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Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach in Bristol, England in 1904. After a bizarre childhood (he came home one day when he was nine and was told his chronically depressed mother had died, when actually his father had put her in a mental institution!), young Archie was kicked out of school and ran away and joined a group of stage acrobats. When he was 16 the group went on a two year tour of the U.S., and when the tour ended, he stayed and acted on the stage. In 1931 he had much success in regional theater in St. Louis, and he moved to Hollywood. At this point he changed his name to Cary Grant. After a few minor roles he starred in Blonde Venus opposite Marlene Dietrich, and in She Done Him Wrong, opposite Mae West (it is Grant she invites to come up and see her sometime). He was under contract to Paramount, and was the first choice for every romantic comedy and melodrama, and when his contract was up he refused to re-sign, and he remained independent for the rest of his career, and he made excellent choices in what movies he made. He remained a major star throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, and he was equally successful in comedy as he was in dramas and thrillers. His best movies span his entire career. Just a few of them are Penny Serenade (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film), None But The Lonely Heart (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film), Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, Mr. Lucky, Arsenic and Old Lace, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, An Affair to Remember, and of course the movies he made with Alfred Hitchcock. His personal life was very different from his onscreen persona (supposedly, when he was told "everybody would like to be Cary Grant" he said "So would I!"). He was married five times, but he spent most of the years in-between those marriages living with Randolph Scott, and many have suggested he was bisexual. Chevy Chase once publicly joked that Grant was gay, and Grant sued him over it. In the early 1960s he took LSD over 100 times, and in 1965 he married the much younger Dyan Cannon, and they had a daughter together, the only child either ever had. He retired in 1966, and passed away in 1986 at the age of 82. I don't know that there was ever a more appealing romantic leading man than Cary Grant and he had great romantic chemistry with every one of his leading ladies. He was the inspiration for the line, "Women want to be with him, men want to BE him".
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