CARY GRANT: The Biography

Marc Eliot, Author . Harmony $25 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4000-5026-0

During a four-decade career filled with outstanding performances (The Awful Truth ; The Philadelphia Story ; Notorious ; North by Northwest ; Charade) , Grant's greatest creation was the illusion that the suave Cary Grant really existed offscreen. Born Archibald Leach in Bristol, England, in 1904, he was traumatized at 10 when told of his mother's death. Eighteen years later, he learned she was alive (his father had committed her to an asylum). Grant nonetheless succeeded in Hollywood. After making 24 films in five years, he refused to re-sign with Paramount and, in 1936, became one of Hollywood's first freelance actors. On-screen and off, Grant was pursued by women, but his openly gay relationship with Randolph Scott lasted until both were pressured by studios to marry. Eliot, who has coauthored memoirs with Donna Summer, Barry White and Erin Brockovich, convincingly alleges that Grant was pressured by the FBI to spy on his second wife, heiress Barbara Hutton, in 1942 in return for American citizenship. Eliot's fascinating, sympathetic portrait is of a consummate performer who hid inner demons and used filmmaking to distance himself from reality (and four of his five wives). After years of therapy, weekly LSD treatments and retirement from films, he had a daughter (at age 62), a later happy marriage (he was 74, she 25) and some inner peace before his 1986 death. Photos not seen by PW . Agent, Mel Berger. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/02/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 670 pages - 978-0-375-43417-4
Paperback - 435 pages - 978-0-307-20983-2
Open Ebook - 307 pages - 978-0-307-55497-0
Hardcover - 435 pages - 978-1-84513-151-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4159-1729-9
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