Biography

Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant", Grant is said to have replied, "So would I."

Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach in Horfield, Bristol, England, to Elsie Maria (Kingdon) and Elias James Leach, who worked in a factory. His early years in Bristol would have been an ordinary lower-middle-class childhood, except for one extraordinary event. At age nine, he came home from school one day and was told his mother had gone off to a seaside resort. The real truth, however, was that she had been placed in a mental institution, where she would remain for years, and he was never told about it (he wouldn't see his mother again until he was in his late 20s). He left school at fourteen, lying about his age and forging his father's signature on a letter to join Bob Pender's troupe of knockabout comedians. He learned pantomime as well as acrobatics as he toured with the Pender troupe in the English provinces, picked up a Cockney accent in the music halls in London, and then in July 1920, was one of the eight Pender boys selected to go to the US. Their show on Broadway, "Good Times," ran for 456 performances, giving Grant time to acclimatize. He would stay in America. Mae West wanted Grant for She Done Him Wrong (1933) because she saw his combination of virility, sexuality and the aura and bearing of a gentleman. Grant was young enough to begin the new career of fatherhood when he stopped making movies at age 62. One biographer said Grant was alienated by the new realism in the film industry. In the 1950s and early 1960s, he had invented a man-of-the-world persona and a style--"high comedy with polished words." In To Catch a Thief (1955), he and Grace Kelly were allowed to improvise some of the dialogue. They knew what the director, Alfred Hitchcock, wanted to do with a scene, they rehearsed it, put in some clever double entendres that got past the censors, and then the scene was filmed. His biggest box-office success was another Hitchcock 1950s film, North by Northwest (1959) made with Eva Marie Saint since Kelly was by that time Princess of Monaco.

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Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant", Grant is said to have replied, "So would I."

Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach in Horfield, Bristol, England, to Elsie Maria (Kingdon) and Elias James Leach, who worked in a factory. His early years in Bristol would have been an ordinary lower-middle-class childhood, except for one extraordinary event. At age nine, he came home from school one day and was told his mother had gone off to a seaside resort. The real truth, however, was that she had been placed in a mental institution, where she would remain for years, and he was never told about it (he wouldn't see his mother again until he was in his late 20s). He left school at fourteen, lying about his age and forging his father's signature on a letter to join Bob Pender's troupe of knockabout comedians. He learned pantomime as well as acrobatics as he toured with the Pender troupe in the English provinces, picked up a Cockney accent in the music halls in London, and then in July 1920, was one of the eight Pender boys selected to go to the US. Their show on Broadway, "Good Times," ran for 456 performances, giving Grant time to acclimatize. He would stay in America. Mae West wanted Grant for She Done Him Wrong (1933) because she saw his combination of virility, sexuality and the aura and bearing of a gentleman. Grant was young enough to begin the new career of fatherhood when he stopped making movies at age 62. One biographer said Grant was alienated by the new realism in the film industry. In the 1950s and early 1960s, he had invented a man-of-the-world persona and a style--"high comedy with polished words." In To Catch a Thief (1955), he and Grace Kelly were allowed to improvise some of the dialogue. They knew what the director, Alfred Hitchcock, wanted to do with a scene, they rehearsed it, put in some clever double entendres that got past the censors, and then the scene was filmed. His biggest box-office success was another Hitchcock 1950s film, North by Northwest (1959) made with Eva Marie Saint since Kelly was by that time Princess of Monaco.

Personal Info

Gender Male

Known Credits 90

Birthday 1904-01-18

Day of Death 1986-11-29

Place of Birth Horfield, Bristol, England, UK

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Archibald Alexander Leach
  • Archibald Leach

