Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant

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Overview

Cary Grant was the ultimate star, defining Hollywood glamour as well as cinematic achievement. Dyan Cannon was a bright new actress, beautiful and funny. So began a storybook romance that brought her to dizzying heights and the inner circles of power in which Cary Grant was king.

Behind closed doors, she discovered a Cary no one knew. A caring and private person, with dark family secrets that weighed heavily upon him. He was a man contending with the swan song of an astonishing ...

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Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant

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Overview

Cary Grant was the ultimate star, defining Hollywood glamour as well as cinematic achievement. Dyan Cannon was a bright new actress, beautiful and funny. So began a storybook romance that brought her to dizzying heights and the inner circles of power in which Cary Grant was king.

Behind closed doors, she discovered a Cary no one knew. A caring and private person, with dark family secrets that weighed heavily upon him. He was a man contending with the swan song of an astonishing film career while her career was just beginning. Despite the age difference, they fell in love, got married, and had a beautiful daughter together. Happily Ever After, though, proved elusive, and their relationship was beset with tragic twists and turns.

With rare photos and never-before-seen letters from Grant, Dear Cary is told with poignancy and hard-won wisdom.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Actress Dyan Cannon's relationship with film legend Cary Grant was short, tumultuous, and, by every description, odd. When they began living together, she was 25; he was 58. Three years later, they married, but within a year and a half, she left him, amidst reports of loud arguments and spanking episodes. Their divorce, finalized in 1968, was a major news splash even in that pre-TMZ, pre-internet era. Grant died in 1983, but Cannon has continued to wrestle with the details, the rights, and the wrongs of their relationship. Dear Cary is a memoir that celebrates and scrutinizes the great love of her life.

New York Journal of Books
“Dyan Cannon has written a complex and captivating memoir…an unqualified success.”
USA Today
“A revealing look at Cannon’s relationship with her first husband, who happened to be a Hollywood legend.
Los Angeles Times
“[Cannon’s] candid memoir chronicles the near fairy tale May-December romance between the ingénue and the legendary star.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061961410
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 224,835
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning film and television actress, director, screenwriter, editor, and producer Dyan Cannon is the first woman in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be nominated for Oscars both as an actress and as a filmmaker. She lives in Hollywood and is at courtside for every Los Angeles Lakers home game.

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Read an Excerpt

Dear Cary

My Life with Cary Grant
By Dyan Cannon

IT Books

Copyright © 2011 Dyan Cannon
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061961403


