A Look in to Cary Grant’s Life and His Family


Cary Grant was one of the most famous actors in the world. He was born Archibald Alec Leach on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, England. He changed his name later on when he wanted to enter the showbiz industry. He was known for his unique accent and his extraordinary style of acting. He had a very unique dialogue delivery which made him stand out from the rest of the crowd. He started working from a very young age and over the years gave the world some of the best movies ever.

He Could Have Been Bond, James Bond

In 1962, he was offered to play the role of the world famous MI6 spy James Bond in the movie Dr. No. however Grant turned down the role saying that he was too old to play the character of Bond at 58 years of age. He looked really graceful even at 56 and we think he would have made a great bond. No matter the reason of his refusal this is one role we would have all loved to see him in.

He Was Born In the UK

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He was born in the United Kingdom, however once his acting career started to grow he knew he had to move to the country of the showbiz capital of the world Hollywood. He became an American citizen at the age of 38 in 1942. This helped him further boost his acting career.

He Took a Lot of LSD

Cary Grant’s childhood and his life was full of tragedy. His father was an alcoholic, he was falsely told that his mother had died, he went through four divorces so there was a lot of depression and anxiety. He used to take a lot of LSD to fight depression. Even though he was a very clean man who didn’t even like to smoke. He had to take LSDs under doctor’s supervision to control his depression. It helped Grant out of his depression and he even left $10000 to the doctor in his will because he was so happy with the way the doctor had treated him.

He Never Won a Golden Globe or an Oscar

Only a few years back, Leonardo Di Caprio won his first Oscar which was great for him and all his fans. It was a long time coming. However one actor who never got to win an Oscar was Cary Grant even though he deserved it but these special awards always got away from him. He was nominated several times but never won. He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1970. The award read, “To Cary Grant, for his unique mastery of the art of screen acting, with the respect and affection of his colleagues.”

He Was a Patriot

Cary Grant was such a big patriot that he donated his income from the movie The Philadelphia Story to the British War effort. After some years he also donated $100,000 to the US War Relief Fund which was a lot at that time. It is almost equivalent to $2 million in today’s money. This not only shows how patriotic he was but how good of a human he was.

His Teachers Remembered Him as a Troublemaker

Even though Cary Grant came out to be a great actor, his school years weren’t that good. He used to study at Fairfield Grammar School. He was known as a trouble maker who used to make lots of noise and never do his homework. Most of it may be because his mother wasn’t with him and his father was an alcoholic womanizer. However he turned out really good on his own as he started working from a very young age and got famous in his 20s.

Cary Grant’s Sexuality

Many people talk about the sexuality of Cary Grant. There were a lot of speculations about him being gay. When Jennifer was asked about it she said that she thought her father was straight. He was definitely a ladies man however due to his flirty nature he might have flirted with some men as well which may have caught some eyes and thus the rumor of him being gay started. Some of this rumor also had to be because four of the actor’s marriages failed. However the failed marriages were due to many disagreements the couples had in different things. It did not have anything to do with his sexuality.

He Was Never a Smoker

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Jennifer also shared the fact that Cary Grant was never a smoker. In fact he hated nicotine. When she was born, Grant quit the industry to become a full time dad. So she never got to see her work in the industry first hand. However when she started watching his movies and saw him light up a cigarette it made her feel weird because she had never seen him smoke. This also shows how good of an actor Grant was that he kept his private life completely different than his showbiz life.

He Was Very Thrifty

Cary Grant is known for his own unique style however many people started to notice that even though he dressed great he did not care much about buying expensive stuff. He would buy less costly stuff and make it look good on him. He is even known to tear off the button from the shirt he was about to throw out. Which he later claimed that if the maid started using his shirt as a rug then the buttons would have damaged the furniture however he never refuted or argued when people called him thrifty. He actually believe that being thrifty was the sensible thing to do and to be honest we can’t argue with that.

Cary Grant’s Daughter

Cary Grant married five times however he only has one daughter who is an exact image of her father. Not only did she inherit her father’s good looks but also his charisma and acting skills. She is a great actor in her own right. She is considered as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood which does not come as a surprise considering the Grant genes are known for their charming good looks.

