Cary Grant, born Archibald Alec Leach on January 18, 1904, was a celebrated British-American actor. His interest in the theater started at a young age. Grant became one of the richest actors of his time, but he had a rough childhood. At the beginning of his career, he went into stand-up comedy in the early 1920s before going into the film industry. Grant is known for his transatlantic accent and classic appearance, and was one of the best actors Hollywood had ever seen. We’ll help you celebrate his special day here!
Archibald Alec Leach
January 18, 1904
November 29, 1986 (age 82)
Archibald Alec Leach was born over a century ago, on January 18, 1904, in northern Bristol, England, to Elias James Leach and Elsie Maria Leach. His father worked at a factory, and his mother was a seamstress. Grant had a traumatic childhood. Before he was born, his brother died from tuberculosis; his father struggled with substance abuse and alcoholism, and his mother suffered from clinical depression. When he turned four, his mother took him to the cinema, taught him some songs, and wanted him to learn the piano. However, Grant’s mother did not know how to give nor receive affection, which significantly impacted his relationships with women. It didn’t help that his father placed his mother in a mental institution when he was nine but told him she had left and later died, causing him to resent her. However, this Capricorn later learned she was alive when he turned 31. Apparently, Grant had a hard-knock life before his success. He reunited with his mother in 1938.
Grant made some money as a performer in New York City before his debut film appearance on “This is the Night” in 1932, after officially adopting the new name, ‘Cary Grant.’ In 1933, he appeared in “I’m No Angel” and “She Done Him Wrong,” which gained recognition. After the former film, his weekly salary increased from $450 to $750. In 1937, after he did “Topper,” his career started to take off. In 1938, he starred in “Bringing Up Baby” next to Katharine Hepburn. More flourishing and not-so-successful films followed before he appeared on “Suspicion” in 1941, which was the first of the four movies he did with Alfred Hitchcock. Grant also transitioned from comedy to drama during his career. From “Only Angels Have Wings” in 1939, to “Penny Serenade” in 1941, and “None but the Lonely Heart” in 1944.
Grant starred in several more movies, including the 1963 “Charade” with Audrey Hepburn. He retired in 1966 as a naturalized American citizen, which he received in 1942. At the time of his retirement as one of the wealthiest stars in Hollywood, Grant was on marriage number four with Dyan Cannon, who became the mother of his daughter, Jennifer. He was married five times and had several affairs before his demise in 1986. Grant lived a full life. He was friends with some of the most successful people in Hollywood and owned multiple properties in Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, and Malibu.
He plays an Olympic javelin-thrower on 'This is the Night,' and although he hates the role, his performance gains praise.
In this M.G.M. comedy film, which becomes one of the most popular movies at the time, Grant embodies his role as George Kerby
The duo release their first production called "Suspicion."
Grant appears in "Walk, Don't Run,” his final film.
Why We Love Cary Grant
He was an excellent actor
Grant's movies were high-grossing for a reason. He made his characters come to life with his talent and light-hearted acting approach.
He was a giver
Grant was a giver. He partook in charities to philanthropic interests and even willed a part of his money to his friends.
He was always pleasant
Grant always had a pleasant, suave demeanor, which endeared him to people. His comedic nature was his signature.
5 Surprising Facts
He was friends with many celebrities
From Frank and Barbara Sinatra, to Quincy Jones, Johnny Carson, and so many others, Grant was a friend to the stars and frequently hosted them in his house.
He had memorabilia of his daughter
Grant's childhood artifacts had been destroyed in the Luftwaffe's bombing of Bristol in World War II, and this motivated him to archive memories and artifacts of his daughter's childhood and adolescence in a room-sized bank vault at his home.
He was rumored to be bisexual
Grant lived with Orry-Kelly, who was an openly gay Hollywood designer — their sexual relationship played out in the film “Women He Undressed.”
He dabbled in drugs
Grant experimented with L.S.D. in the late '50s, before the drug became popular.
He ran away as a teenager
Grant ran away from home to join a touring comedy troupe.
Cary Grant FAQs
Why was Cary Grant always tanned?
Grant believed a tan was a better alternative to makeup while on set, so he always had a tan.
Did Hitchcock like Cary Grant?
Hitchcock had revealed that Grant was the only actor he took a liking to.
How many films did Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn make together?
The pair made four films together, from 1935 to 1940.
Cary Grant’s birthday dates