on 7 July 2007
On the screen no one could mistake Gary Grant. In more than seventy films he always seems to play the elegant and debonair man with whom some of the cinema's most attractive women fall in love, among them Marlene Dietrich, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.
Yet behind this sophisticated image Gary Grant is in many ways the complete reverse. This actor, who remains one of the cinema's greatest stars, has spent most of his life trying to forget his childhood, to conceal the poverty of his upbringing by the relentless pursuit of wealth, and trying to overcome a paralysing fear of women.
Geoffrey Wansell's biography describes Grant's astonishing rise to stardom, his fascination with fame, his five marriages, his experiments with LSD and his retreat into seclusion and privacy. Interest centres on Grant's intense rivalry with Gary Cooper; his marriage to Woolworth heiress, Barbara Hutton; the birth of his only child, Jennifer, by his fourth wife, Dyan Gannon; and his friendship with the mysterious billionaire, Howard Hughes.
Mr Wansell has talked to and corresponded with Grant's closest friends, James Stewart, Doris Day, Katherine Hepburn, James Mason and Stewart Granger among them. And he has talked to Grant himself, describing here his strange negotiations with his subject, the man who remains one of Hollywood's most enduring stars.