Cary Grant — photographed by John Engstead, 1933
If Hollywood had its own Mount Rushmore, Cary Grant’s profile would be the most prominent: the hair that Katharine Hepburn mussed in Bringing Up Baby (1938), the eyes that Eva Marie Saint couldn’t quite meet in North by Northwest (1959), the lips that locked so breathtakingly with Ingrid Bergman’s in Notorious (1946), and, of course, the cleft chin that fascinated Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963).
—EW’s 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Times
Attracted though I’ve always been, I’ve never invaded a celebrity’s privacy. But one day while walking along Broadway past the Hotel Astor, I saw Greta Garbo approaching and stood stock-still in surprise as she went by; then dashed wildly around the corner, along what was known as Peacock Alley, and quickly composed myself at the other end in order to stand nonchalantly on the next corner to watch her go by again. What is it that attracts one’s curiosity toward a public face? Do we want to see if their eyes are the same colour we thought they were? If they have freckles, warts or blemishes? If their appearance holds some secret that we can fathom? If they’re as tall or short or older or younger than we expect them to be? Do we want to make sure that they are human ad therefore not unlike ourselves? And why would we want to do that anyway? I’ve never been certain what people expect to find. I just hope they aren’t too disappointed when it concerns me.
On January 18, 1904, Cary Grant entered the world at 1:00a.m. as Archibald Leach, a poor boy from a provincial town in England, the other side of the world from Hollywood, both literally and figuratively. He was the only son of a pants presser and a strict mother who disappeared from his life when he was nine, only to addle him with a startling reappearance twenty years later.
CG: I first saw the light of day—or rather the dark of night—around 1:00 A.M. on a cold January morning, in a suburban stone house which, lacking modern heating conveniences, kept only one step ahead of freezing by means of small coal fires in small bedroom fireplaces; and ever since, I’ve persistently arranged to spend every possible moment where the sun shines warmest.
Happy 109th Birthday, Cary Grant
(January 18, 1904 - November 29, 1986)
“Everyone tells me I’ve had such an interesting life, but sometimes I think it’s been nothing but stomach disturbances and self-concern.”
HAPPY 109th BIRTHDAY, CARY GRANT | January 18, 1904 - November 29, 1986
He made me feel though I were the most interesting and witty person. He had that unique ability to make you feel as though you were the only person in the room.
- Elizabeth Taylor