Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dear Cary,

A very young and handsome you.
Photo Courtesy of
 http://www.todaystie.tumblr.com
     I have a million of things that I long to tell you, but for fear of sounding too obsessed, I'm going to keep it to a minimum. The first thing that I must tell you is "thank you". I must tell you thank you before anything else because you saved me. You saved me when I desperately needed to be saved. My parents have been divorced all my life, and have living with my mother, I had decided that I was going to live with my father for the last four years of my public school career. Though my mother tried to explain to me that it was going to be too different down there, and I wouldn't like anything, I was (am) stubborn, and I didn't listen to her. Well, she was right. I hated it down at my father's. I couldn't stand the school, I missed my friends, I missed my mother, and most of all I missed the life that I had lived for fourteen years. I just wanted it all back.
     And that's when you came in, Cary.
     I decided that I was going to move back to my mother's after I finished ninth grade down at my father's, but that was such a long way to go. I felt as though I were drowning and I knew that I needed a life saver to rescue me. That life saver came in the form of TCM: Turner Classic Movies. I immediately fell in love with the black and white, color, 1930s through the 1960 movies. They were different. They were like nothing I had ever seen before. Oh, sure, I had seen Gone with the Wind, and I had seen a ton of John Wayne pictures, but never before had I ever seen anything like TCM was showing.
My second favorite picture.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.blog.wfmu.org
     And I had never seen anything like you grace the screen in all my days.
     Cary, you were so so so handsome. Illegally handsome. No man should ever look as good as you did. Yet there you were in all your glory, flashing that white smile, showing off that cleft chin, and your eyes sparking with mischief. You made me laugh. I love to laugh, and for a while there I wasn't doing any of that. But you made up for all that lost laughter. And that voice of  yours . . . it was magic to me, music. And you knew this. You knew the effect that you had on people but never, not once, did you let it go to your head. For all your fame, you never let it get the best of you. You tried to act and be as simple as possible. That was little Archibald Alexander Leach in you. The little boy that grew up from the age of nine thinking that first, his mother had abandoned him, and then second, had died. Your father, for the most part, was absentee. You ran away at fourteen to join Bob Pender's Stage Troupe, and when they went to America you went with them, and it was while you were here that you knew that you belonged here. There was no other place for you. America was the land where dreams came true, and you had such big dreams and every last one of them deserved to at least have a chance to come true.
     Success didn't just come to you, you had to work hard for it, but you were used to doing that. You had to work hard for every little thing that you had; and that's one thing that makes me so mad when people say that you were a tightwad or cheap. You weren't that way by choice. You grew up in England during the first World War and you had to learn to give up things, have substitutes, or sometimes nothing at all; but even then you weren't a tightwad. A tightwad, no matter how much he loved his home country, would not give his whole salary, which amounted up to $100,000 from a film, in your case The Philadelphia Story, to the British War Relief Fund. Oh, yes, Cary, you were a terrible tightwad.
My favorite picture of you, though I don't know exactly why.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.lolitasclassics.blogspot.com
     You weren't by no means perfect, Cary. You had your own demons just like we all do. You did things that I'm sure you wished you hadn't when you got older and you looked back on it, and then in the same breath, I'm sure you said that there were things that you wished you had done but hadn't, and that in any case, you did what you did and there was no going back. As much as I love you, Cary, I try very hard not to idolize you because I know that you didn't like that. I try hard to think of you as the man Cary Grant before I think of you as the movie star Cary Grant. As a man, as a human being, you were allowed to make mistakes. And so, for the most part, I succeed.
     I would also like to say that it makes me so happy to know that before you passed on, that you had at last found happiness with your daughter, Jennifer, and your last wife, Barbara. You deserved that happiness Cary, after all that had happened to you. You deserved it, and if there was only one thing that I could have ever wished for you was that you had got to enjoy it a little more than you had.
You and Jennifer.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.parade.com
     So, now to get to the end, I just wanted you to know how much I love, admire, and respect you. Though you have been gone now for twenty-six years you will never fully be gone from this world because of this glorious thing called celluloid. You will forever grace the silver screen, and as the years go by, I promise that when people see your pictures they will love you. I know because I did, I do, and I always will.

This letter was written in conjunction with the blogathon A Letter to the Stars. This is the first of my three letters to my three favorite stars. The following two will be up tomorrow and Tuesday.

7 comments:

Alyssa LM said...

What a beautiful letter, I was almost in tears. Great work and looking forward to your next letter.

FlickChick said...

Lovely - an my sentiments exactly (but you said it better)!

Margaret Perry said...

This is such a touching personal tribute to a great man. I too fell in love with old movies through Cary Grant - it was through him that I was first introduced to Katharine Hepburn! Thanks for posting!
http://thegreatkh.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/dear-katharine-hepburn.html

azw596 said...

Thank you so much for sharing this very moving and powerful tribute to a man whom we now can appreciate in an even deeper way, realising the personal effect he has had on your life. Your heartfelt sentiments have definitely struck a chord with me!

LĂȘ said...

Waht a true moving letter! Many classic Hollywood stars were important to me during difficult phases and I know how you feel. I'll come back soon to read the other letters.
Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)
Kisses!

silverscreenings said...

Terrific letter! Cary Grant really was one of the greats. And I love the photo of him with his daughter. He looks so happy.

ClassicBecky said...

What a lovely letter -- I liked the way you said: "You made me laugh. I love to laugh, and for a while there I wasn't doing any of that. But you made up for all that lost laughter." I've had times in my life when my movies got me through. Cary Grant was part of those, especially "Arsenic and Old Lace." He was so funny and cute and made me feel happy. I bet he would love your letter!