Monday, January 18, 2010

Cary Grant

Roger Ebert tweeted a link to In Memory: Cary Grant 1904-1986, in honor of today, which would have been Cary Grant's 106th birthday. It's a great obituary and I'll certainly not try to expand upon it.

But it reminded me that two of the saddest quotes I know are both by Cary Grant.

The first is the story of him being told how much the other person wished to be Cary Grant and he replied, "So would I."

Now, I'm sure that was said in a perfectly charming way, with a Cary Grant smile and wink, but it's impossible for me not to hear a sadness underneath that's somehow almost heartbreaking for me.

The other is recounted by Ebert, "His parents were unhappily married, and the key psychological event in his life occurred when he was 9, and came home from school one day to find that his mother was no longer there. At first he was told she had gone on holiday, and then that she had gone somewhere on a long visit.

"Only 20 years later did he learn that she had been committed to a mental institution, 'by which time,' he once said, 'my name was changed and I was a full-grown man living in America, known to most people of the world by sight and by name, yet not to my mother.'"

But I didn't jump in here to make everyone weep. I just read that and thought that Cary Grant is one of those talents whose importance and charm are so evident to any movie lover that sometimes we forget to stop and celebrate them.

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