However, he is best remembered for his title role in the Dr. Kildare movie series from 1938 to 1942. Ayres was married three times. Coronavirus Update. This stance almost destroyed Ayres' reputation until it was revealed that he had served honorably as a non-combatant medic from 1942 to 1946. [11] He met actress Ginger Rogers while starring in the film Don't Bet on Love in 1933 and they wed 1934. During this time, Ayres also co-starred with Joan Crawford and James Stewart in The Ice Follies of 1939. After the war, he resumed his career and made scores of movies, but never reached the peak of his early Hollywood stardom.[10]. 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. He played banjo and guitar for big bands, including the Henry Halstead Orchestra. He moved to poverty row studio Republic Pictures to pursue a second career as a director, including the film Hearts in Bondage (1936), starring James Dunn and Mae Clarke. They separated in 1936 and divorced in March 1940. He was cast to play opposite Greta Garbo in The Kiss (1929), but it was his leading role in the original version of All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) that made him a star, secured him a contract with Universal—and made him a conscientious objector to World War II. His last role was in the made-for-TV film Hart to Hart: Crimes of the Heart (1994), also starring Wagner. Ayres gradually moved to television, appearing in several anthology series in guest roles. His most successful movies at this time were those he made on loan to other studios, including The Doorway to Hell (1930) with James Cagney in a supporting role, and as Janet Gaynor's leading man in both State Fair (1933) and Servants' Entrance (1934), which featured a combination of live action and Walt Disney animation in a musical dream sequence, both for Fox Films. [10] Their son Justin was born in 1968. The United States armed forces, however, would not guarantee him that position, so he declared himself a conscientious objector, and reported to a CPS camp. First to actress Lola Lane from 1931 until 1933, although they were separated much of that period. [2] He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Johnny Belinda (1948). Death and legacy. He donated all the money he had earned as a serviceman to the American Red Cross. They had one son, Justin, born in 1968. Lewis Frederick Ayres III (December 28, 1908 – December 30, 1996), known professionally as Lew Ayres, was an American actor, best known for starring as German soldier Paul Bäumer in the film classic All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and for playing Dr. Kildare in nine movies. Get breaking news alerts from The Washington Post . Ayres played the role in nine films from 1938 to 1942 (and again in a 1950s radio series) while also appearing in light comedies for MGM, including Spring Madness and Rich Man, Poor Girl (both 1938), The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939), and Fingers at the Window (1942). Co-star Jane Wyman fell in love with Ayres and left her husband Ronald Reagan for him, albeit unsuccessfully. He appeared as the Vice-President in Advise & Consent (1962), and in The Carpetbaggers (1964), but he was by then primarily a television actor, with only occasional film work. He was discovered in 1927 playing banjo in the Henry Halstead Orchestra as Halstead was recording one of the earliest Vitaphone movie shorts called Carnival Night in Paris (Warner Brothers, 1927). For a guest role in Kung Fu ("The Vanishing Image", 1974) he was nominated for an Emmy. Please enable JavaScript in your browser's settings to use this part of Geni. He made a number of mostly forgotten B movies for Universal, with the exception of Iron Man (1931), with Jean Harlow. He was survived by his wife of 32 years, actress Diana Hall, and their son, Justin Ayres. [8], He served as a first aid instructor in the United States Army before requesting a drop in rank in order to serve as a medic and chaplain's assistant in the Pacific. Your contribution is much appreciated! He recorded one of the earliest Vitaphone movie shorts called Carnival Night in Paris (Warner Brothers, 1927). My instruments were tenor banjo, long-neck banjo and guitar. However, the military's policy that servicemen cannot request, or be guaranteed, where they will serve, forced him to request a 4E status. He chose not to move to Hawaii to do the series, but did appear in the show in other roles from time to time. Winter Haven DEATH ELSEWHERE, ... sy in 'P nsc 11 P" 11 cy even on a ‘junior partner HOLLYWOOD, St. Petersburg, Hillsborough County, FL, USA, Dec 28 1908 - Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, United States, Dec 31 1996 - Baltimore, Maryland, United States, Dec 31 1996 - Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States, Jan 1 1997 - Washington DC, United States, Louis Frederick Ayer, Irma Dora Bevernick, Dorothy "Lola Lane" Mullican, Ginger Rogers, William James Gilmour Jr., Gilmour, Charlotte Lookabill (born Gilmore), Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States, http://www.filmreference.com/film/94/Lew-Ayres.html, Ginger Rogers (actress) from 1934 until 1940.

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