Showing posts with label Magazine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Magazine. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Article Series No.2: What it Means to be a Star by Cary Grant (Films and Filming - July 1961)

Another magazine that makes up part of my collection - Films and Filming - July 1961.

What it Means to be a Star

He is offered first choice of the best scripts.
He can name his director. And he takes a 
slice of the profits of the films he makes.
The real meaning of being a top star is told 


FIRST YEAR: Cary Grant became a leading man in
his first year in Hollywood, 1932, ans one of his films in
that year was Madame Butterfly.

I've been called the longest lasting young man about town. It's ridiculous for a man in his 'fifties: but then until thirty-five a man is often a self-centered idiot. After 35, he should try to begin to make more sense. I know I was impossible before 35; I'm hardly possible now. Those who say it, mostly women, should know. At least I'm little less self-centered. I may be a boor but I feel I'm less of a boor. Sufficient kick in the rear over the years do make a difference and I think I learned from experience at least a little bit.

I who have enjoyed the sunlight of international acceptance for so long, might be tempted to pick up the chips and call it quits while I am still ahead. I did quit once for 18 months. I can't say I was bored, never have been. But I just wasn't as interest in life. 

During my retirement I had the time to indulge in some long, long thoughts about myself, my work, my marriages. Did I find any answers? I don't know. My life is very important to me. I want every moment to be as happy as possible. I've learned not to believe any longer in either high emotions or deep depressions. I would like to live below or above the line. I do whatever is the indication at the moment that doesn't offend someone else.

Living With Himself

I'm not a Peer-Gynt-like searcher but think if a man picks up knowledge, if he improves his tolerance, if he reduces his own impatience and irritability, if he can spare a listening ear to the other fellow - well, he can't help but find himself easier to live with. One's own creative springs could be replenished.

I really don't like to speak about myself to tell about the many many pictures I have done, the many wonderful people I had the honor to appear with and neither do I want to bother with the many ridiculous rumors that have been told by columnists, placing me into close relations, even matrimony with the world's most beautiful women. You have seen me with Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn and wild stories are written in the fan magazines. I refuse to discuss my private life and my friendships and my family, present, past and future.

I'm no longer just the nice young man who knew how to put his hands in his pockets and smiles broadly. I know the entertainment industry requires hard work, studies, determination and the drive for perfection, which one never achieves. I have learned in all these years the story of humility if necessary and I have learned some of the devastating facts of life.

I was born as Archibald Alexander Leach in Bristol , England . I was sent to Fairfield Academy in Somerset and ran away from school to join the Bob Pender Acrobats. But my father, a clothing manufacturer, was not influenced by the fact that his own dad played Shakespearean roles with Forbes Robertson, and caught up with me within four weeks. So, I continued my education for another two years and at the age of 15, I ran away again. This time I stuck with the Pender group and for five years lived the hard life of an acrobatic comic trouper in training. I served as stilt walker, knockdown comic, clown eccentric dancer and carnival barker before I graduated to Broadway, Hollywood , London and Paris .

With the Pender Troupe I went to new York in 1921 to do an act in the Fred Stone show. Pender Acrobats then moved over to the Hippodrome Theatre and from there went back to England . I stayed. There were times I wished I hadn't. I played in honky­tonks, walked stilts in carnival shows on Coney Island and at one time I even painted neckties with Orry Kelly. After two years of not much better than this I returned to England , where without very much trouble I landed small parts in musical comedies.

One day an Arthur Hammerstein scout saw me perform and signed me to sing the juvenile lead in New York in Golden Dawn. After this came other parts and roles, in Polly, Boom Boom, the lead in Wonderful Night and a romantic role opposite Queenie Smith in Street Singer. I spent the summer of 1931 in St. Louis playing the lead in 12 operettas and in the fall I was back on Broadway. Then I set out for Hollywood in a second hand car, lived in cheap hotels and found myself a job in motion pictures and the name of Cary Grant.

Advice and Horror

Soon papers carried the news in their theatrical sections and I was besieged with congratulations, admonitions, advice and horror stories about Hollywood . Some of my colleagues were envious and many were justly skeptical. I was amazed at the number of people who suddenly came up with well ­meaning advice, oracled warnings and predicted catastrophic outcomes in Hollywood . But I knew only too well that I was not an actor who could last permanently on Broadway, I knew my limitations, I was not a singer capable of competing with notable former Metropolitan opera stars, hired for musicals and operettas.

