A close-up of Cary Grant on the set of Father Goose (1964).
During his one-man show “An Evening with Cary Grant” when asked which of his roles came closest to his real-life personality he’d answer, “the bum I played in Father Goose.” Indeed, in this rare recorded sound clip from one of his appearances, he admitted to a flaw that sounds more akin to gruff Walter Eckland than to Grant’s sophisticated public persona: “I do a lot of burping.”
Image scanned from LIFE Goes to the Movies (Time-Life Books, 1975).
Eva Marie Saint “shoots” Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1958).
Although the role of a suave advertising executive-turned-secret agent red herring seemed to fit Cary as well as his impeccably tailored suits, the actor was plagued with doubts during production. Screenwriter Ernest Lehman remembered the leading man complaining about how the script didn’t suit him, saying, “And what about this dialogue? You think you’ve written a Cary Grant picture? This is a David Niven picture.”
In the end, though, Cary happily ate his words after the film scored ecstatic reactions from an important preview audience. He phoned Lehman to congratulate him immediately afterwards: “I’m just calling to tell you how thrilled I am for you. For all of us!”
Scanned from Great Hollywood Movies by Ted Sennett (Abradale Press, 1983).
Cary Grant, 1950s. This image has been part of my family for over a decade. My parents and I bought it, already shellacked onto a plaque, at a yard sale. It has hung on our wall ever since. At this point, he’s part of the family.
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (1940).
On the subject of the movie’s famous overlapping dialogue, Grant recalled, “When I first started in pictures, an actor didn’t have the freedom to interrupt the dialogue. But in His Girl Friday, Rosalind Russell and I were constantly interrupting each other. The sound men would say, ‘We can’t hear you.’ And we’d say, ‘Well, you’re not supposed to hear us. People do interrupt each other, you know.'”
Image scanned from Hollywood Picks the Classics by Afton Fraser (Bullfinch Press, 2004).
And, by the way, I’m getting many of my quotes from or about Cary from Nancy Nelson’s beguiling Evenings with Cary Grant (Citadel Press, 1991), which I highly recommend for all fans.