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Cary Grant

Cary Grant

Actor with Welsh parents

From the gritty streets of Bristol, England, emerged the quintessential embodiment of Hollywood elegance, Cary Grant. Born Archibald Alec Leach in 1904, his early life was characterised by an unstable upbringing, yet he harboured an unwavering ambition to secure his place in the limelight.

Grant's journey into the world of entertainment commenced on the vaudeville stage, where he honed his comedic timing and developed a captivating stage presence. His natural charisma and comedic prowess soon garnered the attention of Hollywood producers, leading to his silver screen debut in the 1932 crime drama Blonde Venus.

Grant's versatility extended across genres, effortlessly transitioning from light comedies like Bringing Up Baby (1938) and His Girl Friday (1940) to the suspenseful depths of thrillers such as Notorious (1946) and North by Northwest (1959). His ability to embody both the lighthearted charmer and the broodingly intense protagonist made him a chameleonic star, captivating audiences with diverse roles.

In 1931, Grant made his film debut in the British production "This Is the Night." His performance caught the attention of Hollywood producers, and he soon signed a contract with Paramount Pictures.

Beyond his on-screen persona, Grant was renowned for his impeccable style, impeccable manners, and charming wit. His debonair demeanour and refined taste made him a fashion icon, setting trends for generations to come. He epitomised sophistication, embodying the ideal of the modern man.

Cary Grant's legacy transcended his cinematic achievements; he became a cultural phenomenon, embodying the American Dream through his ascent from humble beginnings to Hollywood stardom. His charm, wit, and effortless grace continue to inspire and entertain, making him an enduring icon of classic cinema.

While Grant's heritage was predominantly English, there is one intriguing connection to Wales that adds a touch of intrigue to his story. According to his biographers, his father, Elias Leach, was of Welsh descent. While there is no definitive documentation of this ancestry, it adds a hint of Welsh heritage to Grant's persona, perhaps contributing to his natural charm and captivating presence.

Regardless of his precise lineage, Cary Grant's enduring legacy is firmly established as one of Hollywood's most iconic and beloved stars. His impeccable style, effortless charm, and timeless performances continue to inspire and entertain, making him a true legend of cinema.

His Mam, Elizabeth Morgan

Cary Grant's mother, Elizabeth Morgan, was born in Newport, Wales, around 1840. She was the daughter of a shipwright and had a difficult childhood. Her father was often away at sea, and her mother was ill for many years. As a result, Elizabeth had to learn to be independent and self-sufficient from a young age.

She married Elias Leach, a carpenter, in 1881. The couple had twelve children, including Archibald Alec Leach, who would later become known as Cary Grant. Elizabeth was a strong and nurturing mother, and she played a significant role in her son's upbringing. She encouraged him to pursue his dreams of becoming a performer, and she helped him to develop his confidence and stage presence.

Despite her own hardships, Elizabeth Morgan was a source of strength and inspiration for Cary Grant throughout his life. She taught him the importance of hard work, perseverance, and self-belief. Her influence on his life was profound, and he credited her with helping him to achieve his success.

Connection: born to Welsh parents

COMMENT BY: dadpad

After a careful search it is clear that Cary Grant's mother, Elsie Maria Kingdon, was the daughter of William Kingdon and Elizabeth Morgan. In the 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 census entries Elizabeth Morgan is listed as being born in Newport, Monmouthshire. There is the Welsh link.

Related Info

Cary Grant listings at IMDB