Archibald Alexander Leach (1904 - 1986) MP

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Nicknames: "Archie Leach"
Birthplace: Bristol, Gloucestershire, UK
Death: Died in Davenport, IA, USA
Occupation: Actor
Managed by: DARLENE patricia POTTS
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Archibald Alexander Leach

CARY GRANT

Archibald Alexander Leach, better known by his stage name Cary Grant, was an English–American actor. With his distinctive yet not quite placeable Mid-Atlantic accent, he was noted as perhaps the foremost exemplar of the debonair leading man: handsome, virile, charismatic, and charming.

He was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. His popular classic films include The Awful Truth (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gunga Din (1939), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Suspicion (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Notorious (1946), To Catch A Thief (1955), An Affair to Remember (1957), North by Northwest (1959), and Charade (1963).

At the 42nd Academy Awards the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored him with an Honorary Award "for his unique mastery of the art of screen acting with the respect and affection of his colleagues".

Early life and career:

Archibald Alexander Leach was born in Horfield, Bristol, to Elsie Maria Kingdon (1877–1973) and Elias James Leach (1873–1935).An only child, he had an unhappy childhood, attending Bishop Road Primary School. His mother had suffered from depression since the death of a previous child. His father placed her in a mental institution, and told his nine-year-old son only that she had gone away on a "long holiday"; it was not until he was in his thirties that Grant discovered her alive, in an institutionalized care facility.

He was expelled from the Fairfield Grammar School in Bristol in 1918. He subsequently joined the "Bob Pender stage troupe" and travelled with the group to the United States as a stilt walker in 1920 at the age of 16, on a two-year tour of the country. He was processed at Ellis Island on July 28, 1920. When the troupe returned to the UK, he decided to stay in the U.S. and continue his stage career.

Still using his birth name, he performed on the stage at The Muny in St. Louis, Missouri, in such shows as Irene (1931); Music in May (1931); Nina Rosa (1931); Rio Rita (1931); Street Singer (1931); The Three Musketeers (1931); and Wonderful Night (1931).

Hollywood stardom:

After some success in light Broadway comedies, he went to Hollywood in 1931, where he acquired the name Cary Lockwood. He chose the name Lockwood after the surname of his character in a recent play called Nikki. He signed with Paramount Pictures, but while studio bosses were impressed with him, they were less than impressed with his adopted stage name. They decided that the name Cary was acceptable, but Lockwood had to go due to a similarity with another actor's name. It was after browsing through a list of the studio's preferred surnames, that Cary Grant was born. Grant chose the name because the initials C and G had already proved lucky for Clark Gable and Gary Cooper, two of Hollywood's biggest movie stars.

Already having appeared as leading man opposite Marlene Dietrich in Blonde Venus (1932), his stardom was given a further boost by Mae West when she chose him for her leading man in two of her most successful films, She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel (both 1933). I'm No Angel was a tremendous financial success and, along with She Done Him Wrong, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, saved Paramount from bankruptcy. Paramount put Grant in a series of unsuccessful films until 1936, when he signed with Columbia Pictures. His first major comedy hit was when he was loaned to Hal Roach's studio for the 1937 Topper (which was distributed by MGM).

Grant starred in some of the classic screwball comedies, including Bringing Up Baby (1938) with Katharine Hepburn, His Girl Friday (1940) with Rosalind Russell, Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) featuring Priscilla Lane, and Monkey Business (1952) opposite Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe. Under the tutelage of director Leo McCarey, his role in The Awful Truth (1937) with Irene Dunne was the pivotal film in the establishment of Grant's screen persona. These performances solidified his appeal, but it was The Philadelphia Story (1940), with Hepburn and James Stewart, that made him a star.

Grant was one of Hollywood's top box-office attractions for several decades. He was a versatile actor, who did demanding physical comedy in movies such as Gunga Din (1939) with the skills he had learned on the stage. Howard Hawks said that Grant was "so far the best that there isn't anybody to be compared to him".

Grant was a favorite actor of Alfred Hitchcock, notorious for disliking actors, who said that Grant was "the only actor I ever loved in my whole life". Grant appeared in the Hitchcock classics Suspicion (1941), Notorious (1946), To Catch a Thief (1955) and North by Northwest (1959). Biographer Patrick McGilligan wrote that, in 1965, Hitchcock asked Grant to star in Torn Curtain (1966), only to learn that Grant had decided to retire after making one more film, Walk, Don't Run (1966); Paul Newman was cast instead in Torn Curtain, opposite Julie Andrews.