Hollywood is confusing for a newcomer and an old timer. Much that is written about the Glamour City is correct, the eccentricities, the high pressure production, the endless parade of actors, directors, producers, cameramen, musicians, electricians, scenic designers, lighting experts, make-up men with the kids of magic, prop men. Each person seems to prate, in a haze of high dreams. I have never seen so many women. There were the tall thin models, cleverly sparkling entertainers; the big-eyed extras, protégés, wistful hat-check girls, scantily clothed cigarette girls, chorus girls, dance and a bounty of ambitious man hunters. 

My Hollywood debut was in This is The Night in 1932; other parts followed. One of these days I might make my hundredth picture. It is not easy to remember all the pictures I have made, but among my very first, and now forgotten were: Hot Saturday, Merrily We go to Hell, Blonde Venus with Marlene Dietrich, and She Done Him Wrong with Mae West. I learned everything from Mae West - well not quite everything, but almost everything. She knew so much. Her instinct was so true, her timing was perfect, her grasp of situations so right. 

They had many leading men at Paramount , good men with a set of teeth like mine and they couldn't be buying stories for each of us!It took time to be accepted, it almost took twenty years until I got to be like a well-advertised brand of tea. Housewives bought that kind rather than take a chance on a brand they are not familiar with. The cinema goer is the same way. He'll see one of our pictures because he's pretty sure of getting a certain quality, while he might not take a chance on a new fellow across the street. 

I wonder if audiences realize what is the hardest thing in the world - it is for every actor to be what you call "natural." Whenever I hear people say that Crosby or Gary Cooper just play themselves in pictures, I have to laugh. There is no such thing. Remember how self-conscious most people become when they have their picture taken or some one breaks out an amateur movie camera.

Love At Nine O'Clock

Try to make love to someone you can hardly stand to say hello to and at nine o'clock in the morning in full dress with a crowd of about one hundred hard-boiled men of the crew watching. If anyone is ever foolish enough to try this, I'll wager he will give the "natural" actors more credit. 

My first great chance came in 1936, when I was borrowed by RKO for Sylvia Scarlett playing opposite Katharine Hepburn. This picture did nothing to endear its female lead to the public, but it helped me to success. For once, the audiences and the critics did not see me as a nice young man, with regular features and a heart of gold. After this picture I made one after another, probably too many.

Years ago actors were not held in high repute. We were considered a sort of a band of troubadours or "odd Boheme." Then along came the successful movies which was a mechanical thing, something that reached the masses. Suddenly stage actors moved up the social ladder. They were suddenly considered artists. Suddenly it was Mister Laughton and Miss Fontane and Miss Loren, Madame Magnani, Miss Bergman and Miss Bardot. Up until that time mothers had to be warned "Don't put your daughter on the stage." Now they almost fight to put them there. It has practically become a social must. 

The pitfall of most young actors is that they never really listen to a scene. Instead, they worry about how they look listening to a scene. The pitfall of most young men is that they rarely listen to a conversation. Instead, they worry about what other people think of them listening to a conversation.

I learned that you appreciate work most while you're at leisure, and leisure while you're at work. It's like being married or single. You can't be both at the same time. 

What makes for success or failure in living? Many people think luck is the decisive factor. I don't think so. Everybody puts himself exactly where he finds himself in this world. Everyone has constant choices to make all day long. We put ourselves where we are by the choices we make. 

I know I'm sticking my neck out in saying this, and the ill-fortuned won't agree with me. But I do believe people can do practically anything they set out to do if they apply themselves diligently, and learn. Few people recognize opportunity because it comes disguised as hard work and application.

 SOPHISTICATED:  In George Cukor's sophisticated
comedy Philadelphia Story (1940), Grant was partnered
by another fast rising star, James Stewart.

Happy Man

The fan magazines say I am a happy man. Columnists published that I received 125,000 dollars for The Philadelphia Story. They print a lot of things about me - even that Hollywood had given me a guarantee of 500,000 dollars in addition to a ten per cent share of the world-wide gross of the picture Guns of the Navarone. The columnists predicted I would marry Sophia Loren, after they had guessed on Ingrid Bergman first. Every reporter claims I'm happy. To all of this I say: Learn how to be unhappy. If you have never been unhappy, you cannot possibly know what happiness is. 

