Cary Grant Biography

Cary Grant was a famous English film and stage actor. Go through this biography to know more about his life, works, achievements and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: January 18, 1904

Nationality: American, British

Famous: Quotes By Cary Grant Bisexual

Died At Age: 82

Sun Sign: Capricorn

Born Country: England

Born in: Horfield

Famous as: American-British actor


Spouse/Ex-: Barbara Harris (m. 1981–1986), Barbara Hutton (m. 1942–1945), Betsy Drake (m. 1949–1962), Dyan Cannon (m. 1965–1968), Virginia Cherrill (m. 1934–1935)

father: Elias James Leach

mother: Elsie Maria Kingdon

children: Jennifer Grant

Died on: November 29, 1986

place of death: Davenport

City: Bristol, England

More Facts

education: Bishop Road Primary School, Fairfield Grammar School

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Cary Grant was a renowned English film and stage actor, who delivered stellar performances throughout his lifetime. He has been the recipient of many awards, including the notable Academy Awards and the Kennedy Centre Honors. His memorable roles in films like ‘North by Northwest’ and ‘The Philadelphia Story’ continue to inspire actors even today. Grant was known for his debonair looks and ravishing screen-presence and his transatlantic accent became one of his striking features, which made him one of Hollywood’s most popular actors. He started off as a juggler with a comedy troupe and soon began to hone his acting skills. He worked under many famous banners such as Paramount Pictures and also made a number of films. He was always known as someone who exuded charisma, style, confidence and sophistication both on and off screen. Though he had an immensely successful career and earned great fame as an actor, his personal life was rife with controversies. After retiring from the big screen, he remained active in the entertainment industry and joined a number of boards like Hollywood Park and the Academy of Magical Arts. He was also a keen motor enthusiast and owned a number of cars, which he proudly showed-off. If you would like to learn more about this personality, scroll further.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Cary Grant was born as Archibald Alexander Leach to Elsie Maria and Elias James Leach in Bristol. He was told by his father that his mother had passed away, when in fact she was admitted to a mental institution. When he was just 10, his father abandoned him and remarried.
  • He studied at Fairfield Grammar School, from where he was expelled in 1918. He then joined the ‘Bob Pender Stage Troupe’, a comedy group, where he performed as a stilt walker.
  • At the age of 16, he travelled with his troupe on the RMS Olympic to the United States of America, where they were signed for a 2-year-tour.
  • He decided to stay in the U.S. while his group returned to England and he began taking baby steps into the world of Vaudeville.
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  • Archibald Alexander Leach continued to use his birth name and performed in many stage shows such as ‘Irene’, ‘Music in May’, ‘Rio Rita’ and ‘Wonderful Night’ in 1931. He became known for his comic-timing and physical grace.
  • After a number of Broadway shows, he decided to make it big in Hollywood in 1931. He signed a contract with Paramount Pictures who proposed that he should officially change his name to Cary Grant.
  • He acted alongside Marlene Dietrich in ‘Blonde Venus’ in 1932 and was catapulted to fame with films ‘She Done Him Wrong’ and ‘I’m No Angel’ both of which were released in 1933. After a few unsuccessful movies with Paramount Pictures, he signed a contract with Columbia Pictures.
  • In 1937, his first major comedy hit, ‘Topper’, distributed by MGM was released. In the same year, he starred in ‘The Awful Truth’, the film which played a crucial role in establishing him as one of the most prolific and gifted actors in Hollywood.
  • He appeared in a number of screwball comedies like ‘Holiday’, ‘Bringing up Baby’ and ‘The Philadelphia Society’ in the late 1930s. He also starred in ‘Penny Serenade’ and ‘Suspicion’ in 1941, which became huge box-office successes.
  • He worked closely with Alfred Hitchcock and starred in Hitchcock classics; ‘Notorious’ in 1946 and ‘North by Northwest’ in 1959.
  • In the mid-50s, he established his own production company, Granart Productions and produced a number of films, such as ‘Indiscreet’ (1958) and ‘Father Goose’ (1964), distributed by Universal.
  • He retired from films in 1966, when his daughter Jennifer was born, in order to focus his energies on raising her up.
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Major Works
  • ‘She Done Him Wrong’ won him a lot of critical acclaim and was well-received at the box-office. The film made $2.2 million at the box office and Grant earned great recognition.
  • ‘Penny Serenade’, released in 1941 earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his heart-wrenching performance. Distributed by Columbia Pictures, a television adaptation and a half-hour radio play were also made on the movie.
  • ‘None but the Lonely Heart’ released in 1944 once again earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. This film which ran at the theatres for over six weeks became one of Grant’s most critically-acclaimed hits.
Awards & Achievements
  • Cary Grant was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, and 1963.
  • He won a special Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1970 for his contribution to cinema.
  • He was also accorded the Kennedy Centre Honors in 1981 for his services to the entertainment industry.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Carry Grant married Virgina Cherrill on February 10, 1934 and the couple got divorced on March 26, 1935.
  • In 1942, he got married for a second time to Barbara Hutton, one of the wealthiest women in the world. After divorce, the two remained friends.
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  • On December 29, 1949, he married Betsy Drake, with whom he appeared in two films. This marriage ended on August 14, 1962.
  • On July 22, 1965 he eloped with Dyan Cannon. They got divorced in 1968.
  • On April 11, 1981, he married Barbara Harris, who was 47 years his junior.
  • He passed away on November 29, 1986 after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage.
  • A statue of Grant was erected at Millennium square and in 2005 he was also included in the list of ‘The 50 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time’ by Premiere Magazine.
  • This prominent Hollywood actor once had a Sealyham terrier called, Archie Leach.
  • This actor always wore a gold chain around his neck with three charms attached to it.
  • This Hollywood star was a huge baseball fan and supported the L.A. Dodgers.
  • It is believed that this brilliant American actor was bisexual and was involved in relationships with a number of people including Orry-Kelly and Scotty Bowers.

1. North by Northwest (1959)

  (Mystery, Adventure, Action, Thriller)

2. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

  (Romance, Comedy)

3. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

  (Comedy, Crime, Thriller)

4. His Girl Friday (1940)

  (Drama, Comedy, Romance)

5. Notorious (1946)

  (Romance, Film-Noir, Drama, Thriller)

6. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

  (Comedy, Romance, Family)

7. An Affair to Remember (1957)

  (Drama, Romance)

8. The Bishop's Wife (1947)

  (Drama, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy)

See the events in life of Cary Grant in Chronological Order

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- Cary Grant Biography
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Last Updated
- November 27, 2017
Cary Grant

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