Cover Image: Cary Grant

Cary Grant

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for the digital ARC. I watch Cary Grant and I was so excited to read about his life. I had no idea he had been involved with half the women he starred with ! so much info i did not know! LOVED IT
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I can’t say Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise is Eyman’s best, mostly because of how emotional I got reading his John Wayne book (seriously, it’s that good). But Eyman gives us the most comprehensive, no-holds-barred look at Grant you’re likely to find.
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What an interesting person and a great book about him, very well researched and and written you feel like you really get to know Cary grant.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Film historian and acclaimed New York Times bestselling biographer Scott Eyman draws on Grant’s own papers, extensive archival research, and interviews with family and friends to give us an engrossing look into the life of Cary Grant.  I liked the book because it wasn’t just some tell-all of scandalous tales, instead it is a comprehensive look at Archibald Leach’s early life, and his transformation into the witty, charming and debonair Cary Grant.

Born Archibald Leach to an alcoholic father, his mother was committed to an asylum when Archibald was young.  Archibald thought she had died, and didn’t find out she was still alive until he was in his 30’s, perhaps the basis for his inability to form close attachments.  Seeking fame and fortune, he arrived in Hollywood as a vaudeville actor and ended up fashioning his life into the legendary Cary Grant.  Unfortunately, that trait didn’t spillover into his real life, and he ended up marrying five times, including the Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton.  The book takes us from his early days, through his film career and into his retirement from show biz, where he sat on the board of directors for quite a few companies. 

The book is an in depth look at the epitome of a gentleman.  He had his faults, as do we all, but underneath there seemed to be a good heart.
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Amazing research and lovely storytelling of a much beloved Hollywood star. 
Top notch biography with a broad history of behind the scenes of the movies in which he starred and his life away from the cameras. 
For those who love the Golden Age of Hollywood, you will appreciate the time spent reading this book.
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Author Scott Eyman has certainly done his research regarding this cradle to grave biography of Cary Grant. I found Grant to be a far more interesting person than just a famous movie star; rather, I saw him as a man haunted by his tragic upbringing and who for most of his life tried to reconcile Archibald Leach (his birth name) with the man who transformed himself into Cary Grant.

While Eyman gives his reader an in-depth look at Grant, there were times when I felt he went into a lot of detail about the movie industry that (for me) tended to get in the way of what I really wanted to read about  -- Cary Grant.

Overall, this is a fascinating look into a man who entertained millions.

Thank you to #NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for my review.
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I enjoy a good celebrity biography and Cary Grant is one of my favorite actors so I naturally gravitated to this one. Eyman did a great job of letting us see into Grant's life, his motivations and his foibles and his insecurities. He did this all without resorting to any cheap, tell-all gossipy tactics, but instead delivered the narrative with dignity and class, just like the man he was writing about.

Archie Leach becoming Cary Grant is the focus of this bio, and it's a fascinating and amazing to read how that transition came about. I recommend this one if you love Cary Grant!
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This book did not live up to my expectations. After reading well into his start in Hollywood, I gave up reading the book in preference for other books. The book clearly establishes Mr. Grant as a flawed character with a divided life and tragic childhood that haunted him. He seemed to get through life, as might be expected, on his smile and cunning. Rather than focusing on the story, the book read too much of a litany of facts and movie titles. If you are a die hard fan, you will likely enjoy this walk down his movie career, but I found it too slow moving and repetitive to stick to it.
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Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinions are my own. 

I so enjoyed this wonderful body of work by celebrity biographer Scott Eyman. This is a exceptionally well done history of Cary  Grant and his life from childhood to stardom. The author has done extensive research and I learned much about this star that is little known.  From hardship in childhood to being a star Mr. Grant was driven to succeed in Hollywood .  Behind the famous curtain  drawn back here is the reality of his early years as well as who he truly was behind the camera and his drive to achieve the fame he sought. 

This is not gossip. This is a narrative of his life told from sources close to the actor. The author includes here opinions from other actors, film biography as well as the man behind the scenes. As Grant was one of my favorite actors I found this a most "definitive" biography and a exceptional book. I highly recommend this book for all who are fans of Carey Grant .
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Okay I have to state that Cary Grant is one of my all time favorite actors. I loved him since I was a child and watched him in  Father Goose. Everyone needs to watch that film!! So I had to read this book. 

