02 July, 2008

Cary Grant, Mister Cool


Archibald Alec Leach better known by his stage name, Cary Grant, was a British actor known for mostly American films. With his distinctive Mid-Atlantic accent, he was noted as perhaps the foremost exemplar of the debonair leading man, handsome, virile, charismatic and charming. He was well known for starring in classic films such as The Philadelphia Story, North by Northwest, Notorious, His Girl Friday, To Catch A Thief, Bringing Up Baby and The Bishop's Wife.
Grant had decided to retire in 1966, after making one more film, Walk, Don't Run.
Grant was considered a maverick by virtue of the fact that he was the first actor to "go independent," effectively bucking the old studio system, which almost completely controlled what an actor could or could not do. In this way, Grant was able to control every aspect of his career. He decided which movies he was going to appear in and he had a personal choice of the directors and co-stars and at times, even negotiated a share of the gross, something unheard of at the time.

In the last few years of his life, Grant undertook tours of the United States in a one man show. It was called "A Conversation with Cary Grant", in which he would show clips from his films and answer audience questions.

On the afternoon of November 29, 1986 he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He died later that night at St. Luke's Hospital at age 82.

Cary Grant was truly cool in every meaning of the word.

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