Cary Grant

Cary Grant

Received Kennedy Center honors in November 1981. President Ronald Reagan wrote how pleased he was to be able to honor his friend, while Grant stated that he was glad James Stewart was at the ceremony.

Refused the part of Humbert in Lolita (1962).

Replaced James Stewart as the hapless ad man "Roger Thornhill" in North by Northwest (1959). Stewart very much wanted the part, but director Alfred Hitchcock decided not to cast him because of the box office failure of Vertigo (1958), which Hitchcock unfairly blamed on Stewart for looking "too old" and chose Grant, instead. In reality, Grant was four years older than Stewart.

Said Indiscreet (1958), to be his personal favorite film.

Smoked up to 60 cigarettes a day until 1952, when his third wife Betsy made him give up in order to protect his voice. However, she recalled occasionally catching him smoking outside the house, so he probably never stopped completely.

Suffered a major stroke prior to performing in his one man show "An Evening With Cary Grant" at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa, on November 29, 1986. Died later that night at St. Luke's Hospital at 11:22 p.m.

Thanks mainly to the strength and physical dexterity he gained as an acrobat when he was young, he did a majority of his own stunts during his film career (far more than people would think).

The late Christopher Reeve said that he based his portrayal of Clark Kent in the Superman films on Grant in the early part of his career.

Turned down James Mason's role in Lolita (1962) because he considered the film "depraved".

Turned down James Mason's role in A Star Is Born (1954).

Turned down roles opposite Audrey Hepburn in both Roman Holiday (1953) and Sabrina (1954); later he starred with her in Charade (1963). In Roman Holiday (1953), the offered role ended up going to Gregory Peck, and the role in Sabrina (1954) went to Humphrey Bogart.

Turned down the role of gunfighter Cherry Valance, which was to have been much larger, in Howard Hawks' epic western Red River (1948) opposite John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. The part went to John Ireland instead.

Turned down the role of James Bond in Dr. No (1962), believing himself to be too old at 58 to play the character.

Underwent a hernia operation in the spring of 1977.

Was a great fan of Elvis Presley, and attended his Las Vegas shows. He is seen discussing Elvis' performance with him backstage during the closing credits of "That's The Way It Is" (1970).

Was a very good friend of Frederique "Quique" Jourdan, the wife of Louis Jourdan.

Was considered one of the best-dressed men in the United States of America. George Francis Frazier, Jr., in "The Art of Wearing Clothes" (published in 'Esquire' magazine, September 1960), wrote "Although Grant, who is fifty-six, favors such abominations as large tie knots and claims to have originated the square-style breast-pocket handkerchief, he is so extraordinarily attractive that he looks good in practically anything. He insists upon tight armholes in his suit jackets, finds the most comfortable (and functional) of all underwear to be women's nylon panties." Other best-dressed American men cited in the article were Miles Davis, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Clark Gable and Walter Pidgeon.

Was hyperopic or "far-sighted." That is why in many publicity stills, he is seen holding a pair of glasses.

Was largely self-educated as he had dropped out of school at age 14. He was, however, a voracious reader throughout life.

Was named #2 on The Greatest Screen Legends actor list by the American Film Institute.