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2016 Becoming Cary Grant as Himself (archive footage)
2007 Hippies as Himself (archive footage)
2006 Gravity as Himself (archive footage)
1999 Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood (American Masters) as (archive footage)
1983 All-Star Party for Frank Sinatra
1982 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid as (in "Suspicion") (archive footage)
1978 The Kennedy Center Honors(1 episode)
1974 That's Entertainment! as Clip from 'Suzy' (archive footage)
1973 The American Film Institute Salute to ...(2 episodes)
1966 Walk Don't Run as Sir William Rutland
1964 Father Goose as Walter Christopher Eckland
1964 The Big Parade of Comedy as Cary Grant
1963 Charade as Peter Joshua
1963 Hollywood Without Make-Up as himself
1962 That Touch of Mink as Philip Shayne
1960 The Grass Is Greener as Victor Rhyall, Earl
1959 Operation Petticoat as Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman
1959 North by Northwest as Roger O. Thornhill
1958 Houseboat as Tom Winters
1958 Indiscreet as Philip Adams
1957 Kiss Them for Me as Cmdr. Andy Crewson
1957 An Affair to Remember as Nickie Ferrante
1957 The Pride and the Passion as Anthony
1955 To Catch a Thief as John Robie
1953 Dream Wife as Clemson Reade
1953 The Academy Awards(7 episodes)
1952 Monkey Business as Dr. Barnaby Fulton
1952 Room for One More as George "Poppy" Rose
1951 People Will Talk as Dr. Noah Praetorius
1950 Crisis as Dr. Eugene Norland Ferguson
1949 I Was a Male War Bride as Capt. Henri Rochard
1948 Every Girl Should Be Married as Dr. Madison W. Brown
1948 Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House as Jim Blandings
1947 The Bishop's Wife as Dudley
1947 The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer as Judge Thaddeus Turner
1947 Blow-Ups of 1947 as Himself
1946 Notorious as T.R. Devlin
1946 Night and Day as Cole Porter
1944 None But the Lonely Heart as Ernie Mott
1944 Arsenic and Old Lace as Mortimer Brewster
1944 Once Upon a Time as Jerry Flynn
1944 Road to Victory
1944 The Shining Future as Self
1943 Destination Tokyo as Captain Cassidy
1943 Mr. Lucky as Joe Adams
1942 Once Upon a Honeymoon as Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole
1942 The Talk of the Town as Leopold Dilg - Joseph
1942 Breakdowns of 1942 as Himself (uncredited)
1941 Suspicion as John D. "Johnnie" Aysgarth
1941 Penny Serenade as Roger Adams
1940 The Philadelphia Story as C. K. Dexter Haven
1940 The Howards of Virginia as Matt Howard
1940 My Favorite Wife as Nick Arden
1940 His Girl Friday as Walter Burns
1939 In Name Only as Alec Walker
1939 Only Angels Have Wings as Geoff Carter
1939 Gunga Din as Cutter
1938 Topper Takes a Trip as George Kerby (archive footage) (uncredited)
1938 Holiday as Johnny Case
1938 Bringing Up Baby as Dr. David Huxley
1937 The Toast of New York as Nick Boyd
1937 Topper as George Kerby
1937 When You're in Love as Jimmy Hudson
1937 The Awful Truth as Jerry Warriner
1936 Wedding Present as Charlie Mason
1936 The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss as Ernest Bliss
1936 Suzy as Andre
1936 Big Brown Eyes as Det. Sgt. Danny Barr
1935 Sylvia Scarlett as Jimmy Monkley
1935 The Last Outpost as Michael Andrews
1935 Wings in the Dark as Ken Gordon
1935 Enter Madame as Gerald Fitzgerald
1934 Ladies Should Listen as Julian De Lussac
1934 Kiss and Make-Up as Dr. Maurice Lamar
1934 Born to Be Bad as Malcolm Trevor
1934 Thirty Day Princess as Porter Madison III
1933 Alice in Wonderland as Mock Turtle
1933 I'm No Angel as Jack Clayton
1933 Gambling Ship as Ace Corbin
1933 The Eagle and the Hawk as Henry Crocke
1933 The Woman Accused as Jeffrey Baxter
1933 She Done Him Wrong as Captain Cummings
1932 Madame Butterfly as Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton
1932 Hot Saturday as Romer Sheffield
1932 Blonde Venus as Nick Townsend
1932 Devil and the Deep as Lt. Jaeckel
1932 Merrily We Go to Hell as Charlie Baxter
1932 Singapore Sue as First Sailor (uncredited)
1932 Sinners in the Sun as Ridgeway
1932 This Is the Night as Stephen Mathewson

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