Classic Hollywood #57 – Cary Grant & Ginger Rogers

Cary Grant Never Won An Academy Award For Best Actor

The Academy Awards were held February 26, 2017. Millions of people watched. Millions more did not. The Oscars have been declining in TV viewership steadily over the years. It’s true that there are more choices to divert your entertainment time. But could it be that today’s stars don’t measure up to the stars of yesteryear and many people like myself could care less about the Academy Awards?

There are movie stars and then there are Movie Stars. Cary Grant was a Movie Star. Women fantasized about being with him and men wanted to be him.

In 1952 Cary Grant starred with Ginger Rogers (seen above) in Monkey Business, a zany comedy about a scientist (Grant) discovering a potion that when consumed will make you young again. An escaped chimpanzee is responsible for concocting the “successful” potion. The film also had Marilyn Monroe playing a sexy secretary. Monkey Business was made right before Marilyn’s  breakthrough film Niagara.

4/7/70 Hollywood – As singer Frank Sinatra claps for him, actor Cary Grant holds his hands as he accepts a special achievement award at the 42nd annual Academy award presentation at the Music Center. The Board of Governors of the Academy voted the special award for Grant. photo: UPI Telephoto

Cary Grant was nominated only twice for Best Actor in a leading role; Penny Serenade (1941) and None But The Lonely Heart (1944), neither of which are among his best films.He did not win either time, yet six of his films were nominated for Best Picture.

And you can be sure Cary Grant starred in many great films; The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, Holiday, Gunga Din. His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, Suspicion, Notorious, Arsenic and Old Lace, Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, To Catch A Thief and North By Northwest, to name just a few. Not one of these classics did Grant receive an Oscar nomination for his fine acting.

It took until 1970 when the Academy finally awarded Grant an Honorary Academy Award.  On April 7, Frank Sinatra presented Cary Grant his honorary award “For his unique mastery of the art of screen acting with the respect and affection of his colleagues.”

In his acceptance speech Grant said, “I realize it’s conventional to praise one’s fellow-workers at these occasions, but why not? Ours is a collaborative medium. We all need each other. And what better opportunity to publicly express one’s appreciation and and affection for those who contribute so much to our welfare. You know that I’ve never been a joiner or a member of any particular social set, but I’ve been privileged to be a part of Hollywood’s most glorious era.”

Unfortunately almost everyone from that era is now gone.

Here is Cary Grant’s acceptance speech. The interaction with Frank Sinatra is genuine, unlike today where the banter between the presenters and winners seems scripted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.