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The Tragic Reason Cary Grant Quit Acting

Hollywood Heavyweight and legend of the silver screen, Cary Grant, had a pretty turbulent childhood growing up and his interpersonal relationship issues continued to haunt him throughout his adulthood. Throughout his life, he experienced four failed marriages. But fortunately, he found peace in his final years away from the hustle and bustle that is Hollywood.

Grant was 62 when he made his last film, and although he received quite a few offers to appear in movies and TV shows after that, he turned them all down. He had all the money he needed. And why would he want to subject himself once again to the headaches and frustration that comes with participating in a big-budget production.

When Grant made his exit from the limelight, he got the chance to relax for the first time, probably in his entire life. He no longer had to stress and fret over trying to live up to the name that he had made for himself. Cary Grant no longer wanted to be the ‘Cary Grant’ whose name appeared in flashing lights on the marquee. He was finally free to be who he always wanted to be, himself.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Grant led a successful career as a smooth, seductive, and handsomely chiseled leading man for more than thirty years. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 82 from a stroke. Before his passing, the ‘Philadelphia Story’ star spent the previous 20 years of his life in retirement.

Grant became a father rather late in life. He had his one and only daughter, Jennifer, when he was 62. Even though he had retired from Hollywood life, Grant still loved making home movies with his daughter whom he had with his fourth wife Dyan Cannon. He much preferred such low-key productions over the lavish ones he took part in making for the big screen.

He did, however, at one point choose to tour as a one-man-show where he would share the details of his career with audiences across the country. But that’s about as close as he ever got to returning to the spotlight. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to carry out those plans. He intended to kick off the first leg of that tour with a booking in Davenport, Iowa. But sadly he never made it to the stage. On November 30, 1986, Grant suddenly fell ill during rehearsals. He rushed to the ER at a nearby hospital where he passed away later that evening. Grant’s fifth wife, Barbara Harris Grant, was by his side when he died. The cause of death wasn’t initially stated. It later revealed that he had died because of having a stroke.

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And don’t you dare think about sneaking away so soon. Stick around to find out whether or not Cary Grant was secretly gay. Granted, it’s probably none of our business, but there is still quite a bit of mystery there worth exploring.

Grant Left Behind A Glowing Legacy

Cary was born Archibald Alexander Leach in Bristol, England. He amassed millions of adoring fans in his 82 years of life. When he passed away, the world mourned the loss of one of the greatest actors to ever grace Hollywood. Even President Ronald Reagan – who himself was once a film star – offered a heartfelt tribute to the actor. He referred to him as possessing ‘elegance, wit, and charm’. And added that his memory will ‘endure forever on film and in our hearts’.

Grant had previously expressed some concern about how he would be remembered following his death. His daughter Jennifer Grant, who followed in her father’s footsteps by pursuing a life as an actress. And wrote in her 2011 memoir Good Stuff; A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant that he asked her several times to remember him the way that she knew him. According to her, Grant worried that after he died, people would start talking about him in a negative light.

And sure, Grant was not the pinnacle of perfection that he appeared to be when portraying the suave and handsome characters on the big screen. He struggled quite a bit in his personal life, known for having intense bouts of depression. And experimented with drugs in his younger years.

But he desired, much like anybody else, to keep his life – and death – private. After his passing, Grant’s body hauled back to Los Angeles where he cremated. No funeral service was held. Rather, he requested that his ashes be spread out in the waters off the coast of California.

Cary Grants Bizarre LSD Years

Grant may have been concerned that people would begin to speak negatively about him after his death for very good reason. While we’re not going to get into the messy details of his four failed marriages. And we would like to touch on one particularly strange chapter of his life that deserves exploration.

So, back in 1960, the editors of Good Housekeeping magazine got a very strange phone call from a notoriously reclusive actor that hardly ever gave interviews. It was Cary Grant on the line and he wanted to talk. The problem the only thing he wanted to discuss was the enormous amount of LSD that he had just ingested, and beyond that. He wanted to preach to the world about the wonders of the then-newly discovered drug and how everyone should immediately start dropping it too.