In the mid-1950s, Grant formed his own production company, Grantley Productions, and produced a number of movies distributed by Universal, such as Operation Petticoat (1959), Indiscreet (1958), That Touch of Mink (co-starring with Doris Day, 1962), and Father Goose (1964). In 1963, he appeared opposite Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963). His last feature fim was Walk, Don't Run (1966) with Samantha Eggar.

Grant was the first actor to "go independent", effectively bucking the old studio system, which almost completely controlled what an actor could or could not do. In this way, Grant was able to control every aspect of his career. He decided which movies he was going to appear in, he often had personal choice of the directors and his co-stars and at times, even negotiated a share of the gross, something uncommon at the time.

Grant was nominated for two Academy Awards in the 1940s. Grant received a special Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1970. In 1981, he was accorded the Kennedy Center Honors.

In 1962, a few years before retiring, Time reported that he had once received a telegram from a magazine editor asking him "HOW OLD CARY GRANT?" Grant was reported to have responded with "OLD CARY GRANT FINE. HOW YOU?"

Never self absorbed, he even poked fun at himself with statements such as, "Everyone wants to be Cary Grant—even I want to be Cary Grant".

Retirement and death:

Although Grant had retired from the screen, he remained active in other areas. In the late 1960s, he accepted a position on the board of directors at Fabergé. By all accounts this position was not honorary, as some had assumed, Grant regularly attended meetings and his mere appearance at a product launch would almost certainly guarantee its success. The position also permitted use of a private plane, which Grant could use to fly to see his daughter wherever her mother, Dyan Cannon, was working. He later joined the boards of Hollywood Park, Western Airlines (now Delta Air Lines), and MGM.

In the last few years of his life, Grant undertook tours of the United States in a one-man show. It was called "A Conversation with Cary Grant", in which he would show clips from his films and answer audience questions. Grant was preparing for a performance at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa on the afternoon of 29 November 1986 when he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. (He also had suffered a minor stroke in October 1984.) He died at 11:22 pm in St. Luke's Hospital.

Personal life:

Grant was married five times, and was dogged by rumors that he was bisexual. He wed Virginia Cherrill on February 10, 1934. She divorced him on March 26, 1935, following charges that Grant had hit her. He married Barbara Hutton and became a father figure to her son, Lance Reventlow. The couple was derisively nicknamed "Cash and Cary", although in an extensive prenuptial agreement Grant refused any financial settlement in the event of a divorce. After divorcing in 1945, they remained lifelong friends. Grant always bristled at the accusation that he married for money: "I may not have married for very sound reasons, but money was never one of them."

On December 25, 1949, Grant married Betsy Drake. He appeared with her in two films. This would prove to be his longest marriage, ending on August 14, 1962. Drake introduced Grant to LSD, and in the early 1960s he related how treatment with the hallucinogenic drug—legal at the time—at a prestigious California clinic had finally brought him inner peace after yoga, hypnotism, and mysticism had proved ineffective.

He eloped with Dyan Cannon on July 22, 1965 in Las Vegas. Their daughter, Jennifer Grant, was born prematurely on February 26, 1966. He frequently called her his "best production", and regretted that he had not had children sooner. The marriage was troubled from the beginning and Cannon left him in December 1966, claiming that Grant flew into frequent rages and spanked her when she "disobeyed" him. The divorce, finalized in 1968, was bitter and public, and custody fights over their daughter went on for nearly ten years.

On April 11, 1981, Grant married long-time companion, British hotel public relations agent Barbara Harris, who was 47 years his junior. They renewed their vows on their fifth wedding anniversary. Fifteen years after Grant's death, Harris married former All-American quarterback David Jaynes in 2001.

