Inscribed Signed Photo - c1940
Inscribed Vintage Photo Signed "Cary", 11" x 14" b/w, a casual, seated studio pose boldly signed: "To Mariano, from Cary". Marginal creases could be retouched, else very good. Inscribed to Mariano Soyer, a portrait artist whose works included many of Hollywood's stars of the Forties, including Grant.
ARCHIBALD LEACH (1904-1986), better known by his stage name, CARY GRANT, was a British-born American actor. With his distinctive 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 of American cinema, after Humphrey Bogart, by the American Film Institute.
Grant starred in some of the classic screwball comedies, including Bringing Up Baby with Katharine Hepburn, His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell, Arsenic and Old Lace with Priscilla Lane, and Monkey Business with Ginger Rogers. His role in The Awful Truth with Irene Dunne was the pivotal film in the establishment of Grant's screen persona. These performances solidified his appeal, and The Philadelphia Story, with Hepburn and James Stewart, showcased his best-known screen persona: the charming if sometimes unreliable man, formerly married to an intelligent and strong-willed woman who first divorced him, then realized that he was-with all his faults-irresistible.
Grant was one of Hollywood's top box-office attractions for several decades. He was a versatile actor, who did demanding physical comedy in movies like Gunga Din with the skills he had learned on the stage. Howard Hawks said that Grant was "so far the best that there isn't anybody to be compared to him".
Grant was a favorite actor of Alfred Hitchcock, notorious for disliking actors, who said that Grant was "the only actor I ever loved in my whole life". Grant appeared in such Hitchcock classics as Suspicion, Notorious, To Catch a Thief and North by Northwest. Biographer Patrick McGilligan wrote that, in 1965, Hitchcock asked Grant to star in Torn Curtain (1966), only to learn that Grant had decided to retire after making one more film, Walk, Don't Run (1966); Paul Newman was cast instead in Torn Curtain, opposite Julie Andrews.
In the mid-1950s, Grant formed his own production company, Grantley Productions, and produced a number of movies distributed by Universal, such as Operation Petticoat, Indiscreet, That Touch of Mink (co-starring Doris Day), and Father Goose. In 1963, he appeared opposite Audrey Hepburn in Charade.
Grant was considered a maverick by virtue of the fact that he was the first actor to "go independent," effectively bucking the old studio system, which almost completely controlled what an actor could or could not do. In this way, Grant was able to control every aspect of his career. He decided which movies he was going to appear in, he had personal choice of the directors and his co-stars and at times, even negotiated a share of the gross, something unheard of at the time, but now common among A-list stars.
Grant was nominated for two Academy Awards in the 1940s. He was denied the Oscar throughout his active career because he was one of the first actors to be independent of the major studios. Grant received a special Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1970. In 1981, he was accorded the Kennedy Center Honors.
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