Happiness is a matter of degree. The greatest unhappiness in the world belongs to the rich boy who receives a yacht for Christmas when he expected a private airplane. The greatest happiness belongs to the poor man who learns that he does not have cancer after being told that cancer was suspected. 

I have my problems, too, and not only in personal matters. When I visited England , reporters asked me what I thought of my visit to Moscow , a very Edwardian place. So I said. "I don't care what kind of government they have, I never felt so free in my life . . ." I meant about not being recognized, but by the time the crack got out, people were saying I should have stayed there.

Questioned On Age

I'm sick and tired of being questioned about why I look young for my age and how I keep trim. I'm not at all sure I look young for my age, but even if I did why should the idiots make so much of it? Why don't they emulate it rather than gasp about it? Everyone wants to be fit; so what do they do? They poison themselves with wrong foods; they poison their lungs with smoking; they clog their pores with greasy make-up; they drink poison liquids. And the one thing they should be doing - making love - they are incapable of because their systems are poisoned. What really makes me furious is that people make fun of people who stay fit and trim . . poke fun at them because they don't smoke or drink. What else can they do to defend their own miserable condition? 

I refuse to give an analysis of my own acting career and it is hard to predict what the future will have in store for me or Hollywood , and the entire motion picture industry. Times have changed. Marilyn Monroe gets ten cents of every box office dollar for her picture Some Like it Hot. William Holden gets at least 750,000 dollars a piece plus 25 percent of the profits for each of them on The Horse Soldiers. 

I think it was Bill Holden who recently said, "The day when an actor was like a well­trained dog who barks on command is gone. An actor no longer just presents his body on the set and wonders what will happen next." 

The Hollywood studios want to make a successful picture, but in order to get the banks to finance it, they must have a big­name star. So then a studio - as told by the banks - goes to the star and insists on a deal. I have said, "Take it easy. This way I'll have to drive a hard bargain and you'll be sorry afterwards," but they insist anyway. 

Some producers believe the demands of the stars are forcing the motion picture industry into an impossible situation. I doubt if this is why I have asked for a half a million dollar guarantee and a cut of the world-wide gross - one day the picture can be sold to television and I'll have revenues in the future.

New Concept

A whole new concept in film entertainment is coming, out of experiments in the projection of movies. We haven't seen anything yet in audience participation experiences. It isn't possible to show what really can be accomplished because of the restrictive architecture of theatres. The new projection techniques will require new theatres, architecturally designed to accompany the picture. The change won't come suddenly. Everyone is desperately trying to protect the vast real estate interests as long as possible, but it is coming. The motion picture will give entertainment so vastly different from television in a few years, there won't be any question of competition. 

People say audiences want "realism." They say it has to be garbage cans and lousy two-bit violence. I don't see why it can't be laughs and the Plaza, too. That's part of life. High comedy and polished words, that's the hardest to write and to act but it's the best. And it lasts the longest, too. We're the ones who can go on for years.

Deal in Insults

These days comedy writers seem to deal in insults. Very few writers feel funny about life and therefore very little "light comedy" has been produced recently. Of course, I believe that comedy must have a certain grace and that involves living with a certain amount of grace which very few people ­- writers or anyone else -- have in these trying, fast-moving days of struggle.

I always personally loved shooting on location. 

One of the craziest things that ever hap­pened to me on location was in Germany . We were in the French zone shooting I Was a Male War Bride and I was made up as a French captain. The company was a good way down the road and I was sitting back in the jeep, waiting to drive up in splendor. That was a color film, and we had to wear off-white shirts. The only off-white shirt we could get for me wasn't only off-white, it was a little pink. So I sat there with the slightly pink shirt waiting for the action to start, and I noticed a Senegalese soldier staring at me. Pretty soon he came over and talked to me in French. Well, you know my French! I couldn't talk to the man. So he called the German cops and I couldn't talk to them either. 

It was hours before the unit found me and got me out of jail!

My present status in the motion picture industry is wonderful for my ego. But notice, I don't say it can't change. I do believe the only thing that would change my mind to make many more pictures would be the anxiety to do a particular piece of material that I could not resist.