So maybe we should give you just a bit of Grant’s backstory for frame of reference. Growing up in a poor family in Bristol, Grant’s father was constantly cheating on his mother and at one point she just upped and vanished. Grant later discovered that his deadbeat dad had her committed to an insane asylum for no good reason.

Cary spent most of his adult life trying to come to terms with his own internal demons while trying to put to rest the ones that tormented him from his past. When he introduced to LSD therapy by his third wife. He felt like he had finally found the cure for all of his psychological troubles. What happened during those acid sessions apparently was pretty mind-blowing for him. Between the years of 1958 and 1961, Grant dropped acid at least 100 times. But instead of turning the inside of his mind into something out of Alice and Wonderland, the psychedelic hallucinogen transformed him into some kind of evangelical advocate for his new favorite chemical.

Grant didn’t view LSD as a drug. Rather he saw it as a tool to help one find enlightenment. In his eyes, acid wasn’t a substance that should be taken to escape reality like say cocaine or heroin is used. But instead it should used by those looking to engage more intimately with reality. Keep in mind, LSD legal at the time, it wasn’t some kind of forbidden fruit. And it had yet to be co-opted by the counter-culture movement that would catch the world by storm later that decade. Once the hippies started taking the drug. H owever, Grant took a step back and stopped being such a hype-man for the substance. He didn’t want to tarnish his image by associating himself with drop-outs and burnouts.

Rumors Swirled That He Was Secretly Gay

Alright, before we even get started picking apart this rumor, it’s important to remember that Grant married to 5 different women in his lifetime. That would be a pretty peculiar thing for a gay man to do. Some have speculated that he was either gay but closeted, bisexual, or just had some kind of experimental phase at some point. But while the world continues to speculate about which team he batted for, the truth is Cary Grant didn’t play for any team but his own.

A 2016 documentary called Women He’s Undressed tried to make the case that Grant was gay. In the film, it’s claimed that Grant in gay relationship with costume designer Orry-Kelly in the 1920s. A decade later, Cary Grant and fellow Hollywood heartthrob Randolph hit it off and went on to spend nearly 12 years on-and-off living with each other. Sharing a majestic Santa Monica beach house and a LA Mansion together.

But this was the 1930s and Hollywood was not the gay-friendly town that it is today. If Grant and Scott indeed in a relationship with each other, they certainly wouldn’t have allowed to openly live their homosexual lives for all the world to see. Their careers would have destroyed.

Sadly, we may never know the truth about whether these two men were in love. Grant would go on to marry 5 different times while Scott married twice, adopting two children with his second wife. The two actors remained close friends for the rest of their lives.

Those that knew the two back in those days, however, tend to think that they’re a happily committed romantic couple. Grants daughter, Jennifer, on the other hand, dismissed the notion outright. So who knows?

Grant Retired To Pursue A Sense Of Normalcy

When Grant retired from acting in 1966 at the age of 62. It was directly after his daughter Jennifer was born. He wanted her to raised with her father taking an active role in her affairs and wanted to give her a stable life.

Cary had previously become disillusioned with cinema in the 1960s and rarely ever found a script that he felt compelled to take on. He once stated that he could have gone on to play a ‘grandfather or a bum’. But instead, he wanted to commit the remainder of his life focusing on the ‘more important things’,

He knew for sure that the Golden Age of Hollywood over after he made the film Charade in 1963. Still, he went on to star in two more films, Father Goose in 1964 and Walk Don’t Run in 1966 before taking his graceful yet decisive exit from the public eye.

When asked about making a career comeback, he would routinely reply to reporters with ‘fat chance’. He did however appear in the audience of the video documentary for Elvis’s 1970 Las Vegas concert Elvis: That’s The Way It Is.

Well, here we are once again at the end of another facts-packed video. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed exploring the life and career of Cary Grant with us. There’s no doubt about it. Grant was a different breed of actor from an almost alien-looking time period in Hollywood’s storied history. Grant was right when he declared the Golden Age of Hollywood to be over. And who knew that legendary era of Tinseltown better than him?

Anyway, now’s your turn to let your voice heard. Which Hollywood leading man from that time were you most fond of, Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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We’ll see you next time for another Facts-filled video.

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