Lew Ayres, born Lewis Frederick Ayres III, (December 28, 1908 – December 30, 1996) was an American actor, probably best known for his role as Dr. Kildare in several movies, which was apt since originally he had studied medicine at the University of Arizona.
In 1948 he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Johnny Belinda, but his career was sparse after the war. Costar Jane Wyman fell in love with Ayres and left her husband Ronald Reagan for him, albeit unsuccessfully.
Ayres was married three times. He was married to actress Lola Lane from 1931 until 1933 and to actress Ginger Rogers from 1934 until 1940. His third marriage, to Diana Hall, lasted from 1964 until his death from complications while in a coma at the age of 88. They had one son, Justin, born in 1968.
Lew Ayres is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park (next to Frank Zappa's unmarked grave).