I promised myself that I'll only play in another picture if the role is really worthwhile. There are many young actors who need a break and in my own little way I hope I have contributed something positive to the world of entertainment.

New Distinction

Just as the movies unwittingly did very much for the stage, so is television doing now for the movies. Movie stars who have not been keen on television have suddenly been given a distinction which we never had before. We are not just movie people any more but "motion picture actors and actresses." The age of television has just begun -­ much will still happen in your and my life, and you'll see it all on television. 

But I still want to go on making pictures until I'm dead . . . or longer.

HOLDING THE FORT: In his most recent picture,
Stanley Donen's The Grass is Greener, Grant (seen
here with Jean Simmons)portrays the owner of a stately
home who holds the fort while his wife goes off with a rich

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Film Review Series #1: The Bishop's Wife By Bosley Crowther December 10th, 1947

 The Bishop's Wife ,

Starring Cary Grant, David Niven, Loretta Young, Opens at Astor

By Bosley Crowther

Dec. 10, 1947

With David Niven.

Emissaries from heaven are not conspicuously exceptional on the screen, the movies having coyly incarnated any number of these supernatural types, ordained by their fanciful creators to right the wrongs of this world (not to mention the bookkeeping errors that seem to occur up above). And certainly communion with angels is traditional at Christmastime, which is the season when most of us mortals need angelic reassurance anyhow. So there is nothing especially surprising about the miracle that occurs in Samuel Goldwyn's "The Bishop's Wife," which opened last night at the Astor—except that it is superb.And that is very surprising, in view of the realistic fact that it is a sentimental whimsey of the most delicate and dangerous sort. All of us know that angels don't walk the earth like natural men—and definitely not in the image of that debonair rascal, Gary Grant. And most of us have some dark misgivings about the tact of the makers of films when they barge into the private area of a man's communication with his God.But you need have no anxieties in the case of "The Bishop's Wife." It is as cheerful and respectful an invasion of the realm of conscience that we have seen. And it comes very close to being the most enchanting picture of the year — a judgment to which its many merits will shortly make a strong bid. That is because its incursion is on a comparatively simple and humble plane and its whimsey is sensitively syphoned from the more human and humorous frailties of the flesh.We are not going to make an analysis of the many subtle comments in this tale of a full-bodied guardian angel who answers a young bishop's prayer for guidance and spiritual comfort in the midst of a crisis in his life. We are not going to state any morals which this charmingly casual angel proves in drawing the bishop's wrought attention from a new cathedral to the richer services of life—and, particularly, to a fresh fulfillment of his family responsibilities.

We are not going to mouth about these matters, because the picture itself refrains—and that is one of the most endearing of its many endearing young charms.In shaping this warm and winning fable from a Robert Nathan book, Robert Sherwood and Leonardo Bercovici have written with beautiful belief that a point clearly made in performance doesn't have to be hit a dozen times nor a moral quietly manifested put into a hundred solemn words.

And so there is no heavy pounding of the lesson of humanity, of the futility of ostentation, of the special possessiveness of a man's love. Nor is there any such pounding in Henry Koster's directorial style.Smoothly and with artful invention he has induced Mr. Grant to give one of his most fluent and beguiling performances as the angel, "Dudley," who fixes things. And he has got out of David Niven a deliciously dexterous and droll characterization of a sorely pressed young bishop who can't quite cotton to this messenger from on high. Elsa Lanchester, too, is encouraged in an exquisitely faceted role of a twitterly little housemaid who flirts with this angelic gent, and Monty Woolley is actually human as an old dodo who is morally re-inspired. James Gleason, Sara Haden and Gladys Cooper are rich in smaller parts. Weakness is only evident in Loretta Young's unctuousness as the bishop's wife. She is the one artificial, inconsistent and discordant note.Of course, there are probably some people who are going to say that this film encourages a futile illusion with its hope of miraculous aid. But they—if they do—will be missing its most warmly inspiring point which is—but wait a minute That's for you to recognize and enjoy. We cannot recommend you to a more delightful and appropriate Christmas show.

With Loretta Young and Monty Woolley.


screen play by Robert E. Sherwood and Leonardo Bercovici;

from the novel by Robert Nathan;

directed by Henry Koster;

produced by Samuel Goldwyn for release through RKO Radio Pictures. Inc.