Grant allegedly was involved with costume designer Orry-Kelly when he first moved to Manhattan, and lived with Randolph Scott off and on for twelve years. Richard Blackwell wrote that Grant and Scott were "deeply, madly in love", and alleged eyewitness accounts of their physical affection have been published.Hedda Hopper and screenwriter Arthur Laurents also have alleged that Grant was bisexual, the latter writing that Grant "told me he threw pebbles at my window one night but was luckless". Alexander D'Arcy, who appeared with Grant in The Awful Truth, said he knew that he and Scott "lived together as a gay couple", adding: "I think Cary knew that people were saying things about him. I don't think he tried to hide it." The two men frequently accompanied each other to parties and premieres and were unconcerned when photographs of them cozily preparing dinner together at home were published in fan magazines.

Barbara, Grant's widow, has disputed that there was a relationship with Scott. When Chevy Chase joked about Grant being gay in a television interview, he sued him for slander; they settled out of court. However, Grant did admit in an interview that his first two wives had accused him of being homosexual. Betsy Drake commented: "Why would I believe that Cary was homosexual when we were busy fucking? Maybe he was bisexual. He lived 43 years before he met me. I don't know what he did."

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cary_Grant

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000026/

allmovies.com: http://www.allmovie.com/work/8478

TCMdb: http://www.tcmdb.com/participant.jsp?participantId=75180

IBDB: http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=78289

Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1667 -------------------- Cary Grant From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Cary Grant

as John Robie in Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief (1955) Born Archibald Alec Leach January 18, 1904 Bristol, England, United Kingdom Died November 29, 1986 (aged 82) Davenport, Iowa, United States Other name(s) Archie Leach Occupation Actor Years active 1932–1966 Spouse(s) Virginia Cherrill (1934–1935) Barbara Hutton (1942–1945) Betsy Drake (1949–1962) Dyan Cannon (1965–1967) Barbara Harris (1981–1986) Domestic partner(s) Maureen Donaldson (1973–1977)

Archibald Alexander Leach[2] (January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986), better known by his stage name Cary Grant, was a British-American actor. With his distinctive yet not quite placeable Mid-Atlantic accent, he was noted as perhaps the foremost exemplar of the debonair leading man: handsome, virile, charismatic and charming.

Grant was a Republican, but did not think movie stars should publicly make political declarations. Grant described his politics and his reticence about them this way: "I'm opposed to actors taking sides in public and spouting spontaneously about love, religion, or politics. We aren't experts on these subjects. Personally I'm a mass of inconsistencies when it comes to politics. My opinions are constantly changing. That's why I don't ever take a public stand on issues."

He was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. His popular classic films include The Awful Truth (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gunga Din (1939), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Suspicion (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Notorious (1946), To Catch A Thief (1955), An Affair to Remember (1957), North by Northwest (1959), and Charade (1963). At the 42nd Academy Awards the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored him with an Honorary Award "for his unique mastery of the art of screen acting with the respect and affection of his colleagues".

Archibald Alexander Leach was born in Horfield, Bristol, England in 1904 to Elsie Maria Kingdon (1877–1973) and Elias James Leach (1873–1935).[3][4] An only child, he had a confused and unhappy childhood, attending Bishop Road Primary School. His father placed his mother in a mental institution when he was nine and his mother never overcame her depression after the death of a previous child. His father had told him that she had gone away on a "long holiday" and it was not until he was in his thirties that Leach discovered her alive, in an institutionalized care facility. He was expelled from the Fairfield Grammar School in Bristol in 1918. He subsequently joined the "Bob Pender stage troupe" and travelled with the group to the United States as a stilt walker in 1920 at the age of 16, on a two-year tour of the country. He was processed at Ellis Island on July 28, 1920.[5] When the troupe returned to the UK, he decided to stay in the US and continue his stage career. Still under his birth name, he performed on the stage at The Muny in St. Louis, Missouri, in such shows as Irene (1931); Music in May (1931); Nina Rosa (1931); Rio Rita (1931); Street Singer (1931); The Three Musketeers (1931); and Wonderful Night (1931).

