Cary Grant

Archie is an upcoming television drama series about the life of Cary Grant starring Jason Isaacs in the lead role.
The series is set to explore the man born Archibald Leach, born into poverty in Bristol in 1904, long before he became Hollywood’s Cary Grant. Additionally, scenes set later will feature, where Grant in Los Angeles in the 1960s, with personal issues affecting his happiness despite international stardom and many box office hit movies.

Cary Grant (born Archibald Alec Leach; January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986) was an English-American actor. He was known for his Mid-Atlantic accent, debonair demeanour, light-hearted approach to acting, and sense of comic timing.
He was one of classic Hollywood’s definitive leading men and was nominated twice for the Academy Award, and was honoured with an Academy Honorary Award in 1970.
To escape poverty and a fractious family, Archie Leach ran away from home at age 13 to perform as a juggler with the Bob Pender Troupe of comedians and acrobats. He frequently worked in music halls in London, where he acquired a Cockney accent. Leach made the United States his home during the company’s American tour of 1920, and for the next several years he honed his performing skills in such disparate pursuits as a barker at Coney Island, a stilt walker at Steeplechase Park, and a straight man in vaudeville shows. His performances throughout the country in numerous stage musicals and comedies during the late 1920s and early ’30s led to a contract with Paramount Pictures in 1932. Studio executives thought Archie Leach was an unsuitable name for a leading man and rechristened the actor Cary Grant, a name he would legally adopt in 1941. Grant first appeared in several short films and low-budget features for Paramount, and he attracted some attention with his role as a wealthy playboy in the Marlene Dietrich vehicle Blonde Venus (1932). The next year Grant became a star, when Mae West chose him for her leading man in two of her most successful films, She Done Him Wrong and I’m No Angel (both 1933).
Although he appears a bit reserved in these early films, Grant established a screen persona of debonair charm and an air of humorous intelligence. Widely regarded as one of the handsomest men in film history, Grant was an ingratiating and nonthreatening sex symbol. Adding to his appeal was his unique speaking voice: his not wholly successful efforts to rid himself of his natural Cockney accent resulted in a clipped, much-imitated speaking pattern. His screen success was helped in no small measure by the great number of classic films in which he appeared. Upon the expiration of his Paramount contract in 1935, Grant became one of the few top stars to freelance his services, allowing him control over his career and the freedom to choose his scripts carefully.
During the late 1930s and early ’40s, Grant established himself in the genres of screwball comedy and action-adventure. Katharine Hepburn and Irene Dunne were his frequent and highly effective co-stars. With Hepburn he appeared in the drag comedy Sylvia Scarlett (1935), the classic screwball comedies Holiday (1938) and Bringing Up Baby (1938), and the upper-class satire The Philadelphia Story (1940), and with Dunne he made the madcap farces The Awful Truth (1937) and My Favorite Wife (1940) as well as the comic tearjerker Penny Serenade (1941). Grant also proved himself capable of rugged action roles, with well-regarded performances in the popular Only Angels Have Wings and Gunga Din (both 1939). Other Grant classics from this period include his turns as a whimsical poltergeist in Topper (1937) and as the charmingly conniving newspaper editor Walter Burns in His Girl Friday (1940), which is regarded as one of the greatest comedies in movie history. Howard Hawks, George Cukor, Leo McCarey, George Stevens, Garson Kanin, and Frank Capra were some of the renowned directors for whom Grant worked during this time.
Grant’s association with Alfred Hitchcock resulted in some of the best work from both men. The director elicited some of the actor’s best performances by casting him somewhat against type: the characters Grant portrays in the Hitchcock films have an underlying dark side that was compellingly juxtaposed with his characteristic suave demeanour. In their first collaboration, Suspicion (1941), Grant played an unsympathetic character who may or may not be a murderer. He gave a fascinating and appropriately disturbing performance as a callous American agent who uses the woman he loves (Ingrid Bergman) to his own advantage in Notorious (1946), one of Hitchcock’s most-renowned films. In the next decade, Grant appeared in Hitchcock’s lighthearted and stylish caper To Catch a Thief (1955), a film noted for its ad-libbed scenes, rife with double-entendres, between Grant and co-star Grace Kelly. North by Northwest (1959) was a career milestone for both Grant and Hitchcock and is regarded as a masterful blend of suspense and humour.
Grant received Academy Award nominations twice – for Penny Serenade and None but the Lonely Heart (1944) – and received an honorary Oscar in 1970, but he and Edward G. Robinson share the dubious distinction of being Hollywood’s most highly regarded actors never to have won Oscars for acting. His performances in such memorable films as Mr. Lucky (1943), The Bishop’s Wife (1947), Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), I Was a Male War Bride (1949), Monkey Business (1952), and An Affair to Remember (1957) have nonetheless stood the test of time far better than the work of many of his award-winning contemporaries.
Grant’s screen career extended into the 1960s, when he appeared in such films as the romantic farce That Touch of Mink (1962) with Doris Day and the stylish caper Charade (1963) with Audrey Hepburn. Walk Don’t Run (1966) inadvertently became his final film, as he was enmeshed in divorce (from fourth wife Dyan Cannon) and child-custody proceedings that dragged on until 1969 and consumed his attention; it is said that he lost much of his interest in filmmaking during that period.
He remained a star even in retirement, because television reruns of his films kept his face before the public, and he capitalised on his continuing celebrity by making promotional appearances on behalf of Faberge, the cosmetics company of which he was a director. He also served on the boards of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Western Airlines.
Grant had been scheduled to appear at the Adler Theater in Davenport in what was billed as “A Conversation With Cary Grant.” He seemed healthy during rehearsals but then complained of headaches and nausea and was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where he died of a stroke.
President Reagan expressed his regret in a statement issued on Air Force One as the President was flying back to Washington from a four-day stay at his California ranch. ”Nancy and I are very saddened by the death of our very dear and longtime friend Cary Grant,” the statement read. ”He was one of the brightest stars in Hollywood and his elegance, wit and charm will endure forever on film and in our hearts. We will always cherish the memory of his warmth, his loyalty and his friendship and we will miss him deeply.”
One of the few stars for whom the term “screen icon” is not mere hyperbole.

Top Films

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Gunga Din (1939)
His Girl Friday (1940)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Suspicion (1941)
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Notorious (1946)
I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
Monkey Business (1952)
To Catch a Thief (1955)
An Affair to Remember (1957)
Houseboat (1958)
Indiscreet (1958)
Operation Petticoat (1959)
North by Northwest (1959)
That Touch of Mink (1962)
Charade (1963)
Father Goose (1964)
Walk Don’t Run (1966)


Judy, Judy, Judy!
Director Peter Bogdanovich believes that the genesis of the imitation came from Grant’s delivery in several lines in Only Angels Have Wings. “In the film his former girlfriend is called Judith or Judy (played by Rita Hayworth). Cary has lines like “Hello, Judy. Come on, Judy. Now, Judy.” But he never said “Judy, Judy, Judy.”
There is another explanation, in 1955 when Grant did the Lux Radio Theater, they used his voice introduction for Judy Garland, who was a guest for the following week. He recalled some banter where he could have said “Judy, Judy, Judy,” but he wasn’t sure.
As late as the 1980’s Grant was still answering questions about the phrase, and during one of his conversations he offered still another speculation on how it came about.
It seems it started with a celebrity impersonator by the name of Larry Storch. He apparently was appearing in a nightclub and doing an impersonation of Grant when Judy Garland walked in. And that’s how he greeted her.

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
Captain Scarlet’s voice and facial characteristics were based on a young Cary Grant.

Image: scene from North by Northwest

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