I love hearing stories about people
who knew or had the luck to encounter Mr. Cary Grant. Some people
have given me permission to share their stories with you! I hope
you enjoy them. You will not find these stories elsewhere!!
If you encountered Cary (by
chance, because you knew him, or at one of his
"Conversations") and have something to contribute to
this page, please email
I look forward to hearing from you!
PLEASE NOTE: All writing on this
page is copyrighted to the authors who should be contacted by
email if you wish to use anything from here! (but remember to
credit this page as well!)
Berrington McNutt | James Stovall | Guy
Campsie | Kent
| Ron Syroid | Alan Light
Click on photo to
read the interview
Date Provided: Friday,
I came across your excellent web site, and it occurred to me I have some
rare Cary Grant photos you may be interested in adding to your online
I had tickets to attend "A Conversation With Cary Grant" in Davenport
Iowa on Nov. 29, 1986 - the night he died. We showed up at the theater and
were turned away by ushers who announced he had taken ill. The next
morning I opened the newspaper to find "A
Legend Dies In Our Arms" as
the headline. Cary had died.
The day after he died our local newspaper, the (Davenport Iowa) Quad City
Times, published the very last pictures ever taken of Cary, including two
photos of him on a stretcher being wheeled out of the lobby of the hotel he
was staying at and into an ambulance. I have never seen these photos
published anywhere else, so they may be a valuable addition to your site.
I have scanned these items and attach them here as .jpg items. Feel free
put them on your web site or circulate them however you wish; I'm happy to
share them with other fans of Cary.
Iowa City IA
November 28, 2003
On the way to the
His Last Rehearsal
hospitalized; Q-C show canceled
'One day people will read that I am gone ...'
Date Provided: Friday, April 11, 2003
Good morning -- I have just turned onto your web page and find it fascinating. My name is James Wm. Stovall, retired from the Salem Oregon Police Department in December 1985 after 36+ years,
assigned most of that time in criminal investigations. Ann Rule wrote one book about a serial killer case I worked some years ago, "Lust Killer". and, too, several years ago I was
honored as being one of the top ten law enforcement officers in the nation, sponsored by the International Association of Chief's of Police and Parade Magazine. Additionally, I have been a
professional ski instructor most of my adult life (I am now 78), and in addition to my L.E. duties, directed an Oregon ski school -- I have also spent many vacations teaching in Vail Colorado where my
daughter Sherrie was a ski instructor and my son Jimmy is now at attorney. I give you this information about myself but leading to a time when Jennifer was about 13...
Cary Grant spent a vacation in Vail with Jennifer and her friend Leisa, and I do believe Barbara may have been with them at the time. I was teaching skiing classes for Vail
at this time and Leisa was assigned to my class...Jennifer joined my class at noon as the girls wanted to be together -- this was an adult class but these two girls had joined in which was okay with me
as they were capable to keeping up at this beginning level.
During the week the girls progressed quite well and we made a number of runs off the top of Vail mountain even though there were a couple of storms which lasted for an hour
or two. Jennifer were eager to stay out in these stormy periods when other class members were drinking hot chocolate at Mid-Vail. Jennifer was more aggressive than Leisa and over the week
had a great time. I was surprised to see that Jennifer was not in the least spoiled, and carried herself as the young lady she was -- it was a joy having them with me in class. The last day of
class I took my wife with the class to bring up the rear as I was going to push the class out of their comfort zone more than in previous days. Jennifer wanted to know how to spell the name of my wife,
On Friday evening before Cary Grant and the girls were due to leave, my wife and I had dinner with Cary Grant and the girls. Jennifer said she and Leisa were making my
wife and I a surprise... The next morning, with new snow on the ground, my wife and I took off skiing, but Jennifer and Leisa came to my daughters house, both giggling and carrying a one layer cake
with our names written across the top. I was so pleased these two young girls thought of us... it was a joy for me to have had Jennifer and Leisa with me for that vacation week in Vail Colorado -- they
were and I am sure are now great young ladies...
Needless to say, I never tried contacting Jennifer but have thought of her often as she was indeed such a sweet girl with a subtle competitive nature.
