Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cary Grant is all American June 26 1942

Archibald Alexander's American Adventure:
June 26, 1942

Happy Birthday, Peter Lorre
When do Errol Flynn & Peter Lorre become US Citizens?

Archie Leach became a U.S. citizen under naturalization certificate no. 5502057
Cary Grant and Barbara Hutton
on June 26, 1942. On that day, he legally changed his name to Cary Grant. 

When Grant was married to his first wife, Virginia Cherrill, Charlie Chaplin's leading lady in the movies, he named his dog (a sealyham) Archibald. 

The dog got lost in 1934 apparently when he was carrying his bride over the threshold. They took out ads to get him back. He used his birth name as a joke, for instance mentioning "Archie Leach" in His Girl Friday.

Cary Grant was born January 18, 1904. He would've been 110 in 2014. A couple of other actors born in 1904 are Ralph Bellamy and Peter Lorre. Bellamy costarred with Grant in The Awful Truth. Lorre costarred with him in Arsenic and Old Lace.

July 16, 1951 Cary Grant leaves hand and footprints and signature in cement
at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
In mid-July, 1951 Cary Grant added his hand and footprints to Grauman's Chinese Theater during his imprint ceremony. I believe his comedy Room for One More with Betsy Drake was showing at the time.

November 1, 1962 Kirk Douglas puts his footprints in cement but he adds his chin imprint! Did Mr. Grant think of that back in 1951? In 1935, Cary Grant costarred with Jean Harlow in the film, Suzy. For those who like good looking people with cute chins....

July 7, 1988 will be the New York City premiere of A Fish Called Wanda. John Cleese, one of the screenwriters, plays a character named Archie Leach.

In October 1955, a Season 5 episode of I Love Lucy was called Lucy and John Wayne. Lucy and Ethel had stolen John Wayne's footprints from Grauman's Theater and broken them in the process.

What happened when John Barrymore went to add his hand and footprints? Find out below.

Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant
Suspicion 1941 signed 8x10 photo
Cary Grant Marries Barbara Hutton

Cary Grant married Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton on July 8, 1942. The press nicknamed the couple "Cash & Cary."  She was 30, he was 38 years old. More about their wedding is below.

They had a prenuptial agreement where Grant, unlike other ex-husbands of Ms. Hutton, would refuse any financial settlement if they were to divorce. They remained friends after the divorce.

In 1933, Barbara Hutton married Prince Mdvani

In 1987, Farrah Fawcett starred in the biographical drama TV movie, Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story. James Read played Cary Grant.

Grant also received an Oscar nomination for his work in the 1941 film, Penny Serenade.

Peter Lorre becomes US Citizen 1941

Peter Lorre's birthday was June 26, 1904 in Rózsahegy, Austria-Hungary, now Ruzomberok, Slovakia. Lorre became a naturalized citizen of the United States on August 8, 1941. He had first filed his papers for citizenship in 1936. 

It was on that day that he changed his name from László Löwenstein to Peter Lorre. I read that on that day he was exuberant, a "svelte 150 pounds" and "a new man in more ways than one."

Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet 8x10" Photo
In 1942, Lorre made the film Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. In 1941, The Maltese Falcon had been released. This was a great period for Peter Lorre movies.

Errol Flynn Becomes a US Citizen in 1942

Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn was born June 20, 1909 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. He would become a US citizen on August 15, 1942. 

Mr. Flynn didn't use his middle names, but his given name apparently was cool enough for him and the studio big shots.

In 1942, Flynn's movies Desperate Journey and Gentleman Jim were released.
The Edge of Darkness appeared early 1943.

Gentleman Jim, Errol Flynn
as heavyweight boxing champion James J. Corbett
fine art poster

John Barrymore's Ceremony Grauman's Chinese Theater 1940: He leaves more than his hand and footprints in cement

"Onlookers cheered as Sid Grauman pushed the left side of John Barrymore's face into the wet concrete. The great profile was recorded for posterity- alongside the foot and handprints of such notables as Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Mickey Rooney, Tom Mix and his horse, Al Jolson and his kneeprints and Joe E. Brown and his mouthprint. Grauman collects such things."
 -- The Evening Independent September 6, 1940


Barbara Hutton and Cary Grant

It's been reported that in 1939/40 Cary Grant "volunteered for service in the Royal Navy but the Foreign Office advised the Admiralty that he, along with several other applicants would be of more use in Hollywood promoting positive images of the British to the American public."
-- Cary Grant: A Class Apart by Graham McCann

There was speculation that Cary Grant would marry model and actress Phyllis Brooks before he started going out with Barbara Hutton.

