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Hero Overview

George Bailey is the main protagonist of It's a Wonderful Life.

He was played by James Stewart (who also played John "Scottie" Ferguson in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo) as an adult and Bobby Anderson as a child. He occupies the ninth slot of the 50 Heroes list of the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains.

History

He is known as a hero by having rescued his younger brother Harry from having fallen through ice, though it made him deaf in the left ear, and for saving his boss, Emil Gower, from jail time, when he accidentally put poison in a child's prescription, due to him being to distraught from his son's death to pay attention.

His goal is to design bridges and skyscrapers and see the world, but for the good of others, he repeatedly sacrifices his goal. While Harry is in the army fighting in World War II, the only battle George fights is the battle of Bedford Falls.

He is soon married to his childhood crush, Mary Hatch, but to fulfill needs of other people, he sacrifices his and Mary's honeymoon money. Later, he has four children, the youngest of which, Zuzu, is shown to be sick from a cold.

When his Uncle Billy loses $8000 needed for the town Building and Loan, and George doesn't know that the evil Mr. Henry F. Potter has it, he is so depressed that he intends to kill himself by jumping off a bridge into icy water so that his $15,000 life insurance can make up for the money Potter stole. Just then, his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, an Angel Second Class, jumps into the water, causing George to get him out.

As soon as he wishes he had never been born, Clarence shows him what the world would be like without him: very terrible (revealing that Harry would have died, and that stopped him from saving people in World War II, Mr. Gower would have spent two years in prison, George's children wouldn't have been born, and Mary would have been an "old maid").

George realizes he had a wonderful life, and sadly begs to live again. He does, and even joyfully wishes a "Merry Christmas" to everybody, even to Mr. Potter. Eventually, he becomes the richest man in town.

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See Also
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Legendary
Santa Claus | Mrs. Claus| Three Wise Kings

Rankin Bass
Santa Claus (Rankin/Bass) | Miss Jessica | Frosty the Snowman | Karen (Frosty the Snowman) | Hocus Pocus | Crystal (Frosty the Snowman) | Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Rankin/Bass) | Clarice | Big Ben (Rudolph's Shiny New Year) | Snow Miser | Heat Miser | Winter Warlock | Milton (Rankin/Bass) | Laine Loraine | Jack Frost

Disney
Santa Claus (The Nightmare Before Christmas) | Jack Skellington | Sally (The Nightmare Before Christmas) | Zero (The Nightmare Before Christmas) | Scott Calvin | Charlie Calvin | Carol Newman-Calvin | Clara Stahlbaum | Mother Ginger

20th Century Studios
Kevin McCallister | Kate McCallister | Peter McCallister | Old Man Marley | Pigeon Lady | Howard Langston

Warner Bros and New Line Cinema
Ralphie Parker | Buddy Hobbs | Papa Elf | Hero Boy | Fred Claus

Paramount
George Bailey

Dreamworks Animation
Nicholas St. North

The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker | Clara Drosselmayer | Herr Drossemayer | The Sugar Plum Fairy

Dr. Seuss
The Grinch | Max (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

Universal Pictures
The Grinch (2000) | Max (Live-Action) | Cindy Lou Who (2000 | Martha May Whovier | The Grinch (2018) | Max (The Grinch 2018) | Fred (The Grinch 2018) | Cindy Lou Who (2018) | Donna Lou Who

A Christmas Carol
Ebenezer Scrooge | Bob Cratchit | Fred Scrooge | Jacob Marley | Ghost of Christmas Past | Ghost of Christmas Present | Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come | Belle (A Christmas Carol) | Mr. Fezziwig | Emily Cratchit | Tiny Tim Cratchit

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