Monday, November 29, 2010 marks the 24th anniversary of acting great Cary Grant’s death. At 11: 22 p.m. on November 29, 1986, Grant passed away at St. Luke’s Hospital in Iowa. He had suffered a stroke and was in a coma before he got to the hospital. He was 82 years old at the time of his death.
Grant had a poor childhood. He was born on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, England, UK to Elias and Elsie Leach. His given name was Archibald Leach. Grant’s mother, Elsie Maria Kingdon (1877-1973), battled depression after losing a previous child. His father sent her to a mental institution. Nine year old Cary was told his mother had gone on vacation.
At the age of 16 Grant was expelled from school and joined a traveling comedy troupe. The troupe made a trip to the United States in 1920 and Grant decided to stay. He performed in theatres until he landed a studio contract with Paramount. He took the first name Cary from the character he played in a Broadway stage play and took his last name from a list of studio suggestions.
Many people may remember Grant from hit movies such as Bringing Up Baby (1938), His Girl Friday (1940), and She Done Him Wrong (1933). Throughout his career Grant appeared in more than 70 films. Eight of his films were nominated for awards. In the 1940’s, Grant himself was nominated for two Academy Awards. Grant was awarded the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1970 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1981. Premiere Magazine named Grant the “Greatest Movie Star of All Time” in November 2004.
In 1953, Grant announced his retirement after deciding to put his marriage first. As Grant was searching for himself he enlisted the help of doctors as well as the drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25). The dangerous effects of the drug were not clear to many people. It was a government-licensed experiment at the time. In 1954, however, he came out of retirement. Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief was his come-back film.
Grant married five times. He became a father at the age of 62 to a daughter, Jennifer. When he died, Barbara, his fifth wife, and his daughter inherited his multi-million dollar fortune.
The world lost a legend 24 years ago. Mr. Carry Grant may be gone from this Earth, but he will live on forever through the classic films he left behind.
Graham McCann, Cary Grant Cosmopolis
Wikipedia, Cary Grant Wikipedia