James Wm. Stovall
Eileen Fitzgibbons firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Provided: Wed, 2 August
My name is Eileen, and I just signed your guestbook with a
recollection of Cary Grant. I did this before I found this
Anyway, as I said in my guestbook
entry, I had CG on a flight from London-Los Angeles about a year
before he died. I was a Pan Am Flight Attendant, and I was the
Purser In- Charge on the flight, working in the First Class Cabin
where CG and his wife were seated.
Shortly after takeoff, CG got comfy
in an obviously old, and well worn Cashmere Cardigan. He took a pair
of Wooden Shoe Trees out of his bag to place in his beautiful
Italian Type Loafers. (for a 10 hour flight), and put on a pair of
I thought I was going to die!!! NEVER
in my 30 years of flying all over the World have I seen anyone do
He and his wife were so lovely, so
kind, so non-celebrity!! As he stood in my Galley, waiting to use
the Lavatory, (CG USES TOILET?????) he chatted with me as if I was
an old friend.
I have had many, many famous people
on my flights in 30 years, but CG will always remain in my mind as
the most wonderful. There is no one who can compare with him today.
He was the epitome of CLASS.
AND, Even when he was on my flight, I
had already seen all of his movies.
Date Provided: Sun, 12 May 96
As a charter member and for three years manager of The
Magic Castle -- a private club for magicians in Hollywood
-- I became acquainted with Grant who was a member -- a
very active member of the Board of Directors of the club.
I will say that he was one of the nicest and most
unassuming people one could hope to meet. In the land of
super-egos, Hollywood, he was by any standards, a nice
person and a gentleman. It was a delight to all of the staff
whenever he came in for an evening because he was fun
to be around. And his guests -- who were usually in their
own right people of note or notoriety, took their cue from
him and behaved as human beings regardless of their normal
Date Provided: Fri, 17 May 1996
He sent some guests to the Castle on night. As I
remarked it was a private club and not easy of entrance.
he sent, then, the crew of his plane -- provided him in
his position as director of Brut. Then he got his bill for
the evening and was outraged that it was so small -- he
was used to Hollywood where they do you when possible. The
Castle, as a club, had no desire to "do" our
members. I assured him that his guests had had everything
they wished, had dined well, and had to drink just what they wanted. He inquired about tips, had everyone been
tipped. I assured him that cocktail waitress, bartenders,
butler (at the castle we don't have waiters -- we have
butlers) had been well and adequately tipped at 15%. He
asked "How about you?" I assured him that I took
no tips. He said that he must owe me something. I said he
could give me a smile. Thereupon for the next few years --
even after I ceased being manager and reverted to my
former status as a member, he always gave me a view of all
the teeth every time we met. And he always introduced me
to his guests -- including Tony Curtis on one occasion and
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr (you're too young to remember him --
I remember his father).
Date Provided: Thu, 29 July 1999
One night a member of the Magic Castle brought his
mother to see the Castle. She hailed from what we in
the States refer to as Podunk -- you may substitute
whatever region in UK indicates far from the beaten path
and out of touch. As she approached the entrance
someone in the lobby opened the door for her. She
turned to thank this person and found herself facing CG.
He had been in the lobby talking to the receptionist and
opening the door for all and sundry who showed up.
Imagine how all a-twitter our out of town visitor was.
Later in the evening when she was seated to watch the
close-up show (close-up magic performed in a small room
with a limited audience) she found sitting next to her CG.
Do you think the ladies in her bridge club back in Podunk
are really going to believe her? I am sure that her
son had informed her that one did not ask for autographs
at the Castle -- except of visiting magicians.
And of course, cameras were banned.
On another occasion a young member had his boss in for
dinner and drinks. As they relaxed in the main bar
the boss remarked that he supposed we got a lot of celebrities
in here. A voice behind him said, "we get
a few." Boss turns around and finds a smiling
At the children's Christmas party one year after a
performance in the haunted Wine Cellar the performer found
a little girl with a wistful look. She said that she
couldn't find her daddy. "Who is your Daddy?"
"Cary Grant" "I think we'll be able
to find him all right."