He Had an Extremely Rough Childhood

Cary loves his daughter and he tried to give her a good childhood and everything that was missing from his own childhood. So she had a good and happy childhood but things weren’t that easy for Cary himself. He had a very rough childhood especially because of his father Elias who was an alcoholic. He used to make life very difficult for grant and her mother which is also the reason that his mother left when he was still just a boy.

Absence of His Mom

When he was just 9 years old, he was told that this mother had left the family to live somewhere else. Grant loved his mother and he was very confused as to why she abandoned her like this to live somewhere else. He was later told that his mother had passed away. This was just a lie because no one wanted to give him the right answer to his question about why his mother had left to live on the coast.

His Mother Was Admitted In an Asylum

In reality, his mother had been admitted in a mental asylum by Elias who claimed that she was suffering from an extreme case from Mania. He grew up thinking that his mom was dead. He found out about his mother being alive when he had already become a successful actor. He was 30 years old when he found out about his mother but it was already too late. When he went to the asylum to meet his mother she did not recognize him because of health and because Grant had now grown up.

He Took His Mother Out of the Asylum

Cary Grant then took his mother out of the asylum. Elias had already died so Cary was never able to get the answers that he wanted from his father for sending his mother away. After taking his mother out of the asylum Grant bought her a home and also started caring for her himself. He regularly visited Elsie however he was really sad about what had happened to her mother.

He Was Married Multiple Times

Cary Grant was married multiple times. Many believe that one of the reasons that Grant had too much trouble in his married life was due to the fact that he had a rough childhood. HIs first marriage was to an American actress Virginia Cherrill however the marriage was riddled with problems and it couldn’t even last a year. They had a really bad divorce as well.

Marrying Barbara Hutton

After Virginia Cherrill, Grant married Barbara Hutton in 1942. Barbara Hutton belonged to a wealthy family who owned Woolworth Fortune. They both had to go through a divorce in their previous marriages. So this was a marriage that many believed would last long as both Grant and Hutton had a lot of similarities. They looked really compatible together.

They Gave It Time And Tried To Make It Work

Both Hutton and Grant were happy with each other. Even they though that the marriage would go all the way. The media and fans were also really happy with their relationship. They were a power couple in Hollywood. With each passing day they loved each other more. They had their quarrels as well like all couples do but at the end of the day it seemed like the couple would last longer in this marriage than they did in their previous marriages.

Another Failed Marriage

However to the shock of the fans, their relation did not last that long. The couple separated twice during their short time together and then had to get divorced in 1945. Even though the reason of divorce given was mental cruelty both Barbara and Cary seemed to still love each other after the divorce. They actually remained friends after the divorce.

Marrying Betsy Drake

After his second marriage failed, Cary Grant married his third wife Betsy Drake. She was also an Actress and a writer. At this time, Cary’s career had started to slow down a little. His marriage to Drake was like a blessing for him. Her presence helped give a boost to his career. It was after his marriage to Drake that he made a range of super hit movies including one of his most famous movies North by Northwest.

Love for A Younger Woman

This marriage did last longer than his previous marriages however in 1962 the couple divorced. Betsy Drake felt that Cary Grant wasn’t interested in her anymore and often watched TV or slept after having dinner instead of spending time with her. Their marriage had lost its spark and like his two previous marriages, this also ended in a divorce. After that Cary Grant fell in love with someone who was much younger than him.

Welcoming Jennifer to His Life

Three years after his divorce to Betsy Drake, Grant married Dyan Cannon. Surprisingly Cannon was 34 years younger than the actor. They got married in 1965 and welcome a beautiful baby daughter Jennifer in 1966. She is the only child of the late actor. Cary Grant was really happy on becoming a father and even left his career to be a full time dad. It was one of the best things to have ever happened to Grant. However like his other marriages this one didn’t last long either and the couple had to split in 1968.

Co Parenting Was Tough At Start

Co Parenting is a tough task after you have gone through a divorce. In an interview to the NY Times Grant had to say this about her daughter and co-parenting: “Jennifer and I level with each other. She finds it difficult to leave me, and she also finds it difficult to leave her mother. Any court that can handle that situation has to have the Wisdom of Solomon.” It is true that it’s the children who suffer the most from their parent’s divorce and it was quite clear in the case of Jennifer who loved both her parents.

