*Virtual Zoom Program
To many, Cary Grant seemed to have it made. With his charming character, handsome looks, impeccable sense of style, lavish lifestyle, and fame and stardom, he seemed to have the life of luxury. But Grant’s initial road to success was not an easy journey.
Born on January 18, 1904 in Northern Bristol as Archibald Alec Leach, Grant’s childhood was stricken with tragedy. After his oldest brother William died of tuberculosis meningitis, Grant’s mother began to suffer from extreme clinical depression. Grant’s father, an alcoholic, had his wife committed to a mental institution where she remained until Grant was in his thirties. At age 9, Grant was told by his father that his mother had decided to go on a long holiday and eventually died. However, at age 31, Grant discovered she was very much alive and was living at a mental institution. His father had lied to him. This forever impacted his life, personality and his future relationships with women.
Historian Jim Gibbons will discuss Grant’s unstable childhood, his years attending boarding schools, his early years in vaudeville troops and his pursuit of fame and acting. Gibbons will explain how Grant achieved fame in many of his romantic comedies and Alfred Hitchcock films, including The Awful Truth; Bringing Up Baby; His Girl Friday; Arsenic and Old Lace; Penny Serenade; Suspicion; To Catch a Thief; Indiscreet; and many others. He received many awards including an honorary Oscar, the Kennedy Center Oscars, and was named by the American Film Institute as the second greatest male star of the Golden Age of Hollywood after Humphrey Bogart. Gibbons will also explain how at the end of his life, Grant remained humble. As a devoted father, he often referred to his beloved daughter, Jennifer as his, “greatest production ever.”
(*A Q&A session will be held following the presentation if time allows).
(*Please contact the library registration requirements prior to program).