Despite the fact that he infamously never won an Academy Award, actor Cary Grant one of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. In addition to classic comedies like Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story, Cary starred in many films from legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. These included To Catch a Thief and North by Northwest. After his death in 1986, numerous books released revealing details about the actor’s life. Join Facts Verse as Cary Grant’s daughter reveals his inner demons.
Cary Grant was born on January 18, 1904, in Bristol, England. At birth, Cary given the name “Archibald Leach”. However, he would go on to change his name at the behest of Paramount Pictures before becoming a star. As a child, the young boy’s life was not so glamorous. Cary’s mother had psychiatric issues, including severe depression. She ended up involuntarily admitted into an asylum by Cary’s father when Cary only nine years old. Cary’s father had issues of his own, turning increasingly to alcohol to alleviate the guilt he felt from having his wife committed.
When Cary became curious about what had happened to his mother, his father told him that she had passed away. It wasn’t until over two decades later that Cary would find out the truth, at which point he and is father had already become irreparably estranged. His father would later go on to start a new family, and Cary would go on to become one of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
As a child, Cary attended the Fairfield Grammar School. Perhaps as a result of his troubled upbringing, the young boy was keen on making trouble of his own. Although the child considered exceptionally bright, his attitude prevented him from focusing on his schoolwork. He soon became labeled as disruptive. In one notable incident, the future star said to have broken into the girls’ bathroom to peep.
It was during childhood that Cary suffered the injury that caused him to lose one of his front teeth. This happened when a young Cary was playing on some ice. He carried himself to a nearby dental college and had the issue taken care of without his father’s approval. Although Cary ended up completely losing the tooth, his father never noticed the gap in his son’s teeth. Similarly, many fans are surprised to learn that the actor had a missing front tooth.
Cary expelled from school at the age of 13 after the aforementioned voyeurism incident, subsequently joining a comedy troupe. In addition to performing around England, the troupe performed overseas in America. It was during such a trip that Cary landed his first role on Broadway. He appeared in the 1927 musical Golden Dawn, and his performance allowed him to catch some industry attention.
After a few turns on Broadway, Cary caught the eye of Paramount Pictures. The actor signed with the studio in 1931, at which point he made his famous name change at their behest. Cary Grant officially unveiled to the public, though it would be a few years before he achieved fame.
For his on-screen debut, Paramount cast Cary in the 1932 comedy film This Is the Night. This led to a string of increasingly successful roles. Cary made subsequent turns in several more films, including Madame Butterfly. In 1933, he appeared alongside Mae West in the film She Done Him Wrong. Mae took a liking to Cary, and cast him again in I’m No Angel. The actress later claimed that she was the one that discovered Cary. Although he had already acted in pictures, she certainly brought his career to new heights.
After Cary’s successful films with Mae West, he appeared in a string of less successful features. However, Cary’s most successful period was still ahead of him. In 1937, he cast in the comedy film The Awful Truth. The film was a success, and launched a string of similar comedy hits that would define the peak of Cary’s career. He went on to appear in The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby, giving two of his most memorable comedic performances.
In addition to the success of his comedic films, Cary also beginning to taken seriously as a dramatic actor. In the 1940s, he nominated for two separate Academy Awards for Best Actor. One of these nominations was for his performance in the 1941 film Penny Serenade, while the other nomination was for his turn in 1944’s None but the Lonely Heart. Despite receiving these two nominations, Cary infamously never won an Academy Award during his life.
Over the course of the 1940s, Cary became one of the biggest movie stars in the world. In 1941, he starred in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Suspicion. According to legend, Alfred wanted to make Cary the killer in the film but convinced not to do so by the studio. Cary would go on to appear in several more features from the director, including North by Northwest. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! As well, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Cary Grant married five times over the course of his life, though he only had one child. Cary’s first wife was a woman by the name of Virginia Cherrill, whom the actor married in 1934. The pair split only a year later, after Cary accused of domestic violence. Despite this incident, his future wives would go on to recall the figure as much more caring. Cary’s second wife was Barbara Hutton, whom he married in 1943. Barbara was part of one of the richest families in the world: the Woolworths. Infamously, the British government enlisted Cary to spy on his in-laws during this period, as they believed they might have some World War II involvement.
One can imagine that spying on your wife and her family for the British government might result in some intimacy issues, so it’s not incredibly surprising that Cary and Barbara’s marriage didn’t last long. The two divorced in 1945, and Cary would marry his third wife several years later, in 1949. Cary’s third wife was Betsy Drake, a fellow actress. This marriage proved Cary’s most successful so far, with the two remaining married for over a decade. After 13 years, the couple decided to call it quits, divorcing in 1962. During his time with Betsy, Cary had an affair with costar Sophia Loren.
Cary’s fourth wife was Dylan Cannon. The two married in 1966, and Dylan was the one that gave Cary his only child. The two had a daughter, and she named Jennifer. After Jennifer’s birth, Cary officially retired from acting. He would oddly go on to become a fairly successful business executive, working on the board of multiple companies. Such companies included Western Airlines. Cary divorced Dylan in 1968, and remained unmarried until 1981.
In 1981, Cary married his fifth and final wife. Cary’s fifth wife was Barbara Harris, and she was a hotel public relations agent. Finally, Cary had met the woman that was going to be by his side at the time of his death. Sadly, that time wasn’t far off. Cary suffered a stroke and subsequently passed away in November of 1986. At the time of his death, the actor was worth nearly $100 million dollars, and his hefty estate split between his wife and daughter.
Although Cary married five times during his life, rumors have persisted that the actor was a closeted homosexual. The actor was said to have had numerous gay flings during his lifetime, starting before the beginning of his Hollywood career. One of Cary’s most notable relationships was said to have been with a man by the name of Orry-Kelly. Orry-Kelly was a famed Australian costume designer, and Cary met him in January of 1925. The two started a partnership that apparently went well beyond the boundaries of business.
Orry-Kelly died in 1964, and Cary was one of his pallbearers. Many years after the beloved costume designer’s death, his memoirs were found hidden in a pillowcase. These memoirs were released as Women I’ve Undressed in 2015. Although the book did feature the Australian lothario undressing plenty of women, more notable was the fact that it revealed that he had supposedly undressed Cary Grant… many times.
Women I’ve Undressed documented a longtime on-and-off-again relationship between Cary and Orry-Kelly that apparently culminated in the famed costume designer getting his heart broken. The relationship was said to have been tumultuous, with Cary reportedly having pushed Orry-Kelly out of a moving vehicle in the early 1930s. Still, the two remained friends up until the point of the latter’s death.
After ending his relationship with Orry-Kelly, Cary took up for a period with fellow actor Randolph Scott. The two remained together until around the time of Cary’s first marriage. As well, they reportedly reignited their romance after Cary’s first marriage ended the following year. Despite the fact that it seems as if Cary truly was attracted to other men, the actor adamantly denied it during his lifetime.
Before Cary’s death, he sued comedian Chevy Chase for saying that he was gay. Cary sought $10 million from the popular comedian in the lawsuit, though the two eventually settled out of court for a still-hefty sum of $1 million. By the time the world finally figured out the truth about Cary Grant’s ambiguous sexual orientation, he was dead. Because of this, Chevy couldn’t get his million dollars back.
Cary Grant remains one of the most popular figures from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Comment down below to share how you best like to remember the legendary actor, or if you think that Chevy Chase deserves to get his million dollars back all these years later! As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!