At the Astor.

Dudley . . . . . Cary Grant

Julia Brougham . . . . . Loretta Young

Henry Brougham . . . . . David Niven

Professor Wutheridge . . . . . Monty Woolley

Sylvester . . . . . James Gleason

Mrs. Hamilton . . . . . Gladys Cooper

Matilda . . . . . Elsa Lanchester

Mildred Cassaway . . . . . Sara Haden

Debby Brougham . . . . . Karolyn Grimes

Maggenti . . . . . Tito Vuolo

Mr. Miller . . . . . Regis Toomey

Mrs. Duffy . . . . . Sara Edwards

Miss Trumbull . . . . . Margaret McWade

Mrs. Ward . . . . . Ann O'Neal

Saturday, May 6, 2023

News Article Series: How Cary Grant lives: The movie star at home (1940) By Joseph Henry Steele.

Hollywood at home: Cary Grant’s house in Santa Monica
If a man’s castle is his life — past, present and future — you will find a famous life revealed on these pages!

By Joseph Henry Steele

“The happy marrid man dies in good stile at home, surrounded by his weeping wife and children. The old batchelor don’t die at all — he sort of rots away, like a pollywog’s tail.” – Artemus Ward in “The Draft in Baldinsville.”

Cary Grant can’t stand being shut in

Claustrophobia has driven Cary Grant to the sea.

Not into it or out on it, but to its sud-laced fringe. He has finally found what he’d always wanted — an unbounded front yard that would solace the wish to escape which forms the very core of his character.

Cary, one of the few surviving (and I do mean surviving) members of an imaginary Hollywood bachelor club, cannot stand being shut in. So he recently bought a two-storied, twelve-roomed stucco house on the exclusive beach at Santa Monica.

Bottom photo: Happy hermitage, with the seaward outlook so indispensable to Cary — interrupted only by an expanse of sand and passing bathers.

He got as close to the sea as possible; the only interruption to his horizon is an occasional distant ship which, instead of obstructing, seems rather to pause in the middle of a framing window the better to create a picture.

Cary says: “I like the ocean because no one can build a house in front of me or plant a high hedge or put up a billboard. Although I must qualify that last — all summer long, on Saturdays and Sundays, a big greasy motorboat keeps chugging up and down with a huge banner on it and a loud-speaker rasping out the virtues of a two-bit dance hall in Venice. But I guess you can’t have everything.”

Cary bought his house from Norma Talmadge. It was the house which formed the southern boundary of Hollywood’s beach society in the nostalgic talkless era. It was bounded on the north by the hotel des artistes known as Marion Davies.

When I walked through the house, I noted that Norma’s touches were still in evidence, decidedly feminine touches destined eventually to be obliterated by the masculine bachelorhood of its present owner.

There were three spare bedrooms, now called guest rooms, done in a variety of French periods; luxurious and gay and unmussable; gold and blue and royal red.

But this is supposed to be about Cary Grant. So, let’s at him.

Center of activity in this one-man home is the bar-living room — Cary uses the real living room mainly just for piano playing

About Cary Grant’s home in 1940

When at home, Cary does his living not in the living room, but in what he chooses to call the bar, which is more living room than bar. It is two thirds the width of the house, faced solidly with windows looking out over the pool, the beach and, still beyond, the ocean.

At one end is the bar proper, a small, half-circle affair, while the rest of the room is taken up with down-cushioned chairs from which rising becomes a problem.

Radio and victrola, old English prints, a long coffee table (made according to specifications so that when unfolded it reveals backgammon layouts) magazine racks, a ship’s model, a floor paved with irregular slate — these conspire to make a room to live in no matter what the mood.

The living room itself, so formal in its French gilt and burgundy, is rarely used. It is a room in which dinner jackets and low-bosomed gowns should be worn; where a sleek hostess should preside. (Cary ventured a try at the hostess idea several years ago when he married Virginia Cherrill, but it didn’t take. Maybe it was claustrophobia. I don’t know. And Cary won’t speak of it.)

Four features stand out in the living room; a grand piano, an oil painting of a horse by Ben Marshall, famous English painter, which hangs over the mantelpiece, a round table which again unfolds into a backgammon layout, and two great six-foot mirrors in heavy gilt frames fixed against the wall on either side of the fireplace. The carpet is the color of burgundy.