Working Together For The Sake Of Their Daughter

Luckily it wasn’t just Jennifer who loved her parents, her parents loved her a lot as well. Grant said that he and Cannon were trying to work things out in the best way they can and that their love for Jennifer will reflect in their co-parenting efforts. He also had this to say about his relationship with his ex-wife and how the media portrays things. “The press builds these things up so, using words like battling and fighting. Nobody’s fighting; it’s just that when you have a point of disagreement which you cannot resolve, you must go to the man who will arbitrate: the judge.”

His Biggest Regret Was Not Having More Kids

Grant did not have any children in his earlier marriage by choice. His biggest regret was not having more kids. It was clear that he really loved his daughter and she brought happiness to his life. He told the interviewer on the topic of having more children “If I had known then what I know now; if I had not been so utterly stupid or selfish; I would have had a hundred children, and I would have built a ranch to keep them on.”

He Was a Devoted Dad

Event though Grant had a regret about not having more children, he was a really good father to Jennifer. The immense love he had for his daughter cannot be put into worlds we can just say that all the loved that he would’ve given to other children that he regretted to not having, he put all their love towards his only child Jennifer. This was also mentioned in the obituary for Cary Grant written by the NY times. Surely Grant was a great actor and an even greater father.

Big Inheritance for Family and Friends

Sadly Cary Grant passed away in 1986 and he left a lot of money and inheritance to his only child. According to his will most his wealth and fortune had to be divided amongst his daughter Jennifer and his widow Barbara Harris. Jennifer was only 20 years at the time and Grant’s will dictated that Jennifer would be give half of the inheritance when she turned 30 and the remaining was to be given when she turned 35. He did this to create a stable life for his daughter.

No Funeral Ceremony for Cary Grant As He Did Not Want One

The actor Cary Grant passed away in 1986 and his fortune was distributed amongst his family, friends and some employees like his book keeper. However there was no funeral ceremony held for the actor. This was according to the actor’s own wish of not having one. His family obliged and this is why he silently went away without a big event like we see these days when anyone famous passes away.

He Was Cremated: His Ashes Scattered

Many people prefer to get buried others want to get cremated. Cary Grant’s body was cremated and it is believed that his ashes were scattered over California Hills. However no one can be sure about this. This is something really personal that only his family members know and it would be good to ask them about such a personal part of their life.

What Was He Really Like

Cary Grant may have had a problem with finding love in a partner but he never had any problem loving his child. His daughter Jennifer was his happiness. Jennifer’s mother Dyan Cannon who had a really bad divorce with Cary Grant once talked about how Grant actually was. She was all praises for him as a father. She said that Grant was so good to their daughter that she never wanted or pushed her to fall out with her father. She always told her to have a good relationship with her father because she knew that no matter the type of partner he was, he was a great father.

Keeping the Family Close

Grant’s daughter was only two years old when Grant and Cannon divorced. Cannon got the custody of their daughter Jennifer whereas Grant got visiting rights. However Cannon knew that Grant was a great father and he wouldn’t do something that could create problems for their daughter. She stated that there was a certain limit to the number of visitations Grant was awarded by the court however Cannon let him meet their daughter more than the number of visitations allowed by the court. This was because Grant was an exceptionally good father.

Co Parenting

Even though Grant and Cannon had a bad fallout in their relationship, they did not let their disagreements come in the way of bringing up their daughter. They had a mutual respect for each other when it came to taking care of their daughter. Cannon would always send a nurse along with Jennifer when it was time for her to go to Grant house. Once she grew up, and Grant and Jennifer went out, Grant would always tell Jennifer to call and ask her mother about what time should she be back home. This showed the mutual respect they both had for the sake of a better upbringing of their daughter. The children are most effected by a divorce however Grant and Cannon showed that you can still be respectful and still bring up your kids right even if you have divorced.

Challenges of a Single Mother

Cannon also stated that even though Grant was a great father she wished that he participated more in the parenting process. However she also stated that she thinks that he did the best he could do. He did not know how to do it any other way or what else he could do. This is why Cannon, as a single mother had to be the heavy one. However Jennifer turned out to be a really nice person so she has no regrets about parenting or co-parenting with Cary Grant.