One of the most beloved of our members, one of the best
known humorous (there, I did it > again) writers in the
field of Magic, Clarke "The Senator" Crandall
died. The Academy of Magical Arts held a celebration
of his life/memorial affair at the Castle. Up on the
balcony and out of sight of all the gathering was CG.
He had too much sensitivity to be down on the main floor
with all of the rest of Clarke's friends because he knew
that his presence would automatically attract attention to
himself. He had some words in private with the widow
and stayed for the whole affair where he could see and
hear without intruding. And you can bet that that
made a tremendous impression on the widow. (And on
the rest of us who understood what he had done.)
When at the annual meeting the members of the Board of
Directors were running for re-election each was allotted a
few minutes to address the membership. CG assured us
that we did not want to elect a person merely because he
had good teeth -- whereupon he flashed us the full smile
with all teeth gleaming. What we wanted, he said,
was someone who understood the business. As I have
previously said he was acknowledged to be the best
businessman on the board. He handily won
Date Provided: Fri, 13 Oct 1998
One thing I can promise you -- Cary Grant was as
courteous off-screen as he was on it. And although
it is exactly 40 years ago - September 11, 1958 - when I
met him, the memory of his easy charm more than lingers
As a film critic, I used to cover the Edinburgh
International Film Festival for the Daily Mail in
Scotland, although when we interviewed each other, I was
working for its sister paper, the old Sunday Dispatch, and
met many film stars.
Some were truly awful like the one (no names) who kept
deliberately bumping into a colleague of mine at a film
reception and saying: "You're a journalist, huh?
You must meet such interesting people".
"True, true," my friend eventually said,
"but they all work for the other papers."
With Cary Grant there was nothing like that and he
epitomized a truth I have long known: when you deal
with the truly great, they are inevitably courteous.
It's the second-rate who are rude, presumably to shore up
He had come to Edinburgh for a sneak preview of his new
film, Indiscreet, in which I hardly need mention to fans
of the man, he starred with Ingrid Bergman. The
customary party afterwards was bouncing through the 5-star
Caledonian Hotel when I introduced myself to his head
publicity man and said I'd like to meet the actor in the
By this time my voice had sunk to a sinister whisper so
that none of my rivals could hear what I was saying,
because I was after an exclusive story, which they would
have deeply loved to pinch. "Come and have
breakfast," I was told.
In those days Cary Grant was married to Betsy Drake
who, apart from looking lovely, had an intellect to match,
and I had discovered she was using hypnosis on him to calm
his nerves before filming. I wondered in turn if she had
used hypnosis on him to stop him smoking. Edinburgh
was just starting one of the first stop-smoking campaigns,
much to the outrage of the city's larcenist tobacconists,
and I was absolutely desperate to stop ciggies
myself and had tried every known method with a fatal lack
When I met him next morning he was languidly sitting
back on a couch, wearing a blue lambswool
sweater and charcoal-grey slacks and rose to shake
hands with the nicotine-laced wreckage in front of him and
invited me (a) to sit down, presumably before I fell down,
and (b) to bacon and eggs.
We amended the order to bacon and eggs for him and
black coffee for me and he actually asked if I wanted to
smoke. It turned out that, yes, Betsy Drake had hypnotized
him to stop smoking, which he had done using an
unknown way now called the hypnagogic method.
That's when he began interviewing me, doubtless taking
pity on me, and taught me how to stop smoking which I
successfully and painlessly did. Years later I
published the method in a wee paperback, which I am sure
he would have wished because he was genuinely concerned
even then with the number of British teenagers, especially
girls, who were smoking cigarettes and becoming
Why the government has refused to take up the method,
remembering the icon-effect of his name and his
influence on the young and old alike, remains a mystery.
In fact, I'll go further and say it's an international
scandal, but that seems never to worry the health
professionals, almost none of whom were ever addicted to
cigarettes like we were, and simply do not understand the
He did, revealing only too well his caring nature,
which brings me back to his courtesy. As an
ex-smoker, he actually invited me to light up, well
knowing how much it hurt me not to. I cannot imagine
a greater act of courtesy and I have always remembered him
Date Provided: Fri, 22 Jan 1999
MY PHONE CONVERSATION WITH CARY GRANT
by Kent Victor Schuelke
In July of 1986 I had the privilege of interviewing Cary
I was a college newspaper reporter and 23 years of age.
