Despite hailing from England, whose inhabitants are often pale-skinned, Cary Grant never appeared in a movie without sporting the perfect tan. His tan did not come out of the makeup kit, and he is actually well known for barely wearing any. It was all his own, and he spent plenty of time in the sun to keep it up.
But just being tan wasn’t enough, Cary Grant maintained his physique as well. In fact, the actor never weighed more than 180 pounds during his entire life. Proving that maintaining his good looks was still a priority even after he left show business.
No Stars to Be Seen
One amusing encounter occurred while Cary Grant and fellow British actor Michael Caine were engaged in conversation outside a Los Angeles hotel. They were approached by a fan who only recognized Caine. The woman went on to tell him that although she had spent two weeks in town, Caine was the only movie star she had seen.
She then addressed Grant and told him that you never get to see the big Hollywood stars. He wholeheartedly agreed and began to laugh.
The Real James Bond
The role of James Bond in 'Dr. No' was actually offered to Cary Grant first, before Sean Connery accepted and played the iconic spy. Grant reportedly believed that he was too old for the part because he was 58 years old at the time.
That is somewhat ironic, because the creator of 007 himself, Ian Fleming, has said that the inspiration for James Bond was, in fact, Cary Grant. He based him on the actor’s roles in 'Notorious', 'To Catch A Thief', and 'North by Northwest', to name just a few.
The Stage as a Second Home
Cary Grant did not have an easy childhood, and he used the stage as an escape from his problems. Although he received a scholarship to attend grammar school, he was kicked out at the age of 13, allegedly for sneaking into the girls’ bathroom. Not long after, he left home to try his luck with a comedy troupe, which played shows both in England and across the pond.
In 1927, he was cast in the Broadway musical 'Golden Dawn'. This was the beginning of his stage career, and led to other parts, which more often than not were critically acclaimed. Four years after his Broadway debut, in 1931, Grant was signed by Paramount Pictures.
A New Name
Cary Grant was born as Archibald Alexander Leach, but when he began at Paramount, the executives had some reservations about the name. One even said to him that, “Archie just doesn’t sound right in America,” prompting the actor to admit that, “It doesn’t sound particularly right in Britain, either.”
The first name he came up with was “Cary Lockwood,” but the higher-ups felt it sounded too much like other stars. While going over a list of names, he stopped on Grant and the rest is tinsel town history. In 1941, Archibald Leach legally changed his name to Cary Grant.