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The Ultimate Cary Grant Pages - www.carygrant.net


Picturegoer - February 17, 1945 - Page 11

Another "Profile" the Women Adore

by L.A.


If you are a man and had the chance to visit Warner's Burbank Studios when "Arsenic And Old Lace" was being produced you would no doubt have been much more interested in how the picture was being shot, than in the personality of the star.

On the other hand, if you are a woman or a girl, it would be Cary Grant you would be most interested in seeing.

I must confess that this clash of interest as displayed by the opposite sexes is not from personal observation.

That is what the guides at the studio told me - and they ought to know.

In fact, he so impressed the ladies by his gallantry of manner and courtly charm - two attributes by the way which were Valention's great assets - that they began to pester the officials unmercifully.

Hence a ban on visitors for the rest of the production period.

None of this adulation, however, affected Cary Grant. He carried on as usual, debonair, charming, always letter-perfect and in his usual high spirits.

However, the women who did manage to meet Cary Grant in the early stages of the production were clearly pleased by his attention and all of them came away with the impression that he was their favorite actor.

In fact, he flattered them more than they did him.

In this picture he had keen competition - Jack Carson, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre are in the cast - and he worked exceptionally hard to give of his best.

For several days he was trussed to a chair while Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre made preparations to murder him. Nothing about him could move except for his eyes.

Frank Capra, who directed and produced the film, was finally moved to remark, "Looks as though we've got him where he'll behave at last."

To which the cameraman remarked, "That's what you think. Cary can do more with his eyes than most people, and if you look through the camera you'll see he's pinching the scene."

Film fans have alot of knowledge about starts. Most of his American visitors knew he was born in England, ran away from home twice in his determination become an actor, was taken to America as a youth of fifteen.

He worked as a comedian at the New York Hippodrome and then returned to England, where, in the course of the next two years, he learned to sing.

Many of the visitors to "Arsenic and Old Lace" asked when he expected to sing in a picture. He merely said he had no plans for singing on the screen, although he is to portray the life story of Cole Porter, the composer, in his next picture.

It was his singing ability, however, which got him back to America and the American theatrical world.

For several years he appeared on the New York stage in musical comedies. He sang twelve operettas during one summer for the St. Louis repertory company.

Literally "tall, dark and handsome" Grant seems to have all it takes to make an idol on the screen. Women talk about him and when they talk to him he has the ability to make every on of them think he has eyes and ears for her alone.

Yet their menfolk don't object for they recognize in his easy-going manner, friendly attitude and ready wit that he is also a "man's man."

One incident during his early career came to light in the making of the film.

Twenty years ago, when he was earning what passed for a living as a boy acrobat, he was stricken with rheumatic fever while appearing in a small town. He was left behind when the vaudeville troupe moved to the next town.

Along came the new bill and in it an act starring Jean Adair. Learning that a youthful actor was sick she visited him.

With the passing of the years Grant became a star. Miss Adair also caved out a considerable niche for herself in the Broadway theatre. Recently she was brought from the New York stage production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" to play the same part as one of the zany aunts. Almost at once she told Cary how pleased she was to be in the same film with him.

"You don't remember me, do you?" he asked her. She said she'd never met him before and Grant then reminded her of the incident during his illness.

Miss Adair said she remembered taking fruit and flowers to the youthful acrobat, but that she had completely forgotten his name in the meantime. Than she added, "He was a very nice boy, I recall, and extremely grateful."

Cary Grant leaned over and kissed the old lady. "He's still very grateful," he said.

A scan of the original article (including the photo) can be found on 
Donna Moore's
page.


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