Atherton 1978-06-09
Movie Battlestar Galactica President Adar 1978-09-16
Series Battlestar Galactica President Adar 1978-09-17
Movie Suddenly, Love Mr. Graham 1978-12-04
Movie The Story of Noah Noah 1978-11-19
Series Flying High Unknown 1978-09-29
Series The Fantastic Journey Unknown 1977-02-03
Movie End of the World Com. Joseph Beckerman 1977-08-01
Series The Love Boat Carl Hooper 1977-09-24
Series Quincy, M.E. Unknown 1976-10-03
Series The Bionic Woman Unknown 1976-01-14
Movie That's Entertainment, Part II (archive footage) 1976-05-16
Movie Francis Gary Powers: The True Story of the U-2 Spy Incident Allen Dulles 1976-09-29
Series Wonder Woman Unknown 1975-11-07
Movie The Questor Tapes Vaslovik 1974-01-23
Movie Heatwave! Dr. Grayson 1974-01-27
Series Little House on the Prairie Unknown 1974-09-11
Series The Magician Unknown 1973-10-02
Movie The Stranger Prof. Dylan MacAuley 1973-02-26
Series Hawkins Gus Bitterman 1973-03-13
Movie Battle for the Planet of the Apes Mandemus 1973-06-15
Movie The Biscuit Eater Mr. Ames 1972-03-22
Movie She Waits Dr. Sam Carpenter 1972-01-28
Movie The Man Noah Calvin 1972-07-19
Series The Streets of San Francisco Unknown 1972-09-23
Series Kung Fu Unknown 1972-10-14
Series Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Unknown 1971-09-16
Series Columbo Howard Nicholson 1971-09-15
Series McMillan & Wife Unknown 1971-09-17
Movie Earth II President Charles Carter Durant 1971-11-28
Series The Interns Unknown 1970-09-18
Series The Mary Tyler Moore Show Unknown 1970-09-19
Series San Francisco International Airport Unknown 1970-10-28
Movie Cocoon The Governor 1968-09-20
Series Hawaii Five-O Unknown 1968-09-20
Series Here Come the Brides Unknown 1968-09-25
Series ABC Stage 67 Unknown 1966-09-14
Series The Big Valley Unknown 1965-09-15
Series The F.B.I. Unknown 1965-09-19
Movie Hollywood My Home Town Himself 1965-12-31
Series Slattery's People Unknown 1964-09-21
Movie The Carpetbaggers 'Mac' McAllister 1964-04-08
Movie Hollywood Without Make-Up 1963-07-01
Series Kraft Suspense Theatre Unknown 1963-10-10
Movie Advise & Consent The Vice President 1962-06-06
Series The Virginian Unknown 1962-09-19
Series Saints and Sinners Unknown 1962-09-17
Series Ben Casey Unknown 1961-10-02
Series Bus Stop Unknown 1961-10-01
Series The Barbara Stanwyck Show Unknown 1960-09-19
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Series My Three Sons Unknown 1960-09-29
Series Laramie Unknown 1959-09-15
Series The DuPont Show with June Allyson Unknown 1959-09-21
Series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Unknown 1958-10-06
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
Series Screen Director's Playhouse Unknown 1955-10-05
Series Climax! Unknown 1954-10-07
Movie Donovan's Brain Dr. Patrick J. Cory 1953-09-30
Movie No Escape John Howard Tracy 1953-07-31
Series This Is Your Life Unknown 1952-10-01
Series Cavalcade of America Unknown 1952-10-01
Series Omnibus Unknown 1952-11-09
Movie New Mexico Captain Erik Hunt 1951-05-18
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Series The Ken Murray Show Unknown 1950-01-07
Movie The Capture Lin Vanner / Lindley Brown 1950-04-08