The book  was a bit disappointing for me. I’m sorry, but it was so long and at times boring. The facts of each movie, money, crops, screenplay, actors and location was too much for me. I had to skim over those parts. I also didn’t care how the writer made Mr. Grant into a frugal, antisocial and at times rude person. I don’t want to remember Mr. Grant that way. I know this was a biography and he interviewed a lot of people who knew him but it was too much negative. I loved the stories of him and his daughter. The stories showed how much he loved her. My heart goes out to her for losing him at such a young age. 

I appreciate all the hard work this writer had to do to write this book. Which is way I feel bad not liking it as much as others did.

I received this ARC from the publisher and Netgalley for my honest review.
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Cary Grant is an enigmatic character and the author does a splendid analysis of the man. It’s hard to imagine a more complete or insightful biography of Cary Grant.
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Amazing book. In-depth, well researched and most elegantly phrased. It made me cry on the first couple of pages. Most importantly it made a large legendary star like Cary Grant come alive and feel human. He seemed relatable and broken like so many in this world. I am honestly so impressed with this author. So grateful to have read this book.
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Fascinating reading. I had little idea about Grant's early history and his comedy background. More than just a very handsome face, he was extremely clever about pursuing his ambitions. He rarely took no for an answer and when faced with obstacles, he made a different plan. Oddly, I found his personality a bit unlikeable. The book is chock full of facts and dates and great Hollywood stories. Very well-researched, with a smooth narrative style that's only occasionally a bit dry. An enjoyable weekend read.

Note: I would have loved to see family and studio photographs in this biography.
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Nothing really new here, but if you are a Cary Grant fan, it's an enjoyable read. Eyman has interviewed family and friends--and that's fun, It's also interesting to see how much archival material Grant himself kept.
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I won an advanced reader copy of the book from Net Galley. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for supplying me with such a great book.

“Cary Grant” by Scott Eyman takes its place as another of the author’s excellent biographies of  Hollywood icons. He has previously written about the lifetime friendship between James Stewart and Henry Fonda and a masterful bio of John Wayne, both of which I have read and enjoyed, as well as bios of John Ford, and others. 
  Cary Grant remains an instantly recognizable name and picture years after his death, because his movies continue to be shown and enjoyed by millions. His romantic dramas like Charade,  An Affair to Remember, and The  Bishop’s Wife  ; the screwball comedies with Katherine Hepburn, the unforgettable Hitchcock thrillers of North by Northwest and Notorious are viewed repeatedly on TCM or by streaming services. As classics, they have never aged. 
  The same might be said of Cary Grant. He is certainly a figure worthy of a critical biography because he was a complicated man. Mr. Eyman does an great job of explaining his complications by showing that the Cary Grant we knew and loved was wholly a creation of one Archie Leach of Bristol England. The book is definitely not a puff- piece. 
As a child of a working -class family, set out to work at the age of twelve, he loved the music halls, attending often. Eventually  hired by a troupe of acrobatic players ,  he learned physical comedy , body  control and playing to the crowd for laughs, all other skills that would last a lifetime. Even as a Hollywood star, suave, impeccable and eye-catching, inside was Archie Leach, stilt-walking at Coney Island for a few bucks salary , plus hot dog lunches.
  As Eyman discusses, his lasting  fear- that stardom was a sham construct that might collapse on his head at any moment- was always with him. It affected both his professional perfectionism, and his  private conduct. He felt that he must always be in character as The Star, Cary Grant. Nothing could be allowed to breach the wall surrounding him. Of course the book tells about his career, the movies, his co-stars, his early, struggling days as an actor, his breaking into the upper realm of as a talented  player who demanded and got millions per movie. All of which is fodder for us fans. But  the book is full of details of the rather amazing person behind the star. Fabulously wealthy, he was known as a penny pincher who asked guests at  his  home to pay for the phone calls they made. Always perfectly attired on screen and off, he would return shirts or trousers if the cuffs were an eight of an inch too long or short. He could be warm, comforting and helpful to a young performer , but coldly demanding if he felt he was being upstaged in a shot. Demanding perfection in his acting, he also drove directors crazy nitpicking details . Perfection protected the star from being found out. 
  He had many girl friends and four wives , married after he reached his forties, all divorced, yet rumors persist to this day about his sexual choices. Mr . Eyman devotes a chapter to the  question of was Cary Grant Gay, Bisexual or straight, coming up with the answer :  No, maybe, yes. Whatever. Certainly his wives and female loves testified to his manliness, but there were those photos of Grant and Randolph Scott as young men about town, sharing an bachelor apartment and who knows what else, hinted the scurrilous tabloids of the day. Now, who cares, there are merely an another ingredient of the Grant mystery.
   I enjoyed the book immensely. At times the details of Grants financial dealing with the studios lagged, but they did show his constant worry that he be cushioned when “ they” dropped Archie Leach like a cold “ banger.” His marital travails, often largely because of Grants’ tendency to try  remodel the women in his life to his idea of perfection, made for some tough moments. But as any good biography, “ Cary Grant “ gives the reader a complete picture of the man as a flawed human being who eventually came to be at peace with himself and the life he never left behind.
  I recommend it completely to lovers of the great stars and golden years  of Hollywood.  It is also a good work as an example of readable, entertaining and engrossing biography. Note that this was an advanced reader copy, so it had some minor spelling   / formatting errors.There were also no photographs, which I am sure will be in the final book.  I did miss them, and I plan on adding the book to my library of biographies.
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I've always loved Cary Grant which my mother thought was funny since she saw one of his movies the night before I was born!  He is the epitome of a movie star!!  This biography seems to be very well researched and provides a balanced account of the man Cary Grant was.  Was he perfect?  No, of course not.  Is anyone?  Learning some less admirable facts about him does nothing to diminish my admiration for him as an actor and a true movie star - something in short supply in todays world!!
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Thanks to my grandparents I grew up watching and loving Cary Grant’s movies. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this biography by Scott Eyman. It covered all aspects of his life and was well researched. It was fun to learn so many things I didn’t know before about Grant’s life. If you are a Cary fan you will truly enjoy this read. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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It's hard to separate the quality of the book from what I learned about my schoolgirl crush, Cary Grant. I confess this is the first biography of him I remember reading, and certainly the first I've read through my current lens. 