There's a television series called Great Romances of the 20th Century. They have an installment focusing on Cary Grant and Barbara Hutton. Toward the end of the show it seemed to say that Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon had a son, when in reality they had a daughter. The series overall, like many, is a little hit and miss. 

Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Irene Dunne The Awful Truth
"Grant's agent, Frank Vincent was best man. Mrs. Madeline Hazeltine, wife of the sculptor Herbert Hazeltine, was matron of honor at the five minute ceremony. 

"Miss Hutton wore a film blue afternoon gown. She carried roses. Grant wore a blue suit. Miss Hutton will legally be known as Mrs. Archibald Leach, the real name of her husband. 

"Oddly enough Grant, a native of Bristol, England, is an American citizen. His bride isn't. She lost her citizenship when she married the Count Kurt von Haugwitz-Reventlow of Denmark on May 13 1935, the day after she divorced her first husband, Prince Alexis of the 'marrying Mdivanis.' .... 

"The black haired six footer, Grant one of the most popular actors in Hollywood was married once before to Virginia Cherrill who had been a Charilie Chaplin's leading lady. After seven months of married life she sued for divorce in 1935 charging grant with being sullen morose and stingy. 

"Since then he has become a 100,000-per-picture star. After one of his recent films he gave the entire $100,000 to war relief. He received his final citizenship papers on June 27." 
-- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 9, 1942

Hindsight quotes from the actress in the book, Chaplin's Girl: The Life and Loves of Virginia Cherrill, don't paint the Grant in so negative a light. 

One of the shortest YouTube videos I've ever seen shows Cary Grant's saying "The last man to say that to me was Archie Leach, just a week before he cut his throat!" His Girl Friday.

Interesting that it said she'd "legally be known as Mrs. Archibald Leach, the real name of her husband," even thought he'd recently legally changed his name and attained US citizenship. The article though, did have the year of his birth incorrect, saying they were going from a studio press release if I recall correctly, so chances are always good that a reporter goofed.

From everything I've seen and read, Grant never left Archie Leach far behind. He continued to visit Bristol, England. This was partly because his mother still resided there and she lived into her nineties. And it was his hometown. 

There's also the famous line attributed to him, "Everyone wants to be Cary Grant, even I want to be Cary Grant."

Note: There will be a Cary Grant Festival October 11-12, 2014 in his hometown of Bristol England. "A programme of screenings and activities across the city culminates in a glamorous double-bill film gala at the Bristol Hippodrome; the very venue where young Archie Leach got his first taste of acting before reinventing himself as Hollywood screen idol, Cary Grant."


Carole Lombard died in a plane crash on January 16, 1942. She was only 33 years old. Her final film, To Be or Not To Be, co-starring Jack Benny, was about to premiere. Benny was too distraught to go on the air with his radio show on January 18, 1942. They played music during that time slot instead.

The week before Cary Grant became a US citizen, on June 18, 1942: James and Mary McCartney were celebrating the birth of a baby boy born in Walton Hospital, Liverpool, England. They named him James Paul. 


Chaplin's Girl: The Life and Loves of Virginia Cherrill by Miranda Seymour

Evenings With Cary Grant: Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best

Cary Grant: A Class Apart by Graham McCann

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre by Stephen Youngkin

Clay Handprint & Footprint Keepsake Photo Wall Frame Just one kind of handprint art you and your kids can create as a keepsake. There are hand print Christmas tree ornaments, too.

Related Pages of Interest:

Cary Grant gives Grace Kelly a wedding gift : A Poodle

Bringing Up Cary Grant and the Oscars

Errol Flynn's 32nd Birthday Party ends in a brawl Barbara Hutton's butler...

Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy and Peter Lorre would turn 110 in 2014: they are the Super-Centenarians 

The Philadelphia Story came out in 1940

Six movies with disembodied hands

* As with every article posted, the sources are cited whenever possible, and all facts are correct to my knowledge.

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