Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Daughter launches Cary Grant memoir

Cary Grant, his wife Dyan Cannon and their daughter Jennifer, who has written a book about him
Cary Grant, his wife Dyan Cannon and their daughter Jennifer, who has written a book about him

Cary Grant is gone and no modern actor compares to him, his daughter has said.

"Hugh Jackman, a little bit. Other than that I can't think of anyone," actress Jennifer Grant said during a promotional lunch for Good Stuff, a memoir about her father. He died in 1986 at the age of 82.

Her father was divorced from her mother, Dyan Cannon, when she was a toddler, but she remained close to both. She said her mother had the highest praise for her book, telling her she was "a stone, cold writer".

The lunch was held in the Oak Room of New York's Plaza hotel, the setting for an early scene in North By Northwest, the classic thriller starring Cary Grant and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Cary Grant was a "pip" - playful, witty, curious and graceful - right to the end, Jennifer said. He wrote her letters of advice, tolerated her taste for hard rock music and her college infatuation with communism and gently defeated her at Trivial Pursuit.

"Dad was miraculous with the infuriating game," she writes. "He'd always complain that he'd forgotten too many important things to be a contender and then pull virtually every answer out of his hat."

It was a VIP life: prime seats at Los Angeles Dodgers games; the best tables at restaurants, a taped birthday message from President Ronald Reagan. Holiday guests often included Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson and Gregory Peck.

Ms Grant, the actor's only child, said she had been asked for years to write about her father, but refused until close friends encouraged her.

She wrote the book herself, drawing upon home movies and audiotapes that her father made when she was little. She was a senior at Stanford University when he died and the memoir was a way of finally letting him go.

"To write this book is to fully admit, more than 20 years later, that he died," she writes.

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