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Cary Grant’s Marriage Crumbled After Affair with Sophia Loren

Cary Grant was an accomplished actor known for his sophisticated demeanor. Thanks to his acting chops and good looks, he quickly rose to the ranks of Hollywood’s A-list. His marriage to Betsy Drake, his third wife, was destined for greatness, but that was short-lived due to his lingering insecurity. Join FactsVerse on this feature as we delve into how Cary Grant’s marriage crumbled after an affair with Sophia Loren.

Even though Cary Grant was usually quite comfortable striking up a conversation with a woman, he had to send Merle Oberon over to the young performer he had just seen in London to invite her to dinner. That night in 1947, Betsy Drake sat and dined at the captain’s table with Grant, among other Hollywood’s A-listers. And before the Queen Mary anchored in New York, she and Grant were already head over hills for each other.

Betsy grew up bouncing between family members after her jet-setting parents lost their fortune in the stock market crash. Her family was responsible for building Chicago’s luxurious Drake and Blackstone hotels. Acting helped her overcome her speech impediment, which led to the start of her professional acting career. Over time, she honed her skills and was eventually cast in a play. Grant spotted Betsy from the crowd during a London West End performance of Deep Are the Roots, in which Betsy was a cast member.

Betsy was 24, and he was 43 when they first met, but their ages didn’t matter because they were both intelligent and curious. Betsy was an avid reader and a self-taught photographer. Grant, whose birth name was Archibald Leach, developed his refined demeanour through extensive reading and study in his own time. His smooth demeanour, however, was only a facade for the lingering insecurity he felt as a result of his disadvantaged upbringing. Which included a father who drank too much and a mother who left the family when he was very young, among other things. Nearly twenty years had passed before Grant learned the truth—that his father had placed his mother in a mental institution against her will.

Betsy and Grant tied the knot on Christmas Day, 1949, with his friend and fellow billionaire Howard Hughes serving as best man. Betsy quickly discovered how challenging a relationship with Grant could be. “Becoming Cary Grant” author Mark Glancy claims Grant struggled to form lasting relationships after the premature death of his mother.

After they tied the knot, he developed major issues with suspicion, distrust, and insecurity.

Betsy made an effort to put his mind at ease. She prepared meals for him, read him poetry at breakfast, and researched hypnosis in an effort to help him and her kick the habit. Her 1948 film Every Girl Should Be Married was critically acclaimed, but she only worked occasionally after that. She claimed Grant ate her life and that she gave up everything in an effort to win his approval.

For a short while, she had Grant slow down so that they could both enjoy their Beverly Hills and Palm Springs mansions, but he soon became restless again. Betsy did not fare any better in her attempts to pique his interest in starting a family.

According to an interview for Closer with his fifth wife, Barbara Grant, Grant has often said he isn’t selfless enough to want to have children.

Soon after, Grant left home to play a role that would impact his life significantly. In 1956, Grant was cast alongside Sophia Loren in the film “The Pride and The Passion”.

Sophia Loren’s intense screen presence and breathtaking beauty made her the idol of a whole generation. She got her start in the acting business in the early 1950s in her native Italy and signed with Paramount in 1956. She had her famous affair with Cary Grant, a Hollywood actor, after starring in “The Pride and the Passion,” the film that started it all. While filming, Grant fell in love with Loren, a woman 30 years younger than him.

Speculation about an affair between the two was rampant, and rumours that he proposed to her on set were even more so.

In their first meeting in 1956, Grant played a joke on the Italian star by making it seem like he had confused her for another actress.

Their friendship began on improbable terms, but as they grew closer to one another, it transformed into love.

She was involved with Ponti at the time, and Grant was married, but that didn’t stop them from getting together.

Grant, who was already on his third wife, expressed dissatisfaction with his current situation. On the other hand, Loren’s future with Ponti seemed uncertain as his efforts to get divorced from his first wife proved difficult.

Despite her commitment to Ponti, Loren fell in love with Grant and began an affair.