Indoors, you will probably find the host at backgammon — his opponent, in this case, being [article] author Steele himself.

That grand piano standing by a window overlooking the sea is a favorite retreat of Cary’s. The only musical instrument he can play, it is a hangover from his comic-opera days.
Aside from backgammon, which amounts almost to a mania, Cary likes best to sit at the piano and finger familiar tunes. When he tires of that he’ll start improvising jazz melodies of his own.

Cary sings, too, in a highly agreeable baritone. I’ve often pondered the irony of the motion- picture business which does not avail itself of such versatility.

Cary Grant was born in Bristol, England, thirty-six years ago, and he’s been in the United States for nineteen years. He is thoroughly English for many generations back, and if you’ve wondered about his black hair and dark coloring lay it to a Spanish lady who married an early Grant in the days when Philip of Spain was pounding at England’s doors.

Vintage actor Cary Grant on the beach 1940s

The house manager, Frank Horn

Cary’s household is managed by his secretary, Frank Horn, the result of a promise made many years ago when Cary’s days were spent in hotels and his future was dubious.

In 1932, when Cary was a leading man with the St. Louis Municipal Opera Company, he first met Horn, a fellow actor. They became instant friends and when they daydreamed in the confines of a hotel room Cary would say, “Someday, Frank, I’m going to Hollywood. And if I click, I’ll have you with me.”

That day came. He remembered his promise and sent for Frank Horn, who has been with him ever since.

Horn supervises the duties of the married couple who serve as butler-cook-and-maid and a chauffeur who navigates the Buick limousine. The garden being mostly sand there is no gardener.

Horn himself drives a Ford convertible which is used for shopping and sundry household errands. He is allowed four cents a mile for the use of the car and recompensed weekly on presentation of an expense account.

Cary Grant Philadelphia Story movie 1940

A self-conscious star

The limousine is the only car Cary owns, and his eventual acquisition of it is an interesting sidelight on his character. Cary has ever dreaded the appellation, “going Hollywood.”

He liked big cars (who doesn’t?) and long dreamed of owning one. As soon as he could afford, it he bought one — a sporty Cord that would turn a Hollywood blonde’s hair back to its natural color.

And then he was utterly miserable. Suddenly he developed a flagellating self-consciousness. He could swear that everybody was staring at him and whispering, “There comes that movie actor.”

Then came stardom and its attendant activities. He found he was too busy to drive himself, and frequently had to study his script en route to the studio. It was simply impossible to drive and study at the same time.

He conquered the complex and got himself a chauffeur and limousine. It is worth recording here, too, something unique about Cary — he has no station wagon.

Secretary Horn presents the monthly bills to his boss, to which are attached corresponding bills for the previous month. This is Cary’s idea, enabling him to keep a close check on expenditures so that none may get out of hand. He questions each item carefully and signs his own checks. There is no specified budget.

Cary’s quirks and companions

Below stairs, the servants refer to Cary in affectionate broad English as The Mawster, while Cary himself has never acquired the habit of nicknaming his employees.

Their affection for him, however, has its momentary setbacks. Meals, for instance, are forever movable; that is to say, although he orders dinner for seven he may not show up until nine or even ten.

Cary is marked by meticulous adherence to little things. As he goes through the house, he is forever automatically emptying ash trays, rearranging magazines, moving objects two or three inches to where he thinks they should be, ad infinitum.

He is hypersensitive, and easily fazed by any criticism of an article he possesses, be it of ever so slight importance.

And being a homeowner for the first time in his life, he can’t quite understand why it might need repairs, since he bought it so recently. Cary has no inclination for grocery shopping, always ending in confusion and buying things he’ll never eat. But he has a weakness for haberdasheries, in which he can spend hours.

When he raids the refrigerator, it is usually for Camembert or Roquefort with crackers and milk. He is a dismal failure at fixing anything for himself and even has trouble preparing dinner for Archibald and Cholmondeley, his two Sealyhams.

He doesn’t mind eating alone so long as the radio or a newspaper is near. When entertaining, he is a retiring host and behaves more like one of the guests. He has never been seen to carve.

