Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good Stuff

Did anybody else enjoy watching black and white movies as a child? I watched nothing but black and white movies for the most part. They were the movies my parents were familiar with and the movies my parents preferred to watch. So I grew up with Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Gregory Peck, Gary Cooper, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, Doris Day, and those were just my favorites. There are countless others I grew up with including Walter Brennan, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Shirley MacLaine and others. The movies I watched over and over weren't necessarily all black and white, but were a product of the 60s nonetheless - Lawrence of Arabia, I Love Lucy, Red October, The Birds, High Noon, Sergeant York, Bringing Up Baby and others.

So when I heard Cary Grant had a child at the age of 62 who he quit his acting life to raise and who has now written a book called Good Stuff about Cary Grant as her father, it fascinated me.

Especially after I read this quote by Cary Grant, "I've come to think that the reason we're put on this earth is to procreate. To leave something behind. Not films, because you know I don't think my films will last very long once I'm gone. But another human being. That's what's important." That quote resonates with me, as it's a line of thought I've been thinking about a lot. It's interesting Cary Grant didn't think his films would last long, yet the only thing I've heard about him is his films, until now when I realized he had a daughter.

Though him and his then wife divorced after only a year of marriage, he continued to turn down acting jobs and devoted his life to raising her.

He took to recording home movies of Jennifer. As all of his own childhood records were lost in World War II, he wanted her to have her own childhood records.
She seems to be fulfilling his legacy with writing this book, as her filmography is not quite Cary Grant material - not yet, any way. Maybe she will become more well known after this book. At 45 she is gorgeous, and just had her first baby two years ago.

An interesting thing she brings up is that her dad really didn't want her in the acting world, but after he saw her perform in a high-school play he was almost in tears at her reserved demeanor. He never liked the large hand gestures that actresses did, and her way of acting was much calmer, more collected, which he was proud of.

Her dad used to say often, such as when they were out on a beautiful day, he would say, "Isn't it just good stuff?" thus the name of the book. 


Val Fox said...

I was raised with some of the same movies and actors and I've always loved Cary Grant. How cool to learn what he did for his daughter! That's a book I'd love to read. Thanks for sharing!


Ashley said...

I just read a little blurb about this book in a magazine and instantly added it to my must read list. Sounds like a truly endearing and touching story!

I grew up with the old b&w's, too! Cary Grant was in some of my favorites, especially "That Touch of Mink"!

Pink Sun Drops said...

Val - So glad you enjoyed it, and so glad to have discovered your blog!

Ashley - Doesn't it sound like a fascinating story? That's the first thing I thought of when I heard of it. I haven't seen "That Touch of Mink" but after writing this I'm thinking I'm needing to introduce my kids to some of these and reintroduce them back into my life as well!

Sonya said...

I love all those old movies. They're so much better than most of the crap that's churned out nowadays.
I've always adored Cary Grant but never knew that he had a daughter. It's strange to think of him as a father since I only ever think of him as an actor. I think I'll definitely have to get my hands on this book.


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