ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cary Grant: The Englishman That Became a Hollywood Legend

Updated on July 1, 2018

Cary Grant: The fine talented English Actor

Source

Why was Cary Grant so important to the United States movie industry?

England has always historically been a country that has given birth to many fine actors. One such example helped shape America because of his contribution to the comedy scene as well as the movie industry, that actor is Cary Grant. His unique look with a dimpled chin and his Mid-Atlantic accent helped him land the role of a leading man in many romantic comedies. This English actor became the heartthrob of many women. Cary Grant also never played the role of an antagonist in his movie career.

Cary Grant: Early Life and Comedy Career (1904-1931)

Grant entered the world on January 18, 1904, born to parents Elias James and Elsie Leach under the name of Archibald Alexander Leach. A native of Bristol, England, he attended Fairfield Academy in Somerset, England from 1914 to 1919. Grant spent lots of time in the local cinema attempting to escape the pressures brought on by his unstable family situation. He had a mentally ill mother and a father that never really paid any attention to him. Cary Grant dropped out of school at 14 and became self-educated reading many books throughout his life.

Cary Grant’s comedy career began at the young age of 13 when he joined the Bob Pender Troupe, a group of young comedians and acrobats as well. This group toured vaudeville houses in England before touring in the United States for two years beginning in 1920. Cary Grant moved to the United States the following year. After spending several years in New York before returning to England in 1927 he had an encounter with Arthur Hammerstein. Hammerstein then sent Grant back to New York where he made his Broadway debut in the operetta called “Golden Dawn”.

Cary Grant: his career and friendship with Ingrid Bergman (1932-1958)

Grant’s movie career began in 1932 when he starred in This is the Night. He followed up that movie with roles in two movies with famous actress Mae West called She Done Him Wrong in 1933 and I’m No Angel in 1934. In 1936 when Grant had a contract with RKO Studios, he starred in the movie Sylvia Scarlett with actress Katherine Hepburn, the same actress that would star with Humphrey Bogart many years later in The African Queen. A few more roles in movies such as Topper, The Awful Truth and Bringing Up Baby helped Grant to become an “expert in sophisticated comedy”[1]. He became really famous for his talents after some of his most successful films including Gunga Din, The Front Page, The Philadelphia Story, and Arsenic and the Old Lace. He would get a very first Academy Award nomination for his role in Penny Serenade in 1941. He followed that role with roles in movies such as Suspicion in 1941 and Destination Tokyo in 1943. Suspicion featured Grant’s first collaboration with famous director Alfred Hitchcock. Grant became a US citizen in 1942. In 1944, Grant had a role “in what has become known as his most challenging role, that of Ernie Mott in “None But the Lonely Heart[2].”

In a strange turn of events, Grant made an announcement at a press conference in 1953 of his retirement from acting angered over Hollywood’s treatment of Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin “had been blacklisted for his political beliefs[3].” Grant’s hard work would finally pay off in 1955 when he came out of retirement and starred as John Robie alongside the late actress Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief. Based upon the success of that film, Grant made the decision to play in more movies. Grant also starred with Swedish beauty Ingrid Bergman in another Hitchcock film Notorious in 1946 and Indiscreet in 1958, which he liked the most out of all of his movie roles. Grant and Bergman remained close friends. Grant supported her when she had an affair with director Roberto Rossellini and accepted her Best Actress Oscar in 1958 in her absence due to exile.

[1] From the Gale Biography article. See works cited section.

[2] From the Gale biography article as well.

[3] Grant was a huge supporter of Charlie Chaplin

Photo of Cary Grant the man who also starred with Grace Kelly

In this photo, actor Cary Grant looks very serious but he was not short on talent. Cary will always be one of the best actors who ever lived.
In this photo, actor Cary Grant looks very serious but he was not short on talent. Cary will always be one of the best actors who ever lived.

Cary Grant: personal life and affair with Sophia Loren

Grant got married five times in his lifetime, his last spouse being Barbara Harris in 1981. However, his most famous marriage to actress Dyan Cannon in 1965 produced a daughter, Jennifer in 1966. However, he also loved actress Sophia Loren so much that he called it “one of the most passionate romances of his life”.[4] When the shooting of the film The Pride and the Passion in began in 1957, he fell in love with her at the age of 53 while still married to then wife Betsy Drake. The romance really died after the film finished shooting. In 1958, Grant still pursued Loren during filming of Houseboat who told him of her love for Carlo Ponti to the dismay of Grant. In the years before his death, he would marry Barbara Harris. She was 47 years younger than him! In 1959, Grant starred in the movie North By Northwest.


[4] Grant pursued Sophia Loren many times.

Michael Caine describes why Cary Grant was such a great leading man in movies

Cary Grant: later movie career and retirement from acting

In 1960, Grant really became bitter with his personal life and turned to drugs, experimenting with LSD. He did find the courage and strength to star in more movies such as That Touch of Mink, Charade, Father Goose and Walk Don’t Run in 1966 which became his last movie role. But Grant had originally refused the role for that movie Charade but he later accepted the role, realizing the greatness of the part. He co-starred alongside Audrey Hepburn and made it clear that in the movie he wanted Audrey to pursue him.

Grant then officially retired from the movies, deciding to dedicate his life to raising his only daughter Jennifer.

Some of Cary Grant's Most Well-Known Movies

Gunga Din
North by Northwest
 
Notorious
Charade
 
Indiscreet
Walk Don't Run
 
Houseboat
Father Goose
 

A Photo of Cary Grant in London in 1973

Source

Cary Grant: Later Years and Final Thoughts

In 1970, Grant received a special award for his hard work and achievements. Grant’s health took a hit in the late 1970s when he began to experience high blood pressure. In 1984, he got a minor stroke which caused him to limit his appearances in public. Grant passed away on November 29, 1986 in Davenport, Iowa before stepping onto the stage to perform “An Evening With Cary Grant”, a solo show at the Adler Theater.

The uniqueness of Cary Grant will probably never be seen again. Grant once famously remarked “Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant[5].” He will still be missed by movie fans all over the world including myself. Grant became a movie icon and one of England’s best entertainers in his nearly 35 year movie career. At the time of his death, it was estimated that the value of his estate was $60,000,000.[6] His greatness is still being seen and admired today even many years after his death. In 1999, The American Film Institute honored Grant by putting him in one of the greatest categories that a movie star can achieve. They named him the second greatest male star of all time of American cinema.[7] That is one of the greatest tributes that you can give to a celebrity. I am blessed to have gotten to know about the man and in 2016, Cary Grant is still recognized as one of the greatest movie actors to have ever lived!

Works Cited

“Cary Grant.” Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 1987. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.

“Cary Grant”. Biography for Cary Grant. Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000026/bio. 30 Apr. 2012.


[5] That is perhaps Grant’s most famous quote and can be found at the Internet Movie Database.

[6] From The Internet Movie Database

[7] Internet Movie Database

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)