Cary Grant: The Everyman Cinema God

         Cary Grant, birth name Archibald Alexander Leach, was born January 18, 1904, in Horfield, Bristol, England, UK. His career began in 1920, when he joined the Bob Penker’s stage troupe and traveled the U.S. as a stilt worker. In his early years in Hollywood, Grant acquired the name Cary Lockwood, as a surname from a character he played in a film. However, since the name Lockwood was similar to another actor’s name during this period, he adopted the name Grant from studio-preferred surnames.

         Despite the rumors of being homosexual, Grant was married five times. A funny quotation I read for this topic is from a 2004 interview with Grant’s third wife, Betsy Drake, for Turner Classic Movies. She states: “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” (“Reel Classics”).

         Cary Grant was known best for his handsome looks, charismatic and charming personality and dominated as the leading man. Grant was featured in over seventy films, including Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 Notorious, which we watched in class. Some of his famous films are as follows: The Philadelphia Story, North by Northwest, His Girl Friday, To Catch a Thief, Bringing up Baby, and The Bishop’s Wife. He was nominated for two Oscar’s awards, won fourteen awards, and was nominated for eleven awards in his career.

         “From screwball comedies to romantic dramas to suspense thrillers, he created characters who were simultaneously singular and familiar. He was an every man to whom every man looked up- a cinema god who somehow kept his feet on the ground” (“Cary Grant”).

         Cary Grant died on November 29, 1986, at the age of 82 Davenport, Iowa, due to a cerebral hemorrhage. Cary Grant will always be known as the “leading man” in cinema history.

Works Cited

“Cary Grant” 30 Apr. 2008 ( “Reel Classics” 30 Apr. 2008 ( .

Kyra Williams

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