As the family grew, music continued to be an important part of family life.
Stewart attended Mercersburg Academy prep school, graduating in 1928. He played on the football and track teams, was art editor of the KARUX yearbook, and a member of the choir club, glee club, and John Marshall Literary Society.
In the fall of 1934, Fonda's success in The Farmer Takes a Wife took him to Hollywood.
Finally, Stewart attracted the interest of MGM scout Bill Grady who saw Stewart on the opening night of Divided by Three, a glittering première with many luminaries in attendance, including Irving Berlin, Moss Hart and Fonda, who had returned to New York for the show.
Stewart enrolled at Princeton in 1928 as a member of the class of 1932.His mother was an excellent pianist, but his father discouraged Stewart's request for music lessons.When his father once accepted a gift of an accordion from a guest, Stewart quickly learned to play the instrument, which became a fixture offstage during his acting career.During his first summer break, Stewart returned to his hometown to work as a brick loader for a local construction company and on highway and road construction jobs where he painted lines on the roads.Over the following two summers, he took a job as an assistant with a professional magician.In 1999, Stewart was named the third-greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood by the American Film Institute, behind Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant.