Complicated Love Life Of Hollywood's Iconic Leading Man, Cary Grant

Date December 7, 2017 12:40

British-American actor, Cary Grant (born Archibald Alec Leach), was truly an icon in the movie industry. His acting career spanned many decades, and even today, his works are still being celebrated.

Growing up

Grant was born on January 18, 1904, to Elias James Leach and Elsie Maria Leach. He came from a pretty humble background, however. Things were pretty sad at home: growing up in a house with an alcoholic father and a depressed mother was pretty traumatic. His biographer, Graham McCann, said one of Grant's lovers revealed that his mother did not know how to give or receive affection.

Grant himself even once disclosed that the tumultuous relationship he had with his mother affected how he saw women altogether. Despite her shortcomings, Elsie was the one who ignited a love for cinema in her young son. She would teach him how to sing and dance. She would also take him to cinemas where they enjoyed performances by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Chester Conklin.


By 1918, Grant was a part of Pender's theatre troupe, where he got paid along with others to perform. Performing here was his way to get away from all the unhappiness in his household. In fact, it was even reported that he purposely got himself expelled from Fairfield Grammar School (where he was given a scholarship) just so he could spend some more time with the troupe.

Grant broadened his acting skills while with Pender's and a couple of other groups. He continued touring for years until he began getting the attention of filmmakers and producers. In 1931, he was offered a leading role in a musical, Nikki, where he starred with Fay Wray.

Grant's Career success

His subsequent performances eventually led him to sign a contract with Columbia Pictures in 1936. Under studio's management he played in a few more movies. His role in Penny Serenade earned Grant his first Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor. At this point, he was already a pretty big star and was in high demand in the industry. Despite a few failed projects, his overall career was booming. But his personal life, not so much.


Grant's women

In 1934, he married an actress named Virginia Cherrill. He fell so hard for her at first sight that he once said she was "the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." The marriage, however, only lasted seven months and during that short time, they separated and got back together a couple of times.

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She accused him of drinking excessively and that he ridiculed her acting. After the divorce, Cary was said to be depressed even though his acting career was moving quickly and successfully. He swore he would never marry again but eight years later, he changed his mind.


In 1941, he met Barbara Hutton. Just like it was with Virginia, Grant claimed he fell in love as soon as he laid eyes on her. They were married on July 8th, 1942. Sources claimed he was very loving and tender towards her. But their marriage only lasted four years.

He fell in love with Betsy Drake next. Betsy was determined to be an actress and Grant did all he could to make this dream come true for her. He even made her his leading lady in Every Girl Should Get Married and Room For One More.

The couple got married on Christmas day in 1949. She eventually stopped acting and took up writing. But for the most part, she lived a secluded life which, according to sources, was how Grant wanted it. She was devoted to him but at the end of the day, she had enough. She left him 14 years into their marriage.

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Grant went on to marry Dyan Cannon in July 1965 and she gave birth to his first child, a girl named Jennifer, a year later. However, in March 1968, this marriage ended.


On April 11, 1981, Grant married Barbara Harris who was 47 years his junior. He was with her in his last years and friends said he had "never been happier."

His death

On November 29, 1986, Grant fell ill. He later suffered a stroke but he refused to be taken to a hospital. As the stroke got worse, his health deteriorated rapidly. Later that night, he slipped into a coma and was finally taken to get medical help. However, he was pronounced dead at 11:22 pm. He was 82.

Cary Grant entertained fans for many years. Even though his love life was chaotic, he managed to continue to build up his onscreen persona and this is what he is most remembered for.

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