Hollywood stardom

After some success in light Broadway comedies, he went to Hollywood in 1931, where he acquired the name Cary Lockwood. He chose the name Lockwood after the surname of his character in a recent play called Nikki. He signed with Paramount Pictures, but while studio bosses were impressed with him, they were less than impressed with his adopted stage name. They decided that the name Cary was OK, but Lockwood had to go due to a similarity with another actor's name. It was after browsing through a list of the studio's preferred surnames, that Cary Grant was born. Grant chose the name because the initials C and G had already proved lucky for Clark Gable and Gary Cooper, two of Hollywood's biggest movie stars. Having already appeared as leading man opposite Marlene Dietrich in Blonde Venus (1932), his stardom was given a further boost by Mae West when she chose him for her leading man in two of her most successful films, She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel (both 1933). I'm No Angel was a tremendous financial success and, along with She Done Him Wrong, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, saved Paramount from bankruptcy. Paramount put Grant in a series of indifferent films until 1936, when he signed with Columbia Pictures. His first major comedy hit was when he was loaned to Hal Roach's studio for the 1937 Topper (which was distributed by MGM).

in The Philadelphia Story (1940) Grant starred in some of the classic screwball comedies, including Bringing Up Baby (1938) with Katharine Hepburn, His Girl Friday (1940) with Rosalind Russell, Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) featuring Priscilla Lane, and Monkey Business (1952) opposite Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe. Under the tutelage of director Leo McCarey, his role in The Awful Truth (1937) with Irene Dunne was the pivotal film in the establishment of Grant's screen persona. These performances solidified his appeal, and The Philadelphia Story (1940), with Hepburn and James Stewart, showcased his best-known screen persona: the charming if sometimes unreliable man, formerly married to an intelligent and strong-willed woman who first divorced him, then realized that he was—with all his faults—irresistible. Grant was one of Hollywood's top box-office attractions for several decades. He was a versatile actor, who did demanding physical comedy in movies like Gunga Din (1939) with the skills he had learned on the stage. Howard Hawks said that Grant was "so far the best that there isn't anybody to be compared to him". Grant was a favorite actor of Alfred Hitchcock, notorious for disliking actors, who said that Grant was "the only actor I ever loved in my whole life".[8] Grant appeared in the Hitchcock classics Suspicion (1941), Notorious (1946), To Catch a Thief (1955) and North by Northwest (1959). Biographer Patrick McGilligan wrote that, in 1965, Hitchcock asked Grant to star in Torn Curtain (1966), only to learn that Grant had decided to retire after making one more film, Walk, Don't Run (1966); Paul Newman was cast instead in Torn Curtain, opposite Julie Andrews. In the mid-1950s, Grant formed his own production company, Grantley Productions, and produced a number of movies distributed by Universal, such as Operation Petticoat (1959), Indiscreet (1958), That Touch of Mink (co-starring with Doris Day, 1962), and Father Goose (1964). In 1963, he appeared opposite Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963). His last feature fim was Walk, Don't Run (1966) with Samantha Eggar. Grant was once considered a maverick as he was the first actor to "go independent", effectively bucking the old studio system, which almost completely controlled what an actor could or could not do. In this way, Grant was able to control every aspect of his career. He decided which movies he was going to appear in, he often had personal choice of the directors and his co-stars and at times, even negotiated a share of the gross, something uncommon at the time, but now common in the industry among A-list stars. Grant was nominated for two Academy Awards in the 1940s. He was denied the Oscar throughout his active career because he was one of the first actors to be independent of the major studios. Grant received a special Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1970. In 1981, he was accorded the Kennedy Center Honors.

In 1962, a few years before retiring, TIME Magazine reported that he had once received a telegram from a magazine editor asking him "HOW OLD CARY GRANT?" Grant was reported to have responded with "OLD CARY GRANT FINE. HOW YOU?"

Retirement and death

Although Grant had retired from the screen, he remained active in other areas. In the late 1960s, he accepted a position on the board of directors at Fabergé. By all accounts this position was not honorary as some had assumed, as Grant was regularly attending meetings and his mere appearance at a product launch would almost certainly guarantee its success. The position also permitted use of a private plane, which Grant could use to fly to see his daughter wherever her mother, Dyan Cannon, was working. He later joined the boards of Hollywood Park, Western Airlines (now Delta Air Lines), and MGM.

