Archie leach

The only man who didn’t want to be Cary Grant was Cary Grant himself

Cary Grant was a hoax so sublime his creator struggled to escape him. He was a metaphor, too, for the transformative magic of cinema, for its lies; and for the artifice and social mobility of the 20th century itself. His real name was Archie Leach, and he could, the critic David Thomson wrote, ‘be attractive and unattractive simultaneously; there is a light and dark side to him, but whichever is dominant, the other creeps into view’. Thomson thinks Grant the greatest film actor — I did not notice him in his first scene in The Philadelphia Story until he wanted me to notice him — but he was terrified of