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.