Cary Grant was not always a good person. In the past, I may have viewed him as a product of his time and given him a pass, but there's a lot to ignore. I'm more likely to offer him grace based on his turbulent, traumatic childhood. 

Regardless of how you feel about Grant's attitudes and treatment of women (I will hereafter think of him as Mr. Spankypants), Scott Eyman has created a very readable account of his life, highlighting his achievements as well as his failures, largely glossing over (though he could have ignored it more) rumors of his homosexuality or bisexuality (in 2020, who really cares? and why is it any of anyone's business?). I was fairly familiar with his body of work, so enjoyed learning more about his personal life, houses, style, etc. His insecurities are dealt with quite a bit, and he emerges as a rather sad person, until his final years.

I enjoyed this time travel back to midcentury Hollywood, though I preferred my unenlightened misconceptions about my old Hollywood idol. #CaryGrant #NetGalley
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Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early October.

This book is just as satisfyingly detailed as Hank & Jim and it seems that Leach deals with being Cary Grant the same way that Dolly Parton (since I’ve read a couple of books about her lately) deals with being herself - a splitting of sorts between a personal life and a public image. You learn about events, like finding home and opportunity on the stage and the variety of vaudeville, then, later, in film after he moves to L.A, loving and coveting well-made clothes and cars, his friendship with Howard Hughes, and Sophia Loren as his ungettable woman. Along with that, Eyman goes more in depth into Leach/Grant's off-screen personality of seeking favor, comfort, and attention frequently throughout his early life, working hard and self-sufficing, the tendency to be jealous/envious of others, and having issues with perfectionism and well-kept appearances.
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Whenever friends ask the question "what are your favorite go to movies when you need to escape from life stress" my list always starts with Cary Grant movies - Charade, North by Northwest, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Arsenic and Old Lace, House Boat and Topper. Of all of the great actors on the silver screen, he has always been the one I turned to for laughter and escape. You can bet those movies are getting a real workout these days.
This biography seems to me to be a very clear and fair telling of a great life lived. It didn't go for the cheap or sly inference of hidden secrets, the gossip and such. I learned about the man he was, warts and all and I have to say, I found it to be a great read. After learning more about his childhood and then his various relationships, I have even more admiration for him. When I finished the book I went and binged on my previously mentioned list of favorites. I can think of several people who would like to find this gift from me in their future.
My thanks to the publisher Simon Schuster and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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