One of my all time favorites classic film leading men has to be Cary Grant. Funny thing is that I have only seen a small handful of his films, but honestly every time I get a chance to watch a "new' one I am again awed by his talents as an actor as well as his on-screen persona.
Born Archibald Leach on January 18, 1904 in Bristol England, he was an only child and his mother was placed into an institution because she suffered from depression. His father remarried and started a new family with his young wife leaving young Archie in various schools. He did not learn about his mother and the fact that she was alive (his father told him otherwise) until he was 31 years old!!
He joined a the "Bob Pender Stage Troupe" and was a stilts performer. He performed with this group for two years and traveled all about. In 1920 he was processed at Ellis Island and decided to stay in America and continue his stage career. He became a part of the vaudeville world and eventually worked on Broadway. Grant went to Hollywood in 1931 and that is when they asked him to change his name. He choose Cary after a character he played on Broadway and then Grant from a list of selected surnames. He figured the initials CG worked for both Clark Gable and Gary Cooper and that they might bring him some luck as well.
Grant's film career started in 1932 with This is the Night and ended in 1966 with Walk, Don't Run. He retired from acting at 62 years old in order to be a full time father to his only child, Jennifer Grant.
Grant worked with a bevy of amazing, talented, and beautiful starlets; Grace Kelly, Mae West, Ingrid Bergman, Irene Dunne, Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, and Sophia Loren, just to name a few. I will be making a separate post about Grant and his leading ladies because there is just too much awesomeness to share!!!
Grant was married five times; first to Virginia Churchill (1934-1935), Barbara Hutton (1942-1945), Betsy Drake (1949-1962), Dyan Cannon (1965-1968), and lastly Barbara Harris (1981-1986).
Like I stated above, Grant only had one child, Jennifer Grant who he had a tremendously close relationship with and devoted his life to raising. His daughter wrote a book about her life with her very famous father called, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant. I have been wanting to read this book for a very long time and finally was able to order via Amazon. I got it for 10 cents (yes you read right!) with a shipping of 3.99-you cannot beat that kind of deal. I will be happily reviewing this book for you all once it comes in and I am able to finish it. My favorite book written about a classic film star so far has been from Sean Hepburn Ferrer, but we shall see how this one goes. I hope to learn things about Grant that I never knew or heard of before.
Grant seemed to lead a rich life and I don't mean money, but his relationships with people. It seems as though he worked with everyone in Hollywood and dating everyone too hehe Or rather he married them!
Grant would often poke fun at the dashing, leading man image he created for himself and yes it was a creation. He would say this, "Everyone wants to be Cary Grant—even I want to be Cary Grant. I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be and I finally became that person. Or he became me. Or we met at some point."
Cary Grant is truly a Hollywood Movie Star. He lived a fairly drama free existence-minus his divorces and such and passed away on November 29, 1986 at the age of 82.
I look forward to sharing some of my spotlights on his films with you all! What are some of your favorite Cary Grant movies???