In the last few years of his life, Grant undertook tours of the United States in a one man show. It was called "A Conversation with Cary Grant", in which he would show clips from his films and answer audience questions. Grant was preparing for a performance at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa on the afternoon of 29 November 1986 when he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. (He had also suffered a minor stroke in October 1984.) He died at 11:22 pm

Personal life

Grant was married five times, and was dogged by rumors that he was bisexual. He wed Virginia Cherrill on February 10, 1934. She divorced him on March 26, 1935, following charges that Grant had hit her. He married Barbara Hutton and became a father figure to her son, Lance Reventlow. The couple were derisively nicknamed "Cash and Cary", although in an extensive prenuptial agreement Grant refused any financial settlement in the event of a divorce. After divorcing in 1945, they remained lifelong friends. Grant always bristled at the accusation that he married for money: "I may not have married for very sound reasons, but money was never one of them." Grant married Betsy Drake on December 25, 1949. He appeared with her in two films. This would prove to be his longest marriage, ending on August 14, 1962. Drake introduced Grant to LSD, and in the early 60s he related how treatment with the hallucinogenic drug—legal at the time—at a prestigious California clinic had finally brought him inner peace after yoga, hypnotism, and mysticism had proved ineffective.[12][13][14] He eloped with Dyan Cannon on July 22, 1965 in Las Vegas. Their daughter, Jennifer Grant, was born prematurely on February 26, 1966. He frequently called her his "best production", and regretted that he had not had children sooner. The marriage was troubled from the beginning and Cannon left him in December 1966, claiming that Grant flew into frequent rages and spanked her when she "disobeyed" him. The divorce, finalized in 1968, was bitter and public, and custody fights over their daughter went on for nearly 10 years. On April 11, 1981, Grant married long-time companion, British hotel PR agent Barbara Harris, who was 47 years his junior. They renewed their vows on their fifth wedding anniversary. Fifteen years after Grant's death, Harris married former All-American quarterback David Jaynes in 2001.

When Chevy Chase joked about Grant being gay in a television interview, he sued him for slander; they settled out of court. However, he did admit in an interview that his first two wives had accused him of being homosexual. Betsy Drake commented: "Why would I believe that Cary was homosexual when we were busy fucking? Maybe he was bisexual. He lived 43 years before he met me. I don't know what he did".

Politics

Grant was a Republican, but did not think movie stars should publicly make political declarations. Grant described his politics and his reticence about them this way: "I'm opposed to actors taking sides in public and spouting spontaneously about love, religion, or politics. We aren't experts on these subjects. Personally I'm a mass of inconsistencies when it comes to politics. My opinions are constantly changing. That's why I don't ever take a public stand on issues."

Throughout his life, Grant maintained personal friendships with colleagues of varying political stripes and his few political activities seemed to be shaped by personal friendships. Repulsed by the human costs to many in Hollywood, Grant publicly condemned McCarthyism in 1953 and vocally defended his friend Charlie Chaplin when the later was blacklisted, insisting that Chaplin's artistic value outweighed political concerns. Grant was also a friend of the Kennedy brothers and made one of his rare statements on public issues following the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, calling for gun control. In 1976, after his retirement from movies, Grant made his one overtly partisan appearance, introducing his friend Betty Ford, the First Lady, at the Republican National Convention, but even in this he maintained some distance from partisanship, speaking of "your" party, rather than "ours" in his remarks. In 1958 Grant himself was criticized by right-wing columnist Hedda Hopper for vacationing in the Soviet Union after filming Indiscreet (1958). He appeared to inflame the controversy by remarking to an interviewer "I don't care what kind of government they have over there, I never had such a good time in my life".

Tribute

Statue of Cary Grant in Millennium Square, Bristol, England. In 2001 a statue of Grant was erected in Millennium Square, a regenerated area next to the harbour in his city of birth, Bristol, England.

In November 2004, Grant was named "The Greatest Movie Star of All Time" by Premiere Magazine. Richard Schickel, the film critic, said about Grant: "He's the best star actor there ever was in the movies."

Ian Fleming stated that he partially had Cary Grant in mind when he created his suave super-spy, James Bond. Sean Connery was selected for the first James Bond movie because of his likeness to Grant. Likewise, the later Bond, Roger Moore, was also selected for sharing Grant's wry sense of humor.

John Cleese's character in the film A Fish Called Wanda was named Archie Leach, a reference to Grant's legal birth name. (Grant himself had referenced an off-screen character named "Archie Leach" in His Girl Friday). The 1960s TV series The Flintstones featured a stone-age entertainer named "Cary Granite".