Chapter One

When in Rome
"Cary who?" I said. I was sure I'd heard wrong.
"Cary Grant."
"Cary Grant the actor?"
"No, Cary Grant the rodeo clown. Yes, silly, it's Cary Grant
the actor."
"What does he want?" I asked.
Addie Gould heaved a theatrical sigh that could've carried
from Los Angeles to Rome, even without the phone. This was
back in the days when your agent could be your trusted friend,
or vice versa, and for me, Addie was both. She had my best
interests in mind personally and professionally. At that moment,
Addie was firmly planted in the realm of wheels and deals while
I was hovering in a pink cloud over Rome like a dove in a Renaissance
painting. She must have felt like she was talking to a rather
simple-minded child. Cary Grant had asked to meet me. He was
Cary Grant, and if he wanted to meet you, you didn't ask questions-
especially if you were a young actress trying to work your
way up in Hollywood.
I wasn't really as flighty or as indifferent as my words might
suggest, though. It was just that at that moment, I wasn't going to
leave Rome for anything less than a guaranteed part, and a good
one. In Hollywood, "meet-and-greets" are a fact of life. There's
nothing wrong with them, and they're important for keeping
yourself on the radar, but they don't necessarily lead to anything
substantial. I was having the time of my life, and if somebody
wanted me to interrupt it, I wanted name, rank, and serial number.
"Dyan, it's Cary Grant. It's about a part in a movie."
"What's the movie?"
"It doesn't matter. When Mr. Grant requests a meeting, we
hurry home."
"Is he paying my way?" I asked, sticking to my guns.
Maybe another person would have rushed to the airport and
boarded the next flight to Los Angeles, or maybe not. It was autumn
of 1961. I was in my early twenties. I was in Rome right when
Fellini's La Dolce Vita had cast Rome as the most glamorous place on
earth. I was living a fairy tale, and Cary Grant was just another
knight of the realm who could take a number and wait his turn.
Addie persisted. I dug in my heels. "We are talking about Cary
Grant," she said.
"I know who Cary Grant is," I replied. We were talking about
Cary Grant the movie star, the matinee idol, the greatest leading
man of the day. Yes, that Cary Grant.
The word "icon" has been hopelessly devalued over the years,
but Cary Grant was exactly that and more. More than an actor,
really. Cary Grant was glamour. Cary Grant was charm. Cary
Grant was class, intelligence, refinement. Women hardly dared to
fantasize that such a combination of warmth, wit, and dash would
walk into their lives. Men who took a page from his playbook
came to believe in the power of being a gentleman. Cary Grant
made manners, civility, and style as thrilling as Humphrey Bogart
made a good pistol-whipping.
He'd starred in about a bazillion movies, including three of my
all-time favorites: An Affair to Remember, with Deborah Kerr (a
five-hankie weeper); Indiscreet, with Ingrid Bergman; and, at the
top of my list, Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest.
But that still wasn't enough. "I'm sure Mr. Grant will still be
there when I get back," I said. "If I ever decide to go back." There
was a knock at my door. "Oops," I said. "Gotta go ..." I hung
up and opened the door and Charles Fawcett—we all called him
"Charlie"—stepped through, kissing me on both cheeks.
"You ready?" he asked.
"I need a minute," I said. "I was just on the line with my agent.
She wants me to fly back to Los Angeles to meet Cary Grant."
"For a movie?" Charlie asked.
"That's what she says."
"If he's going to cast you in something, it's worth the trip. But
if it's just a get acquainted kind of thing, let him wait."
I loved Charlie Fawcett. I had met him two months earlier in
a remote Portuguese fishing village, on the set of a low budget
movie that I've done my best to forget. It was my second movie;
my first was The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, about jewel thieves
in Prohibition era New York, and that film, along with a string
of television credits, had led to the job in Portugal. Alas, we all
knew from the start that we weren't making a masterpiece, but
the bright side was that we all relaxed about it and had fun. We
all lived in the same bed and breakfast, started the morning with
good food and strong coffee, laughed our way through our morning
table read, then went off to make the best of another day of
second-rate film making.
I fell in love with Charlie by the end of that first week. He was
a good actor who treated acting as a bit of a lark. His services were
in demand, and he earned enough at it to subsidize the low key,
bohemian lifestyle he enjoyed as an American expatriate in Rome.
Beyond that, he didn't attach much importance to it.
Charlie was truly larger than life. In World War II, he joined
the British Royal Air Force as a Hurricane pilot. He fought with
the Polish army after the German invasion, and fought again for
six months with the French Foreign Legion in Alsace. Then to
Greece to take on the communists in the Greek Civil War. As if
that weren't enough, in the waning days of World War II, he freed
a half dozen Jewish women from concentration camps by marrying
and divorcing each one in rapid succession. That got them an
automatic American visa and allowed them to leave France. If I
had to choose one word to describe Charlie, it would be "noble."
I had a little crush on Charlie, the kind of crush that gives
you a feeling of boundless emotional safety along with a little jolt
of physical attraction. That makes the friendship really interesting,
whether or not you act on the attraction, though it is usually
better if you don't. It's the best type of crush, and Charlie couldn't
have agreed more.
"My favorite kind," he once told me. "Let's try to make it last."
Charlie was a man of experience, a man of the world, and I was
a spirited Jewish girl from Seattle, barely past college age, who'd
had sex only once in her life (though it was so inept, I'm not sure it
even qualified). Charlie was the rare man who placed more value
on the unspoiled fabric of our friendship than he did on a night of
tangled sheets and awkward "see you later"s. I think he sensed my
innocence and figured there'd be enough contenders to relieve me
of it without his joining in.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Dear Cary by Dyan Cannon Copyright © 2011 by Dyan Cannon. Excerpted by permission of IT Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 When in Rome 1