Jennifer Was Special For Her Dad

Jennifer was really special for her father. Their bond was as strong as a father and daughter bond can be. While talking to the magazine, Cannon said that her daughter is working on a TV special based on her father’s life. She wanted to keep the memory of her father alive. As she is Cary Grant’s only child, she is one the one responsible for moving his legacy forward. She graduated from Stanford University and is now working as an actress. So she is following in her father’s footsteps and making her proud. So there is no doubt that she is moving her father’s legacy forward in a very great way.

Jennifer Was Brought Up With Strong Values

One of the things that many showbiz kids usually face is the pressure of being a child of a famous celebrity. It can pressurize the child to be in the shadow of their famous parents. So when Cannon was asked if Jennifer ever felt any burden for being the daughter someone as popular as Cary Grant she said that Jennifer was loved by both her parents and she has a very good sense of herself. So being Cary Grant’s daughter didn’t burden her because she was brought up with strong moral values. She was proud of her father’s work but she was also confident enough to develop her own identity.

Actor like Her Dad

Like Father like daughter. Jennifer also ventured into an acting career like her father and she was really good at it. She starred in a number of films and TV shows over the years. She is mostly known for her roles in TV shows. She can be seen in shows like Beverly Hills 90210. She was also in cameo roles in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Friends. Her career isn’t as lengthy as her father’s however she has made a name for herself based on her acting talent and good looks.

She Is a Timeless Beauty

Cary Grant is to this day known as one of the most handsome men in Hollywood. In his young days he was looked as a sex symbol in Hollywood. He had a great sex appeal and when he grew old he did so with grace. He looked quite graceful in his later years as well. His daughter Jennifer not only inherited his acting talent but also his charming good looks. She is 55 years old now and she has aged as gracefully as her father. The Grant genes are definitely very powerful Even at the age of 55 she looks very beautiful and graceful.

Honoring Her Dad and His Legacy

Cary loved her daughter and it was quite well known. Even his Ex used to praise him that he was a great father. However the love wasn’t just one sides. Her daughter was also very proud of her dad. She loved her father. Not only did she make a documentary about her father she also honored her dad by naming her son Cary Benjamin. There is no better way to honor someone but to give your child their name. It is the utmost sign of respect and honor.

Tell-All Memoir by Jennifer

Jennifer also wrote a memoir in which she tells a lot about her father and their relationship. Her book was called Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father Cary Grant. She write the following in her book tell how much she loved and honored her father.

“To me, [my dad] was like a marvelous painting. All the art historians wish to break down the motives and the scheme and so on. I would rather know, as I do, his essence. I believe that at the heart of a person lies passion. For the last 20 years of his life, I was given the extraordinary privilege to experience the full, vital passion of his heart.”

Jennifer Grant Became an Actress to Keep Her Father’s Legacy Alive

Cary Grant’s only child Jennifer Grant wanted to join a law firm however after her father passed away, she had this sudden urge of joining the showbiz industry. She was pulled towards it. She also loved her father’s work and since she loved it, wanted to join the industry. She knew that one of the way she could keep her father’s memory alive and carry on his legacy was to join the industry he was a big part of. So she gave up her idea of joining a law firm in San Francisco and headed to Los Angeles to start her movies career. We can only say that her father would have been really proud of her.

She Felt Grief in Waves

Jennifer Grant said that the loss of her father had a great effect on her life. She said that the grief came in waves which made things really bad. Her father was more than just a father, he was a friend, one of her biggest support and a mentor. She said that they spent a lot of time together and it would have been great to see both the father and daughter work together in some capacity in the showbiz industry as well. Sadly we will never be able to see that. She never felt any sadness when growing up with him because he was such a loving father. However it all changed the day he passed away.

Change Of Heart for the Name of Her Son

When Jennifer was pregnant with her son, one of her friends suggested to name her kid Cary. However Jennifer did not like that idea. She though that there is only one Cary Grant and there will never be anyone like him. However a week before her son was to be born, she had a change of heart and she thought that it would be good to pass on her father’s name to her son. And so she did. Her son was born in 2008 and she named him Cary Benjamin Grant.

