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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Cary Grant

Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 18, 1904 in Bristol, England. He was the only surviving child of Elsie Maria Leach (née Kingdon, 1877–1973) and Elias James Leach (1873–1935), an alcoholic pants presser.

Archibald's mother disappeared when he was nine years old. Years later, he discovered that his mom, whom he thought was dead, had been put in a squalid mental asylum by his father.

Leach left the Fairfield Grammar School in Bristol at fourteen, lying about his age and forging his father's signature on a letter to join Bob Pender's troupe of knockabout comedians.

Leach initially performed as a stilt walker with the Bob Pender Stage Troupe and learned pantomime as well as acrobatics with the group.

He traveled with the Bob Pender Stage Troupe to the United States in 1920 at the age of 16 on the RMS Olympic, on a two-year tour of the country. Their show on Broadway, Good Times, ran for 456 performances

When the troupe returned to Britain, Leach decided to stay in the US and continue his stage career where he became a part of the vaudeville world.

Grtant in 1930

Leach shared a house with Randolph Scott for ten years after meeting him on the set of Hot Saturday in 1932.

In 1940 Leach donated all the money he earned from The Philadelphia Story to the British war effort.


Leach 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".

His smile was one tooth short. A boyhood skating accident saw the loss of one incisor and Grant had a dentist push his other teeth together to fill the gap.

Grant was married five times. In a bid to find out why his marriages kept failing – and to deal with the childhood that saw him running away to the circus, in the late Fifties, he became a public advocate of the use of mind bending drug LSD.

One of his five wives was Woolworth’s heiress Barbara Hutton, then the richest woman in the world. The pair were dubbed ‘Cash and Cary’ and their 1942 marriage lasted just three years.


He turned down the role of James Bond in the 1962 movie Dr. No. Grant believed himself to be too old at 58 to play the character.

Grant was famously stingy. His servants reported that he charged for autographs, counted the logs on the fire and noted the level in every bottle of booze in the house.

U.S. actress Dyan Cannon was Cary Grant’s fourth wife, despite a 33-year age gap. She described the first time she went for dinner at Grant’s house as ‘the strangest date of my life’. Cannon was told to eat her meal relaxing on his bed in front of TV show Dr Kildare.

Cary Grant became a father for the first time at age of 62 when his fourth wife Dyan Cannon gave birth to their daughter Jennifer Diane Grant (aka Jennifer Grant) on February 26, 1966.

Jennifer and Cary Grant, Gerald Ford (top center), maid Willie in 1976 at the Century Plaza Hotel President's Suite, Los Angeles.

In 1970, he was presented an Honorary Oscar at the 42nd Academy Awards by Frank Sinatra



Grant suffered a major stroke in his hotel room prior to performing in his one man show An Evening With Cary Grant at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa, on November 29, 1986. He died later that night at St. Luke's Hospital at at 11.22 pm aged 82.

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