NEW YORK - Nobody had trouble saying good
things about the honoree at Sunday night's Friar's testimonial
dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. Cary Grant is a world-class
act all by himself.
Frank Sinatra, the show business-oriented
Friars' abbot since 1975, and the evening's master of ceremonies,
called Grant a "Cockney baby," referring to his birth in Bristol,
England. And almost everybody from George Burns to Sinatra
mentioned that Grant had once been known as Archibald Leach.
As they went through their numbers Grant smiled and shook his head.
The program book - fat and profitable - showed pictures of
Leach-Grant from baby to superstar and a lot of highlights in
Pinned in a Corner
How did Grant feel about it all? Well,
early on, as he was pinned in a corner by media in the hotel's Jade
Room during the pre-dinner reception, he admitted, "Scared to death
is how I feel." Much, much later, as Sinatra was winding up
the event by singing Sammy Cahn's special lyrics to "The Most
Beautiful Man in the World" (Grant, of course), he was tearful - and
joyful as well.
"I tear up very easily," he confessed before
receiving the Friars' trophy and a Corum watch. "I find myself
tearful at happy things." It's the privilege of the elderly,
he alleged, still wiping away the tears with his big handkerchief,
to be able to show such emotion publicly.
Reluctant to Accept
He had been reluctant to accept "this honor"
until he realized "all the good that comes from these dinners," he
said. In this case proceeds were going to quite a few
organizations, among them the Motion Picture and Television Fund,
the Children's Diabetes Foundation in Denver and the Jennifer Jones
Foundation for Mental Health.
Joining in the tributes were 68 friends and
associates who sat on ... [missing continued story on page 4]