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After Betsy arrived on the set of “The Pride and the Passion”, she discovered that her husband had been having an affair with Sophia Loren, who had played one of the lead roles. There were rumours that he professed his undying love for Loren and proposed to her.

Betsy was so ashamed that she decided to leave immediately, making reservations on the Andrea Doria. On July 25th, in dense fog near Nantucket, her ocean liner was involved in a collision with another vessel. Betsy made it out alive, but many others perished.

Betsy went into a tailspin after her near-death experience and Grant’s infidelity.

But things really went downhill when her husband let her know that Sophia would be co-starring with him in Betsy’s romantic comedy Houseboat. “If I had any self-respect, I would have kicked him in the teeth and left,” Betsy remarked. Actress Rosalind Russell recalled that Betsy was no longer herself following the incidents.

Despite Grant being clouded by his feelings for Sophia, she was emotionally confused.

Loren was conflicted about Grant’s advances and described that time in her life as strange, despite his letters, gifts, and desire to marry her.

Even though she thought Grant was a great guy who was charming, handsome, and very romantic, she warned that accepting any proposal from the actor would have serious consequences.

She admitted to SMH that Grant had fallen in love with her and had asked her to marry him, but doing so would have required her to leave Carlo, which would cause a major scandal.

Loren had to make a difficult decision between staying with Grant and her Hollywood acting career or going back to Italy with Ponti and the life he had promised.

She revealed to Vanity Fair that she loved both Grant and Ponti but that she ultimately felt she had to choose between the two. She knew that picking Ponti would be the right move because he was Italian and part of her world.

In 1957, Loren ended her relationship with Grant and returned to Ponti.

Soon after, in September of 1957, she wed Carlo Ponti, an Italian film producer.

Even after getting disappointed by Loren, Grant couldn’t find his way back to his wife. Betsy tried therapy, which included LSD treatment, which was accepted and legal at the time as a means of coping with traumatic experiences. She talked Grant into giving the therapy a shot in the hopes that it would help him deal with his repressed emotions from his youth. His ego exploded, and he flatly refused, saying that he could never understand anyone else if he couldn’t even understand himself. Their marriage had already been on the decline, but that was the final straw.

Betsy claimed that one morning while they were eating breakfast in bed together, Grant did ask her a question to which she responded, “Go [screw] yourself.” She also remarked that, after that moment, they both knew it was too late to save their marriage.

Although Grant’s second marriage to actress Dyan Cannon lasted only two years, the work he put into confronting his past allowed him to fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a father. The birth of his beloved daughter Jennifer Grant in 1966 was his proudest moment as a parent. Before she was even born, he finished his last film, as Glancy puts it. Having stayed at home, he was able to spend as much time with his daughter as possible and cherish the formative years they shared together.

Having stayed at home, he was able to spend as much time with his daughter as possible and cherish the formative years they shared together.

Even though the couple was only married for 13 years, Betsy had a significant effect on the renowned actor.

Betsy completed her education at Harvard, where she received a master’s degree in psychology and went on to become a novelist. She lived to be 92 years old but only married once. She was also on good terms with Grant up until his death in 1986. According to Grant, despite his best efforts, he has never been able to pin down the precise reason why he and Betsy broke up. So long as it’s possible to compare one marriage to another, ours was the happiest, he added.

Loren also never remarried after Ponti died in 2007. The couple went on to have three children. The rumours about Loren’s affair with Grant persisted despite the fact that she and Ponti stayed together until his death. It has been widely believed for nearly 60 years that Grant proposed to Loren while they were filming the 1957 movie. Loren cleared the air about her relationship with Grant in a recent interview with the Radio Times. According to her, Grant never proposed to her. All they had was a moment of overwhelming emotions for each other. Loren said to Radio Times that Ponti was the love of her life and that she would not have said yes if Grant had proposed.

The Academy Award-winning actress continued, saying she has fond memories of her marriage and its role in her professional development. The only thing she truly regrets is not getting married while wearing a white dress. However, she has always wanted to do that, and the thought of it still inspires her.

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