His circle of friends includes Randolph Scott, Countess di Frasso, Robert Coote, Jack and Ann Warner, and Reginald Gardiner. He’ll go into a tap dance at the drop of hat.

Like no other bedroom

Aside from the bar, the only other room to achieve a measure of completion is Cary’s bedroom on the second floor. It is a complete expression of his tastes and attitudes. It belongs to no period or school of thought, unlike any bedroom I have ever seen.

Outside the windows, the ocean stretches beyond the horizon. The rich color scheme is chocolate brown and beige; there are a seven-by-eight- foot bed with convenient bookshelves holding radio, cigarettes, etc., at his head and a large, practical fireplace.

The walls, the ceiling and the carpet are in severe chocolate brown, relieved by trimmings in beige.

Over the fireplace hangs an oil painting that has puzzled many a guest. No one has ever been sure whether it was a modernist masterpiece or a lunatic’s self-portrait. But now it can be told — Cary bought it on the banks of the River Seine for ninety-three cents.

At the far end of this chocolate chamber is the private haberdashery — suits, dozens of shirts, a regiment of shoes, a horde of hats and kerchiefs, socks, neckties, suspenders and underwear.

The studied carelessness of Cary’s screen appearance, which contributes so much to his jaunty appeal, is achieved largely by his shirts. These are made to order in New York and have a collar designed by Cary to minimize what he thinks is an oversized neck. There is little basis for his delusion, but no one’s been able to dissuade him.

He wears a forty-two coat, eleven-and-a-half shoes, silk undershirts in solid pastel shades, slippers of a moccasin type made in Sweden. He never wears a smoking jacket, and can’t stand flowers in the bedroom.

Although he is not given to hobbies or collecting objects of art, he has a mania for keeping useless papers and periodicals for years, believing that someday they’ll come in handy.

He is meticulously tidy, never carries anything that will bulge his pockets, and has a collection of pipes that he never uses. He likes cigarettes, but can’t stand them before breakfast.

Due to a slight astigmatism, he always carries corrective glasses. He is an incurably bad correspondent; letters are inevitably shelved, pigeonholed and postponed, finally being answered by an elaborate and apologetic wire.

His library of records contains complete albums of Gershwin, English comic songs, and musical comedy things that he was in.

His attitude towards physical exercise has changed very little in ten years. The punching bag and rowing machine in a hidden little courtyard get a visit from him only at some friend’s mention of middle age or a crack about his waistline. He rides horseback only as called for in his work, never goes in for sailing, trapshooting, tennis or golf.

Cary’s philosophic attitudes

Cary’s philosophic attitudes may best be exemplified by this incident: Almost two years ago there were four of us dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby — Cary, Dick Barthelmess, John Carroll and I. It was early in March, and income tax was making its annual foray into complacent movie pocketbooks.

Cary was having his say: “Cripers! That’s a terrific slice out of a man’s income. A man works hard for years, lives in cheap hotels, packs his worldly goods in a trunk, looks for a job between the shows that flopped — then one day he gets a break. Then what happens? The government comes along and. . .”

Cary interrupted himself. “Oh, well!” he said. “What am I kicking about? Not so many years ago, I was wandering around New York, without a job, and had only one dream — that someday I might get set with an income of a hundred and twenty-five dollars a week. That was my idea of heaven. And here I am, kicking like everybody else in the big money.”

He speared a sizable piece of steak and holding it aloft as if it were a symbol of his point, said: “Let ’em take all they want. Whatever it is, it’s darned cheap for the privilege of living here.”

Cary Grant likes life and has a keen desire to face it honestly. He’s getting a great kick out of his homeownership, and someday he would like to have children. But children must have a mother, and mothers should be wives — I’m sure Cary will not long remain a polliwog’s tail.

Article from (vintage and retro memories).

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The Cary Grant Collection: Part 1 - Biographies.

 “To write an autobiography, you’ve got to expose other people. I hope to get out of this world as gracefully as possible, without embarrassing anyone.”

“I have no plans to write an autobiography, I will leave that to others. I’m sure they will turn me into a homosexual or a Nazi spy or something else.”

Cary Grant never wrote an autobiography, quite simply for the reasons he himself expresses in the quotes above.