I was a student at the University of Iowa in Iowa City,
IA. In the summer of 1986 the university's movie
theater, The Bijou, made Cary Grant the featured artist of
its summer screening schedule. The Bijou booked
about a dozen of Grant's films, according to my
recollections. I was an entertainment reporter
for The Daily Iowan, the university's student newspaper.
I decided to do an article about Grant, a favorite of
mine, to publicize the Bijou's Grant festival.
With little hope of success, I took a crack at
arranging a phone interview with the Hollywood icon.
I scored a mailing address for Mr. Grant by calling the
Screen Actors Guild. I sent him a brief,
personalized letter describing my love of his work, the
Bijou's film tribute, and my desire to interview him.
I still remember delivering the sealed envelope
containing the missive to the newspaper's business office.
I handed the letter to the secretary for mailing and she
glanced at the address on the envelope and then gazed
skeptically into my eyes. She asked what the letter
was about. After I told her she chuckled
dismissively and said I would be lucky to receive a form
rejection letter from a publicist in about six months.
I couldn't say she was wrong, but I remember the bounce in
my step that had accompanied my entrance, was noticeably
absent as I exited the office.
About one week went by and I became preoccupied by
other things, as a student- journalist tends to do
(although I doubt it was school). I stopped by the
DI newsroom late on a Friday afternoon and there was a
phone message in my mailbox. Before I could read it,
the young woman who had scrawled the message verbally
spilled its contents. Mr. Grant had granted my
request for an interview and I could call him at his home
that weekend, more specifically Saturday or Sunday before
noon pacific time. ("Because after that I'll be
at the track," Grant later explained to me.)
I was, needless to say, ecstatic.
Friday evening and Saturday I bragged about my coup to
any friends who would listen. One friend, a student
executive at the campus radio station, offered use of a
telephone in one of the radio station's studios and also
offered to immortalize the chat on a station reel-to-reel
tape recorder. I accepted his offer and
arrived at the radio station Sunday morning to do the
interview. My friend sat in a studio control room
and I sat by myself in a small studio with a telephone in
front of me. My friend affixed a fresh tape onto a
reel-to-reel recorder and signaled me, through the glass
window that separated us, that things were ready to roll.
I placed the call. I was nervous, and my hands
and voice shook slightly. After several suspenseful rings,
a woman's voice was on the line, Barbara Grant, I
presumed. I explained who I was and why I was
calling. She left the phone and my nervousness grew
while a few seconds of silence passed.
Then "the voice" was on the other end of the
phone. "Good morning, how are you?"
chirped the unmistakable golden tone of a true tinseltown
I awkwardly introduced myself. Then Cary Grant
did something unexpected. He asked if I was taping the
interview. I said that I was. "Turn it
off," he said curtly. I motioned to my friend in the
control room and he messed with some knobs and dials.
My friend communicated with several waves of his hands
that things were cool and it was all right to continue.
I told Mr. Grant that we had honored his request and he
explained that he never allowed himself to be taped during
interviews. He said, "Copies of my voice show
up in Hong Kong and God knows where else."
Though I was too preoccupied to think of it at the time, I
later contemplated that this policy enabled Grant to
maintain control of one of his most marketable
commodities: his world-famous voice. He told me that
he did not do television interviews for this very reason.
Our Q&A commenced. I began to relax and Grant
provided very open, intelligent and complex responses to
my queries. On a few occasions when he felt my
questions were a tad stupid, his answers became slightly
brusque and condescending. We were discussing
"Only Angels Have Wings" and he said "that
I must really know his films If I had seen 'Only Angels
Have Wings.'" I took his remark literally and
innocently/arrogantly gushed that I had seen the picture
in a film class the semester before. Grant's
response made it clear that he did not think my awareness
of that film's existence qualified me as a cinema
aficionado and that his comment had been flavored with
sarcasm. "I was only kidding," Grant
But, overall, the interview went smashingly and Grant
was a true gentlemen. Near the end of our talk I asked Mr.
Grant what he was looking at that precise moment.
