Archibald Alexander Leach, better known by his stage name Cary Grant, was an English-American actor. With his distinctive yet not quite placeable Mid-Atlantic accent, he was noted as perhaps the foremost exemplar of the debonair leading man: handsome, virile, charismatic, and charming.
He was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. His popular classic films include The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, Gunga Din, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, Suspicion, Arsenic and Old Lace, Notorious, To Catch A Thief, An Affair to Remember, North by Northwest, and Charade. At the 42nd Academy Awards the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored him with an Honorary Award “for his unique mastery of the art of screen acting with the respect and affection of his colleagues”.
Archibald Alexander Leach was born in Horfield, Bristol, to Elsie Maria Kingdon and Elias James Leach. An only child, he had an unhappy childhood, attending Bishop Road Primary School. His mother had suffered from depression since the death of a previous child. His father placed her in a mental institution, and told his nine-year-old son only that she had gone away on a “long holiday”; it was not until he was in his thirties that Grant discovered her alive, in an institutionalized care facility.