The closest he came was writing a three-part article for The Ladies Home Journal, entitled 'Archie Leach'

(January/February 1963 (Part 1), March 1963 (Part 2), April 1963 (Part 3))

Maybe because of this, so many other people wrote about him.

Some, trying to get to the truth of how Archie Leach became Cary Grant, and others just repeating unfounded rumors and gossip.

But as a complete body of works...all add something to the story of a boy from a working-class upbringing in Bristol, who became one of, if not the greatest Hollywood Star ever.

Below are listed the biographies that grace my collection - The Cary Grant Collection.

(I have listed them in date order and scaled the pictures to give an idea of how the books compare to each other in size)

Cary Grant: An Unauthorized Biography by Albert Govoni (1971)

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Ian Allan Film Albums - 3: Cary Grant (1971)
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The Pictorial Treasury of Film Stars - Cary Grant by Jerry Vermilye  (1973)

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The Films of Cary Grant by Donald Deschner (1973)
Introduction by Charles Chaplin

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The Life and Loves of Cary Grant - A Biography by Lee Guthrie (1977)

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In The Spotlight - Cary Grant by Gallery Press (1980)

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Cary Grant: The Light Touch by Lionel Godfrey (1981)

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Cary Grant: A Celebration by Richard Schickel (1983)

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Cary Grant: Haunted Idol by Geoffrey Wansell (1983)

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The Private Cary Grant by William Currie McIntosh ans William Weaver (1983)

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Cary Grant by Jean-Jacques Dupuis (1984)

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Cary Grant by Chuck Ashman and Pamela Trescott (1986)

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Cary Grant: A Touch of Elegance by Warren G. Harris (1987) 

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Cary Grant by Pamela Trescott (1987)

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An Affair to Remember: My Life With Cary Grant by Maureen Donaldson and William Royce (1989)

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Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley (1989)

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Cary Grant: A Portrait in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best by Nancy Nelson (1991)
Foreword by Barbara and Jennifer Grant.

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Cary Grant: Dark Angel by Geoffrey Wansell (1996)

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Cary Grant: A Class Apart by Graham MaCann (1997)

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Cary Grant: A Class Apart by Graham MaCann (1997)

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Legends: Cary Grant by Richard Schickel (1998)

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Cary Grant: A Life in Pictures by Jerry Curtis (1998)

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Cary Grant: In Name Only by Gary Morecombe and  Martin Sterling (2003)
Foreword by Sheridan Morley

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Evenings With Cary Grant: Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best by Nancy Nelson (2003)
New Foreword by Barbara and Jennifer Grant

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Cary Grant: A Biography by Marc Eliot (2004)

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Cary Grant: The Wizard of Beverly Grove by Bill Royce (2006)

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Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style by Richard Torregrossa (2006)
Foreword by Giorgio Armani
Afterword by Michael Kors

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Movie Icons: Grant by Taschen (2007)

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Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon (2011)

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Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant by Jennifer Grant (2011)

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Cary Grant: A Life in Picture by Pavilion (2011)

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How to Become Cary Grant: A Remarkable Life in Quotes and Remembrances by Horace Martin Woodhouse (2013) 

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Cary Grant Movie Poster Book: Special edition by Greg Lenburg (2016) 

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Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman (2020)

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Cary Grant: The Making of a Hollywood Legend by Mark Glancy (2020)

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American Legends: The Life of Cary Grant by Charles River Editors (?)

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Etre Cary Grant (To Be Cary Grant) by Martine Reid (2021)

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Some Versions of Cary Grant by James Naremore (2022)

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Listed below are writers who have put their name to more then one Cary Grant Biography:

Cary Grant by Chuck Ashman and Pamela Trescott (1986)
Cary Grant by Pamela Trescott (1987)

Cary Grant: Haunted Idol by Geoffrey Wansell (1983)
Cary Grant: Dark Angel by Geoffrey Wansell (1996)

An Affair to Remember: My Life With Cary Grant by Maureen Donaldson and William Royce (1989)
Cary Grant: The Wizard of Beverly Grove by Bill Royce (2006)

Cary Grant: A Portrait in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best by Nancy Nelson (1991)
Foreword by Barbara and Jennifer Grant.
Evenings With Cary Grant: Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best by Nancy Nelson (2003)
New Foreword by Barbara and Jennifer Grant

The Cary Grant Collection - 2022