The Similarities between Her Father and Her Son

Jennifer Grant also added that her son Cary Benjamin Grant is very similar to her father. It is not only the same name that they share but they also look a lot like each other. She also added that her son has a good sense of humor and Cary Grant was known for her exceptionally good comic timing. She believes that her son has inherited the funny gene from her father. She claimed that her son has a lot of other characteristic similar to his grandfather. Her son is already 13 years old so we can only wait and see if he ever joins the movie industry so we can have another Cary Grant.

Everyone Has Inspirations Even Cary Grant

Cary Grant cited Zeppo Marx from the Marx brothers as his inspiration for comedy. He loved to watch the Marx brothers perform however he found his comic inspiration from Zeppo. Cary Grant was labelled as one of the best comedic actor to ever appear on the Television. And I think we all know who to thank for that. Zeppo Marx for his great influence over Cary Grant.

A Final Closure through Her Book

She said that the book she wrote about her father gave a sense of closure to her that she needed. Jennifer stated that people still stop her to talk about their memories with her father and she feels that her father is immortalized in the memories of those people. Adding on the question of his sexuality, she said that her father was a sensitive man who always cared for people he so deeply loved and she was the one he loved the most.

Cary Grant’s Traumatic Past Used to Haunt Him

As we have already mentioned that Cary’s father, Elias had his mother admitted to a mental asylum so he could keep on carrying on being a womanizer. Cary was heartbroken when he found out that his mother was still alive and living in a mental asylum. Cary grant loved his daughter but his fourth ex-wife Cannon told an interviewer that even though he loved their daughter Jennifer he sometimes got afraid as it brought back memories from his childhood about how her father treated her mother and how he grew up thinking that his mother had died. His traumatic childhood experience did create problems for him but it also forced him to be a great father as he did not want to turn out as his father.

Everyone Loved Him

Jennifer Grant’s mother Cannon also commented on the rumors of the actor being gay. She said that she never noticed any such thing. She said she didn’t know what he did when she wasn’t around but when she was he gave her his full love and attention. She also said that she was very sure that there was no “other” man or woman in their relationship. She also praised his amazingly positive energy that made him a great guy to be around for his kids, his family, his friends and everyone else.

Carrying His Legacy

Jennifer’s has tried to continue her father’s legacy in many different ways. In addition to her son Cary Benjamin Grant, she also has a daughter who is 3 years younger than her brother. Her daughter’s name is Davian Adele Grant. Jennifer tells both her kids about their famous grandfather. She does this so they can also carry on the Grant legacy forward after Jennifer. She is very proud of her father and the fact that she keeps her father’s memory alive by telling her kids about how good he was shows that she is doing justice to the legacy of her father.

Mixed Feelings about Her Dad’s Big Screen Appearances

Jennifer was once asked about how she felt seeing her dad on the big screen. She replied that she has always had mixed feelings about seeing her parents in movies. Her exact words were “You know, I have all sorts of reactions to seeing my dad – and my mom – on screen.” Cary Grant was a very popular actor and his movies have immortalized him. So it is only fair for Jennifer to have such a reaction to his movies.

He Had a Strong Vault at House

When the German bombing destroyed his home and all the memories he had of his childhood, Cary Grant made sure his family didn’t have to go through any such thing so he got a bank quality vault for his house where he kept all his family photos, home videos, letters and other memories. Jennifer Grant took stories from the materials she found in the vault for her memoir.

She Misses Her Dad

Like any other child, Jennifer also missed her loving father. She stated that “There are other times when you know, I just automatically fill up with tears because he is who he is who he is, and I miss him. And a glance or some look will just get me. It’ll pierce me straight through.” This show how much importance Grant had in the life of her daughter. It is all because of how she brought her up and how she loved her. He would have been really proud to see her daughter following in his footsteps in the showbiz industry.

A True Icon

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Cary Grant is still much loved and his movies are still watched. He gave us a range of great movies over his career. He had a suave style and personality that made him stand out from the rest. He was an icon for the people from the 20th century and young people who are now familiarizing themselves with his work are also falling in love with him. He is someone that will be always remembered as one of the best Hollywood had to offer.