The Importance of January 18

In 1996, on this date, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley announced that their marriage was over and SHOCKED THE WORLD. I still don’t think I’ve recovered my emotional equilibrium from that one.

In 1975, on this date, The Jeffersons premiered.

In 1871, on this date, William I of Prussia was proclaimed the first emperor of Germany in the hall of mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.

But I care none for these trifles.

January 18 is important to me because it’s Cary Grant’s birthday. Yes, Archie Leach was born on January 18, 1904, to Elias and Elsie Leach in the seaport town of Bristol, England.

Here’s what the man himself had to say about his birth, in a 3-part article he wrote for Good Housekeeping – really, the only time he was ever open about his childhood experiences:

I first saw the light of day — or rather the dark of night — around 1:00 a.m. on a cold January morning, in a suburban stone house which, lacking modern heating conveniences, kept only one step ahead of freezing by means of small coal fires in small bedroom fireplaces; and ever since, I’ve persistently arranged to spend every possible moment where the sun shines warmest.

He’s my favorite actor. Ever.

I’ve got this GRATITUDE thing with Cary Grant that I don’t have with many other actors. I feel GRATEFUL to him. Like … I want to THANK him. I think this mainly comes because of his humor, and how much he makes me laugh. Sure, serious actors are cool and all, I admire the skill involved, and Cary Grant is unmatched as a serious actor, too, … but in general I LOVE the actor who can make me laugh.

So. Happy birthday, Archie. Your movies are gifts that just keep on giving. Thank. You.

Below is a photo of Cary Grant in “Bringing Up Baby” – racing to the aid of Katherine Hepburn, who is apparently being attacked by a wild leopard. (Of course she is only PRETENDING to be attacked by a wild leopard, in order to get Cary Grant to come over and “save” her, because she has decided that she is in love with him – without his knowledge or consent). Cary Grant hears her wild screams for help through the phone and, clutching the box holding the long-awaited “intercostal clavicle” of the brontosaurus he has been putting together, SHRIEKS into the telephone: “SUSAN?? SUSAN? Oh, SUSAN, be brave!!” – and races to the door, promptly tripping over the telephone wire and falling flat on his face. No matter how many times I have seen Cary Grant do that, I still laugh.


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25 Responses to The Importance of January 18

  1. Happy Birthday, Cary Grant!

    (Neener, Neener! We scooped Sheila!) Yes, today is the birthday of one of my favorite actors of all time. Here’s a page full o’ stuff about him. Lots more is available elsewhere. I don’t have anything particularly insightful to…

  2. Emily says:

    Also on this day –

    In 1980 my father and step-mother were married in New Mexico. Me, my brother, step-sister and grandmother got in a car accident on the way home immediately after they left for their honeymoon. There were no injuries but to my grandmother’s wig, which flew off of her head and into the left-over wedding cake.

  3. Dan says:

    //What? If THEY don’t make it … then … what????//

    So true. Why do we even hope?

  4. red says:

    And then with the Brad and Jen break-up –

    I mean forget about it. We all may as well just leap off a cliff or something.

  5. red says:

    Emily –

    That sounds like something out of a John Hughes movie or something. I am very glad no one was hurt but the wig. And the cake, too, I guess.

  6. Dan says:

    Alas, we are just flickering candles struggling to beat back the darkness.

  7. Dan says:

    Forutnately it was just left-over cake.

  8. peteb says:

    “and ever since, I’ve persistently arranged to spend every possible moment where the sun shines warmest.” heh heh.. I can almost HEAR him speaking that line.

    Happy Birthday, Archie

  9. red says:

    Emily –


    Simply. Devastating.

  10. Emily says:

    I know. How could that slut vixen do this to the people of America?

  11. red says:

    I still haven’t recovered from the betrayal I felt when that slut-vixen broke up with her anorexic antique-furniture-fearin’ hubby a couple years back.

    A crushing blow to romance.

  12. Ted says:

    I agree, Cary Grant is my all-time favorite. If you’re not anti-WalMart, they’ve got “His Girl Friday” in the dollar DVD displays in the store.

  13. Rocket Jones says:

    Happy Birthday

    My all-time favorite, Archie Leach, aka Cary Grant. Red has stories and photos….

  14. Mr. Bingley says:

    may i humbly submit something else of rather great import to me that occured on january 18th, 1964?

    my birth.

  15. Emily says:

    Happy Birthday, Mr. B!

    (pretend like I posted that yesterday.)

  16. Mr. Bingley says:

    thanks :) well, at least i have something in common with cary grant; i’ll take whatever i can get!

  17. peteb says:

    Ermm, yeah.. what Emily said, Mr B.. belatedly.

  18. Ken Hall says:

    Happy Belated, Mr. Bingley!

    It was my sister’s birthday as well. For once I got the card in the mail beforehand (heck, remembering the card was a minor triumph).

  19. Mr. Bingley says:

    thanks! my lovely bride kept my glass always full last night…and every night, frankly, wondrous person that she is. truly enjoyable :)

  20. peteb says:

    may I humbly submit that there is something of considerable import that takes place today (20th).. yes, that’s right, it’s my birthday.. somewhat overshadowed by other events I realise… so it goes.

  21. Mr. Bingley says:

    a very happy to you, peteb! if you’re ever in the area, we’ll have to get together, as we have a group of us january babies who get together and have one hell of a party every year.

  22. peteb says:

    Thanks, Mr B. That sounds like a plan to me.

  23. Emily says:

    “And so it was on this day in [data not available] that to the world was unleashed a horror so unspeakable, so vile, so utterly calamitous its repugnance is literally unimaginable to the sane human mind. This shockingly ineffable creature, called ‘Pete Baker’ but known to his friends as ‘Pete Baker, that bastard with the poker face of a bubbly dolphin,’ roams the Earth, or at least parts of the United Kingdom, spreading misery as he would butter a bagel while civilization remains powerless but to ventilate their grief to one another as they sacrifice to their respective deities in a desperate hope to wash away the filth of even the slight memory of his presence. In short, a pretty fucking cool guy. Happy Birthday.”

  24. peteb says:

    Thanks, Emily.. I shall be delving in the cellar shortly to begin commiserating with civilization.. my apologies in advance should any illegible typing appear on blogs later.