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Cary Grant

Cary Grant (1904-1986) was born Archibald Alexander Leach in Bristol, UK. An English/American actor and classic, sophisticated, gentleman. His father, Elias James Leach a Tailor's Presser and his mother, Elsie Maria Leach a seamtress suffered with clinical depression. His older brother died just before his first birthday (before Cary was born) and his mother never recovered from the loss. His father had Elsie committed when Cary was 9, to an institution and told Cary that she was dead. He would be 31 before he learned she was still alive. Cary lived with his grandmother when his father remarried. He won a scholarship to a grammar school remembered for mischief and never doing his homework. In the evenings he would spend time backstage in Bristol Theatres. Age 14, he was expelled from school joined the Bob Pender Troupe of comedians and acrobats. The Local Authority wanted to know why he didn't live with his father in Southampton and consequently an agreement was made that he would train with Pender which involved touring including the U.S. At 16, 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. For the next 12 years he became part of the Vaudeville scene as well as performing in theatre. He got his first break into cinema in 1932 in his debut film, This is the Night. This was the beginning of his suave, charming roles as a playboy. Soon after this he became a leading Holywood actor often playing roguish characters with comedy undertones. Nominated twice for an Academy Award, in 1970 honored with Academy Honorary Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor in 1981. In 1999, the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest film stars of all time named him the second greatest male star of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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