Cary Grant

Icons of the Century

Once told by an interviewer that “everybody would like to be Cary Grant,” Grant allegedly quipped, “So would I.”

That the former acrobat Archibald Leach from Bristol, England, became the charming, slightly aristocratic and devastatingly handsome Grant speaks as much to the actor’s enormous talent and ambition as to Hollywood’s rep as a dream factory.

Grant’s leading-man good looks — he’s still the benchmark for polished sophistication — played counterpoint to his comic gift, in classics like “Bringing up Baby,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Philadelphia Story” and “His Girl Friday.”

The face and the comedy often overshadowed his dramatic turns. But his was a unique talent in Hollywood, and the public was his mistress for more than 30 years. Even in his 50s, he convincingly romanced actresses half his age.

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