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Cary Grant : A Brilliant Disguise
by Scott Eyman




Overview -
Film historian and acclaimed New York Times bestselling biographer Scott Eyman has written the definitive, "captivating" (Associated Press) biography of Hollywood legend Cary Grant, one of the most accomplished--and beloved--actors of his generation, who remains as popular as ever today.

Born Archibald Leach in 1904, he came to America as a teenaged acrobat to find fame and fortune, but he was always haunted by his past. His father was a feckless alcoholic, and his mother was committed to an asylum when Archie was eleven years old. He believed her to be dead until he was informed she was alive when he was thirty-one years old. Because of this experience Grant would have difficulty forming close attachments throughout his life. He married five times and had numerous affairs.

Despite a remarkable degree of success, Grant remained deeply conflicted about his past, his present, his basic identity, and even the public that worshipped him in movies such as Gunga Din, Notorious, and North by Northwest.

Drawing on Grant's own papers, extensive archival research, and interviews with family and friends, this is the definitive portrait of a movie immortal.

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Overview

Film historian and acclaimed New York Times bestselling biographer Scott Eyman has written the definitive, "captivating" (Associated Press) biography of Hollywood legend Cary Grant, one of the most accomplished--and beloved--actors of his generation, who remains as popular as ever today.

Born Archibald Leach in 1904, he came to America as a teenaged acrobat to find fame and fortune, but he was always haunted by his past. His father was a feckless alcoholic, and his mother was committed to an asylum when Archie was eleven years old. He believed her to be dead until he was informed she was alive when he was thirty-one years old. Because of this experience Grant would have difficulty forming close attachments throughout his life. He married five times and had numerous affairs.

Despite a remarkable degree of success, Grant remained deeply conflicted about his past, his present, his basic identity, and even the public that worshipped him in movies such as Gunga Din, Notorious, and North by Northwest.

Drawing on Grant's own papers, extensive archival research, and interviews with family and friends, this is the definitive portrait of a movie immortal.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781501192111
  • ISBN-10: 1501192116
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: October 2020
  • Page Count: 576
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.88 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Cary Grant

Film historian Scott Eyman takes a fresh look at a movie legend in the sparkling biography Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise. Drawing upon extensive interviews and archival materials, including the star’s personal papers, Eyman shows that Grant (1904–1986), king of the romantic comedy and the very definition of dashing, was a man of contrasts forever troubled by his working-class past.

Born into a poor household in Bristol, England, Grant, whose real name was Archibald Leach, did not have a happy childhood. His father was an alcoholic. His depressed mother spent decades in an institution, while Grant was told that she was dead. At 14, he engineered his own expulsion from school in order to chase a career in show business. From stilt walking, acrobatics and pantomime in English music halls to American vaudeville revues and the Broadway stage, he didn’t stop until he’d landed in Hollywood.

In 1932, Grant made his first big film, Blonde Venus, with Marlene Dietrich. By 1939, he was a full-blown star. Absent-minded scientist (Bringing Up Baby), wisecracking socialite (The Philadelphia Story), ice-cold government agent (Notorious)—there was no bill he didn’t fit. During the late 1940s, Eyman writes, “Grant had first crack at nearly every script that didn’t involve a cattle drive or space aliens.”

But Grant’s past seems to have left him permanently scarred. Although he maintained a suave public persona and was widely cherished by friends and fellow actors, the truth about him was, of course, more complicated. As the author reveals, Grant had a reputation for stinginess and self-absorption and could be a mean drunk. On set, he was often anxious and tense.

Eyman’s consideration of the inner conflicts that drove Grant results in a wonderfully nuanced study of his life. Along with the star’s many marriages and bitter divorces, Eyman explores the rumors surrounding his sexuality and his LSD use, recounting it all in clean, unaffected prose. He mixes Grant’s personal story with several decades’ worth of Hollywood history, and his film analyses are eye-opening. Grant was “a man for all movie seasons.” They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

 

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