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Place of Death
Los Angeles, Ca
Cause of Death
Complications from a Coma
Claim to Fame
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Director
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Full Name at Birth
Lewis Frederick Ayres III
Joel McCrea, Russell Gleason, William Bakewell, Ben Alexander
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.
Profile Bio Text
Lew Ayres (born Lewis Frederick Ayres III; December 28, 1908 – December 30, 1996) was an American actor, best known for starring as Paul in All Quiet on the Western Front and for playing Dr. Kildare in nine movies.
Ayres was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Irma and Louis Ayres, who divorced when he was four. Louis, an amateur musician and court reporter, remarried soon after. As a teen, Lew and his mother moved with his step-father and half brother and sister to San Diego, California.
Leaving high school before graduating, he started a small band which traveled to Mexico. He returned months later to pursue an acting career, but continued working full-time as a musician. He played banjo and guitar for big bands, including the Henry Halstead Orchestra. He recorded one of the earliest Vitaphone movie shorts called Carnival Night in Paris (Warner Brothers, 1927). Ayres wrote, "I was a member of Henry Halstead's orchestra in 1927 at the Mission Beach Ballroom in San Diego, California for the summer. My instruments were tenor banjo, long-neck banjo and guitar. After a hiatus, I rejoined Mr. Halstead with a new group, including Phil Harris, on New Year's Eve the same year for the opening night of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, a memorable occasion." He left a national tour to pursue a career as an actor full-time.
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