A man whose best friend was a giant rabbit, a flying elephant and a mouse in a wizard's hat are all getting the U.S. Postal Service's stamp of approval.
Legendary film actor Jimmy Stewart and a handful of Disney characters are just some of the American icons that the post office will honor with their own commemorative stamps for 2007.
"Once again, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee has delivered a,powerful stamp program that reflects the American experience and highlights our values, heroes, history, achievements and natural wonders in an artistic collection of colorful postage stamps," says Postmaster General John E. Potter.
Stewart is the 13th stamp in the "Legends of Hollywood" series. The lanky actor with a drawling speech was an everyman type of film hero who appeared in more than 80 films. He's best known for the post World War II holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life," in which he played George Bailey, a man who gets a second chance at life with the help of an angel named Clarence.
He earned his first Oscar nomination for his 1939 portrayal of an earnest, down-home senator in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." He lost out to Robert Donat that year for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," and many feel that Stewart's win for his supporting role in "The Philadelphia Story" the following year was to make up for this oversight.
Stewart also made an impression in "Harvey" (1950) as Elwood P. Dowd, a good-natured, martini-drinking "philosophizer" who often talked to the titular, invisible giant white rabbit. Stewart went on to star in several biopics, westerns and Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, including "The Stratton Story," "The Glenn Miller Story," "The Spirit of St. Louis," "Winchester 73," "Two Rode Together," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "The Shootist," "The Man Who Knew Too Much," "Rope" and "Vertigo." He died in July 1997.
Keeping company with this Hollywood great are four sets of Disney film characters for the "Art of Disney: Magic" series. Dumbo with Timothy Mouse, Peter Pan with Tinker Bell, Micky Mouse as "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and Aladdin with the Genie are featured in the panes.
Among the other characters, people, places or images honored on the 2007 stamps are jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, Marvel super heroes, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oklahoma statehood, Pacific lighthouses, jury duty, polar lights, Mendez v. Westminster School District, holiday knits, polinations and vintage mahogany speedboats, among others.