Cary Grant did not say "Judy, Judy, Judy..." as a scripted line; it was spoken by Tony Curtis doing a Grant impression for the character of the millionaire in the movie Some Like it Hot, but Curtis heard it first when he went to visit Larry Storch's stand-up routine in New York and heard Storch say "Judy, Judy, Judy..." when Judy Garland walked into the club. Cary Grant did later say it to camera.

In his "Schticks of One and a Half Dozen of the Other" medley, Allan Sherman created this lyric, sung to the tune of "Marianne", comically expressing jealousy: "All day, all night, 'Cary Grant!' / That's all I hear from my wife, is 'Cary Grant!' / What can he do that I can't? / Big deal! Big star! Cary Grant!"

Walter G. Ashworth always a big fan. It would impossible for to list my favorite Gary Grant movie. I enjoy watching every one he made.

In November 2004, Grant was named "The Greatest Movie Star of All Time" Still is in my book.

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Cary Grant's Timeline

1904
January 18, 1904
Bristol, Gloucestershire, UK
1934
February 10, 1934
Age 30
1935
March 26, 1935
Age 31
1942
July 18, 1942
Age 38
1945
1945
Age 40
1949
1949
Age 44
1962
1962
Age 57
1966
February 26, 1966
Age 62
Los Angeles, California
1981
April 11, 1981
Age 77
1986
November 29, 1986
Age 82
Davenport, IA, USA

<Archive obituary>

<The Times December 1, 1986>

<CARY GRANT>

<Ageless charmer with infallible comic touch>

Cary Grant, British-born film star who became an American citizen in
1943, died at Davenport, Iowa, on November 29 (local time). He was 82.

Tall, suave and with dark good looks - though his hair eventually
turned snow-white - he had a limited range as an actor. But within the
genres that suited him best, the sophisticated comedy and the
comedy-thriller, he was supreme.

His easy and relaxed playing concealed a magnificent technique, and he
was often compared with the English stage actor, Gerald du Maurier, of
whom it was said that he excelled at being himself.

Grant's basic screen persona was of the romantic charmer and he was
teamed successfully with a generation of the screen's leading ladies
from Jean Harlow and Katharine Hepburn to Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly,
Sophia Loren and Leslie Caron.

But in the hands of gifted directors like George Cukor, Alfred
Hitchcock (his own favourite) and Howard Hawks, the Grant character
often took on an extra dimension, acquiring a hint of vulnerability
and even anarchy.

His voice was unique, with an accent attributable to no country or
region. It was neither English nor American, nor even mid-Atlantic.
Clipped but with some rather extravagant vowel sounds, it went well
with the character of a mysterious loner, whose caustic and cynical
manner concealed reserves of passion.

Grant's comic gifts were best employed in the series of screwball
comedies he made with Hawks. IN films like "Bringing Up Baby", "I Was
a Male War Bride" and "Monkey Business", the humour largely stems from
placing him in a humiliating situation, whether coping with a baby
leopard, being forced to dress up as a woman, or taking a drug which
produces a reversion to childhood.

Another constant factor in these films is that Grant is outwitted by
the opposite sex - an uncomfortable experience for the screen's great
lover.

George Cukor helped bring out his talent for comedy in pictures like
"Sylvia Scarlett", "Holiday", and "The Philadelphia Story", while
Hitchcock cast him successfully in a number of his lighter thrillers,
including "Notorious", "To Catch a Thief", and the classic "North by
Northwest", which contains the famous sequence of Grant menaced by a
crop-dusting plane in a lonely cornfield.

The ending of another Hitchcock film, "Suspicion", had to be changed
because it was felt that the public would not accept Grant as a
murderer.

Even in the slightest of his pictures, he could be relied on for a
performance of faultless comic technique, and he carried his years
lightly. His riposte to the fan magazine editor who cabled to him,
"How old Cary Grant?" is legendary: "Old Cary Grant fine. How you?"

He was born in Bristol on January 18, 1904, son of a clothes presser,
but grandson (on his father's side) of an actor. His real name was
Alexander Archibald Leach.

As a boy he frequented the Bristol Hippodrome, being initially more
interested in the electrical side of the stage work than in becoming a
performer. But before long, without his parents' permission, he joined
a troupe of acrobats as a tumbler and a stilt-walker; and while still
only 16 he travelled with the troupe to America. He stayed there for
three years, for a time selling neck-ties, and also working as a
sandwich man.