Chapter 2 Back to Earth 11

Chapter 3 Lunch, Not Marriage 23

Chapter 4 Have Girlfriend, Will Travel 34

Chapter 5 Riding High 42

Chapter 6 Table for Two 49

Chapter 7 Fork in the Road 59

Chapter 8 Nobody's Perfect 67

Chapter 9 Enamored 76

Chapter 10 Time Flies 84

Chapter 11 Discovered 91

Chapter 12 Getting to Know You 100

Chapter 13 Oneness 109

Chapter 14 Game Time 117

Chapter 15 Coming Up Short 126

Chapter 16 Long-Distance Love 136

Chapter 17 The Middle Finger 148

Chapter 18 The Dismantling Effect 158

Chapter 19 The Big Sting 167

Chapter 20 A Coke and a Kiss 174

Chapter 21 Happy New Year 181

Chapter 22 Emergencies 187

Chapter 23 Hormones and Hamburgers 199

Chapter 24 Honeymoon Getaway 210

Chapter 25 Pressure Cooker 216

Chapter 26 Culinary Capers 223

Chapter 27 Completion 235

Chapter 28 The Big Freeze 241

Chapter 29 Husbands and Wives 250

Chapter 30 Shrinking 258

Chapter 31 Tripping and Zipping 263

Chapter 32 Standoff 270

Chapter 33 Breaking Points 276

Chapter 34 Time Out 288

Chapter 35 Grant vs. Grant 296

Chapter 36 Zoo Time 304

Chapter 37 Breakthrough 316

Chapter 38 Liberation Day 324

Dear Cary 335

Author's Note 340

Acknowledgments 342

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 84 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2011

    Timeless!

    Cary Grant made more classic movies than anybody can count, and now Dyan Cannon has written what will probably be regarded years hence as a classic memoir of her relationship with him. I was expecting the usual celebrity memoir, but this one really reads like a novel in all the best ways. It's really sharply in focus, parts of it are funny as hell, and although we know the outcome, I couldn't stop rooting for them to work it out. It's really very tender story and very entertaining and moving.

    21 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Amazing Book! Very Classy Woman

    Let me start off by saying that I love Cart Grant's movies and thought we was an amazing actor and I did not really know a lot about Dyan Cannon beside the fact that they were married and he had his only child with her so I figured it would be a good book to read. I figured that I would read this book and be mad about the things she said about him but I was very happy to find that nothing she said upset me. She seems like a very nice lady and seemed liked she loved him and their daughter very much. It had a lot of happy parts and sad parts but that is how life goes. You have your good memories and your bad memories. I definitely recommend that everyone read this book. You won't be disappointed.

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Powerful ending Strong story

    Reads less like a gossip biography and more like a fictional novel with amazing characters. It tells a vivid story rather than being pages of facts and dates and times. I enjoyed it.

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Although I'm only in my twenties, I have been a huge fan of Cary

    Although I'm only in my twenties, I have been a huge fan of Cary Grant's films for years. I have to admit I hadn't heard of Dyan Cannon until I saw that this book had come out, but after reading it I found that I could relate to her in the way that she thought and her sense of humor. It did make me see Cary Grant a little differently, but really it just goes to show that no one is perfect; we are all flawed human beings. As a resulting of reading this book I have also just recently purchased her daughter Jennifer's book, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant, and can't wait to read it.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    I bought this book as a Cary Grant fan and someone who has read

    I bought this book as a Cary Grant fan and someone who has read other books involving him and his life. This book far surpassed my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed the story of this woman coming to terms with herself and life. I would recommend this for any Cary Grant fans as well as for those who just want to read an interesting story about how we grow into ourselves through life's experiences. 

