Cary Grant was born January 18, 1904 in Bristol, England, UK.
However his name wasn't Cary then. It was Archibald Leach.
" I have spent the greater part of my life fluctuating between Archie Leach and Cary Grant, unsure of each, suspecting each."
He was adorable even as a child.
From what I have read about Cary Grant, he didn't have the ideal childhood.
At nine years old he came home from school and was told that his mother had left to go to a resort near the sea. The truth was that she had been put in a mental institution.
He wouldn't see her again until he was in his late twenties.
At 14 years old he left school and joined a troupe of comedians by lying about his age and forging his father's signature.
He toured with the group around England and eventually to America where they performed on Broadway.
He stayed in America and soon made his way into movies.
I don't remember the first movie I ever saw of his. I grew up watching them.
I have known Cary Grant for as long as I can remember.
He was my first crush which is kind of funny when you think about the fact that by the time I developed a crush on him he had already passed away.
"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."
He was such a handsome man but he was much more than that.
He was funny. He was sharp. He was smart. He was debonair. He was classy.
He was a devoted father to his one daughter. (he retired when she was born)
He was extremely talented.
"Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant."
I was thinking about all of his movies that I love and decided to try to narrow it down to my top 5.
This is a hard thing to do as there are more than five that I absolutely love but the following are the ones that I love the most.
#1: The Philadelphia Story
This just happens to be my favorite movie.
It stars three of the best actors of all time (in my opinion)- Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart.
Tracy Lord (Katherine Hepburn) and C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) are divorced and she is about to remarry. He is enlisted by Spy magazine to cover the wedding with reporter Macaulay "Mike" Connor (Jimmy Stewart) and photographer Liz Imbrie (Ruth Hussey).
Of course Tracy figures out why they are showing up right before the wedding but agrees to let them stay pretending to be friends of the family after she is told that it will keep the magazine from publishing a scandalous article about her father.
Lord's mother and sister are very happy to have Dexter back in their lives.
What follows is a very funny storyline leaving Tracy torn between her fiance, Dexter, and Mike.
This was one of the first black and white films I made Doug, my husband, watch with me after he proclaimed he didn't like old movies. He came out of it with a different opinion stating that he believed it would still be a successful film if released today.
This film is witty, hilarious, entertaining, and so much fun.
As a side note, Cary gave his entire fee for the Philadelphia Story to the British war effort.
(He later donated his entire salary for Arsenic and Old Lace to the U.S War effort as well)
#2: The Bishop's Wife
This is a Christmas movie and one of my very favorites. It is one of the Christmas movies I have to watch every year.
A bishop (David Niven) trying to get the funds to build a new cathedral prays for help and an angel is sent to help him (Cary Grant). The guidance he gives is not about fundraising.
It also stars Loretta Young as the Bishop's wife.
It is funny, sweet, festive, and heartwarming.
And it just might make you want to go ice skating!
#3: Every Girl Should Be Married
Anabel Sims (Betsy Drake) is determined to find the perfect husband.
When she sees Madison Brown (Cary Grant) browsing baby magazines and finds out he is a doctor (not realizing he is a pediatrician) she thinks she has found him.
She then sets out to finding out every thing about him to trap him into marriage.
It is so funny.
#4: My Favorite Wife
The movie starts as a woman who has been missing for seven years (and thought to be dead) returns home to her children that don't know her and her husband on the day of his second marriage.
#5: The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer
Susan (played by the adorable teen aged Shirley Temple) falls in love with a bachelor artist (Cary Grant) after he speaks at a school assembly. She goes searching for him and her older sister (Myrna Loy) convinces him to play along with her crush thinking it will help her to get over him.
There you have it!
My top 5 Cary Grant movies.
And while he may have died an American (with his ashes spread over the Pacific in California) he would also always be that boy from Bristol and my first British crush.
"My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can."
"If I had known then what I know now, if I had not been so utterly stupid, I would have had a hundred children and I would have built a ranch to keep them on."