He also began to get jobs as an actor, and during the 1920s he
alternated between the British and American theatres, mostly in
musical comedy and vaudeville. He had a screen test with Paramount but
the studio turned him down because of his thick neck and bow legs.

But Paramount later changed its mind and put him under contract. In
1932 he made his screen debut in a musical, "This Is the Night". In
the next few years he averaged half-a-dozen pictures a year, but it
was not until near the end of the decade that he emerged as a major
star.

An important influence on his early career was the flamboyant Mae
West, who taught him much about the craft of comedy in the course of
appearing with him in "She Done Him Wrong" and "I'm No Angel". Though
he had to suffer the inevitable crop of routine pictures to fulfil his
contract with the studio, he did manage to appear opposite Dietrich in
"Blonde Venus", Katharine Hepburn in "Sylvia Scarlett", and Jean
Harlow in "Suzy".

By the late 1930s, with comedies like "Topper", "The Awful Truth",
"Bringing Up Baby" (with Hepburn again) and another Hawks picture,
"Only Angels Have Wings" (which featured a memorable verbal duel
between Grant and Jean Arthur), he was indisputably one of Hollywood's
big stars.

Further pictures enhanced his position: yet another Hawks comedy, "His
Girl Friday", a remake of the famous newspaper play, "The Front Page",
with Rosalind Russell, "The Philadelphia Story" and "Suspicion." There
was a tailor-made part for him in Frank Capra's version of the
celebrated black comedy, "Arsenic and Old Lace", and an Oscar
nomination for his portrayal of the cockney hero of Richard
Llewellyn's "None But the Lonely Heart."

He never, in fact, won an Oscar for an individual performance, but he
was given a special award in 1970 for "his unique mastery of the art
of screen acting." In making the presentation, Frank Sinatra said:
"Cary has so much skill that he makes it all look easy."

The casting of Grant as the songwriter Cole Porter in "Night and Day"
was not a success, but he generally managed to choose his pictures
shrewdly, and the late 1940s and early 1950s saw him in "Notorious",
"I Was a Male War Bride" and "Monkey Business." He also appeared in
two pictures with a young actress, Betsy Drake, whom he discovered and
later married.

But by 1953, with Hollywood reeling under the first impact of
television, Grant (along with some other major stars) came near to
being written off by both the industry and the fans, and he was absent
from the cinema for two years.

Hitchcock brought him back opposite Grace Kelly, in "To Catch a
Thief", and it became immediately apparent that his screen obituary
was premature. (The film, made on location in Monaco, had important
consequences for Miss Kelly, and for the Grimaldi dynasty). "An Affair
to Remember", "Indiscreet" ( a felicitous partnership with Ingrid
Bergman), "North By Northwest", "The Grass is Greener", and a polished
comedy-thriller, "Charade", took his career successfully into the
1960s and showed him to be as durable as ever.

By this time Grant had become one of the richest film stars in the
world. From 1958 he took no salary for his films but demanded up to 75
per cent of the profits and it was estimated that at least four of the
subsequent pictures were successful enough to earn him £1 million
each.

His seventy-second film, "Walk, Don't Run", a comedy set against the
Tokyo Olympics, appeared in 1966. It proved to be his last. He never
formally announced his retirement, but he had reached the point where
making films had ceased to interest him, and he decided to fade
quietly from the screen. From now on his rare public appearances were
in connection with his directorship of the scent company, Faberge.

In private he was normally as jaunty as in his films, but he suffered
periodic bouts of depression. (His mother had a nervous collapse when
he was 12). Though once a chain smoker, he was cured by hypnosis and
then became fanatically opposed to the habit. His political views were
strongly right-wing.

He was married five times. His first wife was Virginia Cherill, who
played the blind flower-girl in Chaplin's "City Lights". He was next
married to Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. Betsy Drake followed; and
his fourth wife, Dyan Cannon, bore him his only child, a daughter, in
1966. In 1981 he married Barbara Harris, 47 years his junior and, like
himself, British-born.

He protested that he did not leave any of his wives, but that they
left him. Yet the underlying cause of his domestic instability is
clear from his remark: "When I'm married I want to be single, and when
I'm single I want to be married."

END