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    More than a Hollywood tell-all

    I loved this book. I found so much more than I expected. Dyan's journey is fascinating. Although I was always enthralled with Cary Grant, I have to admit I no longer see him in quite the same way. I hope the best for this honest woman.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Loving Cary

    I have always loved Cary Grant. I totally enjoyed this book because it gave a grand view of what living with Cary Grant was like. Even after some of the things that bothered me about his personal life...I am still in love with Cary Grant. GREAT READ!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2011

    Great book!

    Amazing book! Really makes you think and really makes you appreciate the important things in life.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    No Way

    No one is as pure and inocent as this author sees herself

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    A very personal celebrity love story

    This is the first biography I've read in several years, but was not disappointing. Dyan Cannon did a great job writing this, it read like she was an accomplished author. In the beginning, Cary Grant was just as charming, polished and endearing as we have seen him portrayed on the screen. It was disturbing to see another side of him and the unraveling of his and Dyan's relationship. I would recommend it as an very interesting insight into the lifestyle of celebrities.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    A very good book from start to finish. I feel like I was there t

    A very good book from start to finish. I feel like I was there to see it all, due to Miss Cannon's vivid descriptions. On the subject of her and Cary, the book couldn't get any better, thusly the five stars.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Review

    Touching and heartbreaking story of a real life. No movie magic required.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    Great story

    Very good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Great Read. Wonderful Love Story.

    I am enjoying this book very much. Two very remarkable people who had a deep love for each other, but they had numerous things to deal with. Hate for it to end. Dyan Cannon has a wonderful way of telling her story about a man she loved very much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    A very readable autobiography

    So many biographies and auto biogrophies can be run of the mill and boring. This one told a story about an idol and his foibles. It also told a story about love and emotional abuse. So sad that a relationship filled with love can become so destuctive.
    This book was written with a lot of humor as it delved into dark places.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    what a great book !

    I loved this book & couldn't put it down. A real insight into the character & personality of this charismatic actor. I never thought much of anything about Dyan Cannon & it was good to read this from her perspective. It prompted me to watch a lot of her old movies & to try & figure out just what it was about her that appealed so much to him.

    He was a charming & very complicated person for sure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    Hollywood!!

    Didn't know this much about Cary Grant. I thought Dyan was sometimes over extended in her thoughts.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    Sorry I read this

    Yes, I'm sorry I read this book. Have been a big fan of both Cary Grant (since my teens) and Dyan when she arrived on the scene. In reading it, I could actually hear both their voices. In some places it was erratic and I got confused on the time frame but sadly I could picture him being the way she described. . .and I got angry with her for being so weak but remembered the time in which this took place. I have no clue if all she describes happens but I do know I wish I hadn't read it. Some memories are just better left as just that....like poor Rock Hudson. :(

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Dipsy. Like Dyan.

    Can't really learn that much as it feels like it is written by a infatuated girl. Which she was at that time. Actually reminded me of when Dyan Cannon used to be interviewed on TV, s came across as a dipsy blond. You really can't tell that much about it. It's more about Dyan's life and feelings, and she has put him on a pedestal and you just can't really tell what he was actually like.
    Like the kid that goes to Disneyland, they won't remember the tired feet, the drive to get there etc. They will just remember they met Mickey Mouse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    Starlet is a Gifted Author

    Dyan Cannon conveys a truthful, poignant and startling portrait of her relationship with Cary Grant. If you are a Cary Grant fan (and I am), this is the book for you. Soon, you will discover that Ms. Cannon missed her calling because her best art is writing.

    She loved him dearly, and he loved her. That is unmistakable when reading her tender words.

    I would recommend this book to all adults because every page is filled with elegance, truth, and hope. Thank you, Ms. Canon.

    Martie C. Sluga



    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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