"How interesting!" Grant crowed, and described
his Beverly Hills backyard and a view of the Pacific
Ocean. (Although now I live in Los Angeles and
wonder how the hell anyone in Beverly Hills could have a
view of the Pacific. I don't think he was lying, I
just don't understand the geography. Maybe I should
locate his house and that will provide the answer).
At one point Mr. Grant was talking quite fast and I was
having trouble keeping up with my notes. I looked to
my friend in the radio control room and he gave me a hand
signal that said "don't worry about it." I
realized that the tape recorder was still running and had
been running the entire interview. I was too busy
with my "big interview" to do much more than
make a mental note of this information. I must
honestly say that I was relieved, because now I would be
able to rely on the tape and not on my nervous penmanship.
Cary Grant and I talked and talked and soon about an
hour had gone by. Grant told me it was time to stop
because he had to go to the horse-race track. We
said our good-byes and the interview was over.
My friend duplicated a copy of the interview onto a
cassette tape for me to use as I wrote the article.
Later my friend claimed that he erased the reel- to-reel
taped evidence, but I have no verification of this.
Anyway, with my cassette recording of the interview I
returned to the DI newsroom to write my article. The
entertainment editor, who had just returned from an
out-of-town trip, was so overjoyed by the news of the
exclusive that she decided to give the interview amble
space, in TWO issues of the daily paper.
The articles graced the front and interior pages of the
paper's entertainment sections on both a Tuesday and
Wednesday in July, 1986. They became a party
conversation piece and a source of campus fame for me that
Fast forward four months to November 1986. I was
now a full-time, paid staff reporter for the Iowa City
Press-Citizen, the paper serving the tiny city where I
attended college and part of the Gannett newspaper chain.
My phone rang at home. "Cary Grant is
dead!" a friend announced. Not only was Grant
dead, but he had died in Davenport, IOWA, only an hour's
drive from Iowa City. After the initial shock
dissipated, I realized that my interview might be of
greater value than simply a college kid's stroke-of-luck.
There are several ironies to my story. One is
that during the interview, Grant talked a lot about
posterity. He talked about how he wanted to be
remembered. He talked about how he wanted to spend
his last days. Not only did I possess what might be
the last interview with Cary Grant, but the actor
expressed feelings and opinions to me that now sounded
I got on the phone with the big shots of publishing.
The New York Times. PEOPLE magazine. Time.
Newsweek. The Wall Street Journal. Rolling
Stone. I told them I was a reporter calling from Iowa and
I had what might be the last interview with Cary Grant.
I got through to important editors at most of the
publications. There is no question the fact I was
calling from Iowa was a paramount reason those editorial
doors opened. If Cary Grant had died in Beverly
Hills, I probably would have spoken to an editorial
intern. PEOPLE magazine requested a faxed copy of
the interview. My newspaper didn't yet have a fax
machine (This was 1986. "What was a fax
machine," I wondered), so I complied by overnight
I called a few other publications the next day,
including INTERVIEW magazine. I talked with an
editor at PEOPLE who told me it was an interesting
interview but that they were going to rush into print a
more general, comprehensive story about the dead actor (a
format for which PEOPLE since has become famous).
Later that day I got a call from INTERVIEW editor Gail
Love. She was noncommittal, but interested in
reading the text. Three days later INTERVIEW bought the
piece for $400.
Selling the story to INTERVIEW was a great thrill for a
23-year-old budding journalist and film fanatic. The
article appeared in the January 1987 issue of INTERVIEW.
It was my claim to fame (which I milked thoroughly) for
the remainder of my short tenure in Iowa City.
More than 12 years have passed since my 15 minutes of
fame. It was a big deal to me back then, but I
rarely mention the experience to anybody these days.
It seems to pale in comparison to the real life
experiences of the past decade, experiences charting my
transition into an adult world. This is the first
time I have written about my small role in the Cary Grant
There are a few short epilogues to the tale.
Although it may be ridiculous, I always have felt fate
played a role in my brief association with the actor.
