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Cary Grant Perhaps the most dashing of all Hollywood film stars Cary Grant stole the hearts of millions of audience members during his 40 years of acting Born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 181904 in Bristol England he was the only child of impoverished parents Elsie and Elias At the age of nine he lost his mother when she was institutionalized at Fishponds Country Home for the Mental Defectives Around that time he developed a love for the English music hall and began working at odd jobs at the Hippodrome and Empire theaters At 14 he joined the Bob Pender comedy troupe and honed his dancing acrobatic stilt-walking and pantomime skills The troupe performed in small towns throughout England in 1920 they sailed to the United States for a successful two-year tour at the end of which young Archie decided to try it on his own in New York City For five years Leach found employment in jobs as varied as placard walker and society escort In 1927 he made his first stage appearance in the musical Golden Dawn followed by appearances in Boom Boom in 1929 A Wonderful Night also in 1929 and Nikki in 1931 In 1931 Leach appeared in his first film a ten-minute short entitled Singapore Sue Grant then traveled to Los Angeles where he made a successful screen test for Paramount The studio offered him a five-year contract suggesting he change his name to Cary Lockwood Leach negotiated with them and they settled on the name Cary Grant Grants feature debut was in This Is the Night in 1932 He soon found himself playing opposite such top Paramount female stars as Nancy Carroll Sylvia Sidney Marlene Dietrich and Mae West In 1935 Grant appeared with Katharine Hepburn in Sylvia Scarlett When
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