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Dallas Times Herald - March 24, 1986 -12A

Cary's class can be taken for Granted

by David Kronke
(submitted by Barry Martin - Thanks Barry!)

They were immaculately dressed, those who filled McFarlin Auditorium Sunday afternoon to hear the film reminiscences of Cary Grant and see a bit of history.  

They seemed almost eager to please Grant as he appeared intent upon pleasing them.  The 82-year-old star would not allow his photo to be taken, but he appeared to be in robust health.  As many women in the audience remarked, he still is handsome.

Grant professed nervousness on stage; early on he called himself a "rotten speechmaker."  But "A Conversation With Cary Grant," as the afternoon event at Southern Methodist University was billed, revealed an articulate man, sharp and witty and able to please a crowd. 

He talked about Grace Kelly, whom he called a "completely relaxed" actress with "Buddha-like" control.  He remembered Alfred Hitchcock, one of his favorite directors, as a tasteful and reserved man with a wonderful sense of humor.

When asked about which of his films he liked best, Grant was diplomatic.  "I like them all.  Whether or not you like them all is another matter."  He later admitted, however, that the characters he liked the best were the ones he played in "Sylvia Scarlett" and "Father Goose."

His acting career was most influenced, he said, by actors A.E. Matthews, Noel Coward and Jack Buchanan, and he learned his comic timing from George Burns. 

Grant said he got to work with actress Mae West - and wished he hadn't.  "It was terrible - well, not terrible, but disconcerting to say the least," he announced to laughter.

Grant said the most embarrassing moment in his career came on stage in Philadelphia on opening night of a play called "Boom Boom."  He was participating in a Spanish dance when the orchestra's drummer told him that his fly was open.

Believing the drummer was joking, Grant continued dancing until an actress told him the same thing.  Grant then tried to dance subtly to the side of the stage and take care of the problem, but was pushed back onstage by an emerging chorus of dancing girls. 

Afterward, Grant remembered, the producer of the show came up, ecstatic, and said to keep the bit in the show.

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