Maybe it's only a strange coincidence, and maybe my
thoughts that it is anything more are ludicrous, but I
always have believed it was no accident that Mr. Grant
died in Iowa. I think the universe (OK, I live in
California) intended for this tragedy to provide a perk to
my career and a milestone to my life. Other macabre
coincidences thread the story. During January 1987,
when the Cary Grant issue of INTERVIEW graced the
newsstands, the magazine's founder, Andy Warhol, died.
A few months later, the Bijou Theater coincidentally
screened a Fred Astaire movie on the very day the great
dancer and film icon passed away. WARNING TO LEGENDS
OF SILVER SCREEN: Do not agree to a film tribute at the
University of Iowa's Bijou Theater unless you desire to
take that famed walk into the light.
The only part of the story that remains unresolved is
the nasty business of the tape recording.
Journalistic ethics are clear regarding one thing: that
interview should never have been recorded. My friend
should have stopped the tape the minute Mr. Grant
requested. I could plead personal innocence in this
ethical lapse because I thought my friend had complied.
But, as you read, I did realize later during my talk with
Grant that the tape still was rolling. If I was an
ethical white knight, I would have demanded that my friend
cease and desist recording Mr. Grant's words.
Further, I could have destroyed the tape immediately after
the phone conversation concluded. I didn't. I
honestly don't know many people who would have done so if
they were in my place.
I still have the tape, and guard its health closely.
I felt guilty about this piece of evidence for a few
months after the phone interview, but Mr. Grant's death
It's easy to hear Mr. Grant's voice when his films air
on TV or play at a revival house. Fans also can hear
Grant's voice on one of the numerous radio plays he acted
in, and of which copies exist.
But I don't know of any other recordings of Mr. Grant
discussing his personal life, his observations about his
films, and how he wants his life and work to be
remembered. I can't say that no other such
recordings exist, but at the very least, the tape I
possess is an important relic. It would be a sin to
destroy this rare piece of oral history that documents one
of the most popular and important performing artists of
the 20th Century.
I don't know what I'll do with the tape, but I have no
plan to act on any greedy impulses (if, in fact, it
possesses financial value). Maybe it will be of
value for film historians or a Grant archive. I
probably will donate it to some institution, if there is
I still love Cary Grant. I never actually knew
this enigma of a man, although he did pull back the
curtain for 60-quick minutes, and reveal a glimpse into
the thoughts and heart of a legend.
Kent Victor Schuelke January 22, 1999
If you have any comments on this recollection, send me
an e-mail at email@example.com
Date Provided: Sat, 3 Feb
I was a
member of the Board of Trustees for the Akron Civic
Theatre, a 2668 seat "atmospheric" theatre built
to resemble a Moorish castle, having an auditorium in an
outdoor garden setting under an azure sky with twinkling
stars and drifting clouds. The facility was opened
on April 20, 1929 as the Loew's Akron. In 1965 the
venue was made a not-for-profit 501(c)3 facility, and
through the years, leadership in Akron, Summit
County and the State of Ohio provided funds for restoring
the magnificent theatre. Patti Ann Eddy, the
Executive Director, and I were involved in creating
various programs for the Akron Civic Theatre.
1986 Ms. Eddy contacted Cary Grant's agent and asked
details of having Grant appear at the Akron Civic Theatre.
Apparently Mr. Grant considered the many requests for
personal appearances with his wife. One factor was a
location that was interesting to her, a city or place she
had not visited, for example.
the uniqueness of the Akron Civic Theatre - with its 13
rank Wurlitzer theatre organ and its atmospheric design in
a theatre seating over 2000, as well as nearby local
attractions - intrigued Cary Grant and his wife.
thrilled to receive a contract for his personal appearance
for later in 1986, probably November.
Unfortunately we were not able to obtain the underwriting
funds needed to produce the show, which usually involved
Cary Grant discussing his filmmaking with the audience,
followed by some question and answer period.
Mr. Grant died in November 1986.
biographies have printed erroneously that he passed away
in Akron, Ohio. We think the authors came across the
personal appearance contract that we had begun to develop.
This morning on a local talk show the host mentioned Cary
Grant and his film career, and one of the callers had
heard that the famed actor died in Ohio. I called to
correct that misleading information, but determined to
find the specific city of his death from the internet.
That is when I found your excellent web site.
the good work. It is certainly interesting and