Movie Johnny Belinda Dr. Robert Richardson 1948-09-14
Movie The Way of Peace Narrator (voice) 1947-04-23
Movie The Unfaithful Larry Hannaford 1947-07-01
Movie The Dark Mirror Dr. Scott Elliott 1946-10-17
Movie Blow-Ups of 1946 Himself 1946-01-01
Movie Fingers at the Window Oliver Duffy 1942-04-22
Movie Dr. Kildare's Victory Dr. James Kildare 1942-02-04
Movie Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day Dr. James Kildare 1941-08-22
Movie Maisie Was a Lady Bob Rawlston 1941-01-10
Movie The People Vs. Dr. Kildare Dr. James Kildare 1941-05-02
Movie The Miracle of Sound Himself 1940-01-01
Movie Dr. Kildare's Strange Case Dr. James Kildare 1940-04-12
Movie Hollywood: Style Center of the World Himself 1940-05-29
Movie Dr. Kildare's Crisis Dr. James Kildare 1940-11-29
Movie Dr. Kildare Goes Home Dr. James Kildare 1940-09-06
Movie The Golden Fleecing Henry Twinkle 1940-08-16
Movie Broadway Serenade James Geoffrey 'Jimmy' Seymour 1939-04-07
Movie The Ice Follies of 1939 Eddie Burgess 1939-03-10
Movie Calling Dr. Kildare Dr. James Kildare 1939-04-28
Movie Remember? Sky Ames 1939-12-19
Movie From the Ends of the Earth Unknown 1939-05-28
Movie The Secret of Dr. Kildare Dr. James Kildare 1939-11-24
Movie These Glamour Girls Philip S. Griswold III 1939-08-18
Movie Scandal Street Joe McKnight 1938-02-11
Movie King of the Newsboys Jerry Flynn 1938-03-18
Movie Spring Madness Sam Thatcher 1938-11-11
Movie Holiday Ned Seton 1938-05-26
Movie Young Dr. Kildare Dr. James Kildare 1938-10-14
Movie Rich Man, Poor Girl Henry Thayer 1938-08-12
Movie The Crime Nobody Saw Nick Milburn 1937-03-12
Movie The Last Train from Madrid Bill Dexter 1937-06-11
Movie Hold 'Em Navy Tommy Graham 1937-11-04
Movie The Leathernecks Have Landed Woodruff 'Woody' Davis 1936-01-01
Movie Panic on the Air Jerry Franklin 1936-04-10
Movie Murder with Pictures Kent Murdock 1936-09-24
Movie Lady Be Careful Chester aka Dynamite 1936-09-03
Movie The Lottery Lover Cadet Frank Harrington 1935-02-05
Movie Spring Tonic Caleb Enix 1935-06-27
Movie Silk Hat Kid Eddie Howard 1935-07-19
Movie Cross Country Cruise Norman Winthrop 1934-01-16
Movie She Learned About Sailors Larry Wilson 1934-06-28
Movie Servants' Entrance Erik Landstrom 1934-09-25
Movie State Fair Pat Gilbert 1933-02-10
Movie Don't Bet on Love Bill McCaffrey 1933-06-30
Movie My Weakness Ronnie Gregory 1933-09-22
Movie The Impatient Maiden Dr. Myron Brown 1932-03-01
Movie The Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood Lew Ayres 1932-03-27
Movie Night World Michael Rand 1932-05-04
Movie Okay, America! Larry Wayne 1932-09-08
Movie Many a Slip Jerry Brooks 1931-03-02
Movie Iron Man Kid Mason 1931-04-29
Movie Heaven on Earth States 1931-12-01
Movie The Spirit of Notre Dame Edward Aloysius "Bucky" O'Brian 1931-10-13
Movie Up for Murder Robert Marshall 1931-05-26
Movie All Quiet on the Western Front Paul Bäumer 1930-04-29
Movie Common Clay Hugh Fullerton 1930-08-01
Movie The Doorway to Hell Louie Ricarno 1930-10-18
Movie East Is West Billy Benson 1930-10-23
Movie The Sophomore Sophomore Fraternity Brother (uncredited) 1929-08-24
Movie Big News Copyboy (uncredited) 1929-09-06
Movie The Kiss Pierre Lassalle 1929-11-15