Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Dashing Cary Grant


Today marks the 107th anniversary of the birth of one of my favourite actors, the dashing Cary Grant. Born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 18, 1904 in Bristol, England, he was an only child and did not have the most pleasant of childhoods. His mother, Elsie Maria Kingdon, suffered from depression and was placed in a mental institution.  Her son was told that she was on some kind of holiday and never learned the truth until he was in his thirties.

After being expelled from elementary school, the young Archie Leach joined the “Bob Pender stage troupe. He performed as a stilt walker and learned pantomime and acrobatics. The troupe travelled to the United States in 1920 when Archie was a mere 16 years old, embarking on a two-year tour of the country. When it was time for them to return to England, Leach opted to remain in the United States and pursue his stage career.

After achieving some success in light comedies on Broadway, he headed for Hollywood in 1931 where he signed with Paramount Pictures and changed his name to Cary Grant. As luck would have it, Mae West chose him to be her leading man in two of her most successful films, She Done Him Wrong and I’m No Angel (both 1933).

With his charming manner, the handsome Grant went on to achieve Hollywood stardom as a debonair leading man. Some of his other memorable films include Topper (1937), The Awful Truth (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gunga Din (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), The Philadelphia Story (1940), The Talk of the Town (1942), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), An Affair to Remember (1957), and Charade (1963). A favourite of director Alfred Hitchcock, Grant was cast in several Hitchcock classics such as Suspicion (1941), Notorious (1946), To Catch a Thief (1955) and North by Northwest (1959).

Cary Grant was married five times and divorced four times – Virginia Cherrill (February 9, 1934 – March 26, 1935), Barbara Hutton (July 8, 1942 – August 30, 1945), Betsy Drake (December 25, 1949 – August 14, 1962), Dyan Cannon (July 22, 1965 – March 21, 1968) and Barbara Harris (April 11, 1981 until his death on November 29, 1986). On the subject of his many marriages, Grant remarked, “It seems that each new marriage is more difficult to survive than the last one. I’m rather a fool for punishment. I keep going back for more, don’t ask me why.”

Despite his five marriages, Grant had only one child. He and Dyan Cannon became the parents of a daughter, Jennifer, born on February 26, 1966 in Burbank, California. Cary was 62 years old when his daughter was born. Jennifer Grant, now 44 years old, is an actress.

Cary Grant died on November 29, 1986 in Davenport, Iowa. He suffered a stroke before performing in his one man show “An Evening with Cary Grant” at the Adler Theater in Davenport. He was 82 years old.

One final note: Cary Grant never uttered the phrase “Judy, Judy, Judy” in any of his films.


What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?

ANSWER : A towel



The Toronto Blue Jays has acquired a new relief pitcher and potential closer. His name is Jon Rauch and he is a 32-year-old right hander. The Jays have signed him to a one-year deal for $3.5 million (U.S.) with an option for 2012 at $3.75 million. Rauch is coming off a 21-save season with the Minnesota Twins. At 6-foot-11, he is basketball height.

I am quite pleased about the signing of Jon Rauch. It gives the team more options and bolsters their bullpen. Frankly, I have had my doubts about Octavio Dotel. 

- Joanne