The ultimate biography of this ever-popular star and icon, from a young Cambridge don who has already made his name with a much praised biography of Marilyn Monroe. Cary Grant made men seem like a good idea. Tall, dark and handsome with a rare gift for light comedy, he played a leading man who liked to be led, a man of the world who was a man of the people. Cary Grant was Hollywood's quintessential democratic gentleman. Born in England as Archie Leach, made famous in America as Cary Grant, he was a star for more than 30 years, in more than 70 movies, his popularity still intact when he brought his career to a close. He was never replaced: nobody else talked like that, looked like that, behaved like that. He was a class apart. Cary Grant never explained how he came to play `Cary Grant' so well. `Nobody is every truthful about his own life,' he said. `There are always ambiguities.' This book explores the ambiguities in the life and work of Cary Grant: a working class Englishman who portrayed a well-bred American; the playful entertainer who became a powerful businessman; the intimate stranger who was often the seduced male. Thorough and meticulously researched, this book is a dazzling and entertaining account of Cary Grant's broad and enduring appeal.
Graham McCann is professor of social and political science at King's College, Cambridge. His previous books include: MARILYN MONROE: The Body in the Library (1988); WOODY ALLEN: New Yorker (1990); REBEL MALES: Clift, Brando & Dean, and a recent study of Theodore Adorno for Blackwells.