82 (passed away Nov. 9th, 1986)
Jan. 18th, 1904
Horfield, Bristol, England, UK
Guest TV Roles
Roger O. Thornhill
Roger O. Thornhill in North by Northwest
Cary Grant (born Archibald Alexander Leach; January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986) was an English stage. Known for his transatlantic accent, debonair demeanor and "dashing good looks", Grant is considered one of classic Hollywood's definitive leading men.
Born at 15 Hughenden Road, Horfield, Bristol, England, the only surviving child of Elsie Maria (née Kingdon) Leach (1877–1973) and Elias James Leach (1873–1935). Young Archie Leach, whose mother had suffered clinical depression since the death of a previous child, had an unhappy upbringing, attending Bishop Road Primary School and, for just a few months, North Street Wesleyan School in Stokes Croft. Elias Leach placed Grant's mother in a mental institution and told the 9-year-old that she had gone away on a "long holiday" later declaring that she had died. Believing she was dead, Grant did not learn otherwise until he was 31 when his father confessed to the lie, shortly before his own death, and told Grant that he could find her alive in a care facility. When Grant was 10, his father remarried and started a new family that did not include young Grant. Little is known about how he was cared for, and by whom.
Grant was expelled from the Fairfield Grammar School in Bristol in 1918. After joining the "Bob Pender Stage Troupe", Grant performed as a stilt walker and traveled with the group to the United States in 1920 at the age of 16 on the RMS Olympic, on a two-year tour of the country. He was processed at Ellis Island (July 28, 1920).
When the troupe returned to Britain, he decided to stay in the U.S. and continue his stage career. During this time, he became a part of the vaudeville world and toured with Parker, Rand, and Leach. 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). Grant's experience on stage as a stilt walker, acrobat, juggler, and mime taught him "phenomenal physical grace and exquisite comic timing" and the value of teamwork, skills which would benefit him in Hollywood.
He became a naturalized United States citizen on (June 26, 1942), at which time he also legally changed his name from "Archibald Alexander Leach" to "Cary Grant".
Grant was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time (after Humphrey Bogart) by the American Film Institute. He was known for comedic and dramatic roles; his best-known films include The Awful Truth (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gunga Din (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), His Girl Friday (1940), [i]Suspicion[/i] (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Notorious (1946), The Bishop's Wife (1947), To Catch a Thief (1955), An Affair to Remember (1957), North by Northwest (1959), and Charade (1963).
Grant was married five times. He wed Virginia Cherrill (February 10, 1934). She divorced him (March 26, 1935), following charges that Grant had hit her.
In (1942), he married Barbara Hutton, one of the wealthiest women in the world, 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.
On (December 25, 1949), Grant married Betsy Drake. He appeared with her in two films. This would prove to be his longest marriage, they divorced (August 14, 1962).
He eloped with Dyan Cannon (July 22, 1965), in Las Vegas. Their daughter, Jennifer Grant (b. February 26, 1966). He frequently called Jennifer his "best production". He retired from the screen at 62 when his daughter was born, to focus on bringing her up and to provide a sense of permanency and stability in her life. Grant and Cannon divorced (March 1968).
On (April 11, 1981), Grant married Barbara Harris, a British hotel public-relations agent who was 47 years his junior. They renewed their vows on their fifth wedding anniversary. (Fifteen years after Grant's death, Harris married former Kansas Jayhawks All-American quarterback David Jaynes in 2001).
Grant was preparing for a performance at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa, on the afternoon of November 29, 1986, when he sustained a cerebral hemorrhage (he had previously suffered a stroke in October 1984). He died at 11:22 p.m. in St. Luke's Hospital at the age of 82. The bulk of his estate, worth millions of dollars, went to his fifth wife, Barbara Harris, and his daughter, Jennifer Grant.
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