Actor. Born Archibald Alexander Leach, the only child of impoverished parents in Bristol, England, his mother was sent to an asylum for the insane when he was 9, a fact he was unaware of until he was in his 20s. He left school at the age of 14, lying about his age and forging his father's signature to join Bob Pender's troupe as a mime, acrobat, and juggler. He toured the States with seven other members of the troupe in 1920. He left the troupe and stayed in America, playing several minor stage roles until travelling to California in 1931 for a screen test at Paramount Studios and becoming Cary Grant. His first film role was "This is the Night" in 1932. When his contract with Paramount expired, he became independent, choosing his own scripts for what was to become a string of comedic hits including "Bringing Up Baby," "His Girl Friday," and "The Philadelphia Story". He was a favorite of director Sir Alfred Hitchcock, starring in four of his films: "North By Northwest," "Notorious," "Suspicion," and "To Catch A Thief". Though he was nominated twice for Best Actor, his only Academy Award was the Honorary Oscar in 1970. Married 5 times, his only child was a daughter, Jennifer, by his marriage to actress Dyan Cannon. He retired from films in 1966, his final film was "Walk, Don't Run." He became a very successful businessman, serving on the board of directors of such firms as Faberge, Western Airlines, and MGM. He died of a stroke while on a successful lecture tour, An Audience With Cary Grant.
Bio by: Kristen Conrad
John William Elias Leach