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Cary Grant: A Short Bio

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One of the greatest actors that Hollywood has ever seen Cary Grant was born on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, U.K. His original birth name was Archibald Alexander Leach. Cary Grant was a tall, handsome and Charismatic person. No wonder why everyone during that era wanted to be like him. The actors had an average lower middle class childhood. It got even tougher after his mother was sent to a mental institution after she fell mentally ill when he was only 9 years old. But this fact had not been told to him until he reached his late twenties. He dropped out from school at the age of fourteen to join Bob Pender’s troupe of comedians by lying about his age and forging the signature of his father on the letter he submitted to join the troupe.

The troupe enabled him to learn many skills including pantomime and acrobatics. He toured many English counties with the Pender Troupe. The destiny beckoned him and he was selected to go to the U.S. along with seven other Pender Troupe boys. Cary performed in the show called Good Times on Broadway which ran for good 456 performances. This gave him enough opportunity to show his talent and to get used to the country. Then he left the Troupe and gave a screen test at Paramount Pictures in 1931. This is when he changed his name to Cary Grant from Archibald Alexander Leach.

Cary Grant debuted in Hollywood in “This is the Night” which was released in 1932. After this movie Cary Grant was the automatic choice for Mae West in her movies “I’m no Angel” and “She done him wrong”, both releasing in the year 1933. But the real break came to him in the movie “Sylvia Scarlett” in the year 1935 with the actress Katharine Hepburn, the actress who happened to be his co-star in many of his forthcoming movies. It is with the help of this movie that Grant proved his mettle and was looked at as an actor to look forward to and tipped as the next Hollywood star. After his contract with Paramount Pictures came to an end in 1937 he decided not to join any Studio which was standard at that time and work independently by choosing his own scripts to work for. The move resulted in Grant giving some of the finest and most memorable comedies ever. Some of his famous comedies include “Bringing up Baby” and “Holiday”, both released in the year 1938 with none other actress Katharine Hepburn; “My Favorite Wife” and “The Awful Truth” in the year 1940 with Iren Dunne; “Gunga Din in 1939 with Victor McLagen and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; “His Girl Friday” in 1940 with Rosalind Russell and “The Philadelphia Story” in 1940 with Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Hepbum again.

Grant retired at the age of 62 from movies to take his new role of a father. Grant had a rocky married life. He was married five times. All his marriages ended in divorce except his last when he was survived by his wife after his death in 1986. He had only 1 child, a daughter from his fourth wife Dyan Cannon. He had a very close friendship with Randolph Scott for which many doubted him as a homosexual which apparently he wasn’t. According to some of the people who were close to him say that he shared a brotherly relationship with him and thus should not be doubted as something sexual. Grant was nominated twice for the best actor in Oscar but never won any award. But he was honored with a special Oscar in 1969. Though Grant died due to a stroke in November 29, 1986 he left behind a legacy of comedy movies behind for generations to come. The Empire Magazine of U.K. ranked Cary Grant the 7th most popular movie stars of all time which he truly deserves.

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