Julie 's Reviews > Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise

Cary Grant by Scott Eyman
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2020, audio, biography, non-fiction, scribd
Read 3 times. Last read January 3, 2021.

Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman is a 2020 Simon & Schuster publication.

A perfect model for biography standards

Recently, headlines erupted about a popular celebrity accused of being someone entirely different off camera than their public persona would have us believe. The only thing that surprised me about the allegations was that people were surprised by the allegations.

Celebrities, musicians, actors, and yes, even authors have a face they present to the public- on stage, on screen, or online. Actors, in particular, have a way of convincing us that the character we love or hate on screen is synonymous with the person they are in real life. The ‘good girl’ actress you love could be a difficult diva once the cameras stop rolling… and probably is.

The reason I’m mentioning all this is because Cary Grant is one of my favorite actors from his generation of Hollywood leading men. I think most people, if asked, would say they like Cary Grant... his on screen persona, that is.

Therefore, if you want to maintain that image of Cary, be prepared to see a different side of the charming, sophisticated, suave actor- the lovable, physical comedian, the romantic heartthrob. Behind the scenes, the actor was not always so endearing.

Archie Leach, born in Britain, came to America and eventually morphed into Cary Grant- the famous movie star. Archie and Cary housed in the same shell, would fight for dominance until Cary’s twilight years when the two sides of himself would finally make peace.



This book explores all the various pieces of the man we know as Cary Grant, but also the Archie Leach side of him. We learn about his business dealings, his friendships, his numerous marriages and affairs, and his annoying propensity for being ‘frugal’.

Personally, I found this to be a fascinating biography. I didn’t know that much about Cary’s personal life, other than he had been married multiple times. Therefore, all the information here was news to me. Grant was complicated, moody, not particularly approachable, and his attitude towards women could rankle on occasion. He was a self-absorbed egomaniac but was also described by some as the nicest person they knew. So, there you go.




This is an interesting, well- researched, and thorough biography, made more pleasant by the author’s neutrality. All biographies should be approached in this manner. I hate glossed over, gushing fan-biopics, tell-all biographies, or bios rooted in tittle-tattle, cheap, hastily tossed together cash grabs, or those focused solely on the professional end of the subject’s life.

Eyman is an experienced biographer, and it shows. I feel one interested in reading about the life of Cary Grant couldn’t ask for a better organized, well rounded portrait of the man.

One of my favorite memories of Cary is his role in Arsenic & Old Lace- He was hysterical in that movie. I also loved all his Hitchcock films, and The Philadelphia Story ranks as one my very favorites of Grant’s movies. I have not seen all his films and would like to look some of them up someday. This book also has me in the mood to re-watch some of my favorites.

So, even though this book reveals some less than flattering information about Cary, there was nothing here that would taint my enjoyment of his films or my appreciation of his talent. He was no worse than many other stars or celebrities of his era. Compared to what takes place today, Cary’s behavior and attitudes are almost child’s play.

For those wondering if the most burning question people want to know about Cary’s personal life is revealed- you will have to read the book to find out.

Overall, this is an impressive biography of one of Hollywood's most enduring actors- one of the few still remembered with much fondness today.



I have another book by Eyman in my TBR list- think I'll have to bump it up!

* The book has black and white photos included-however, I found the audio version on Scribd and listened to large portions of the book on audio. The narrator did a good job and has a pleasant reading voice.

4.5 stars
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 23, 2020 – Shelved
October 23, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
December 26, 2020 – Started Reading
December 26, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020
December 26, 2020 – Shelved as: audio
December 26, 2020 – Shelved as: biography
December 26, 2020 – Shelved as: non-fiction
December 26, 2020 – Shelved as: scribd
January 3, 2021 – Started Reading
January 3, 2021 – Finished Reading
January 3, 2021 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 58 (58 new)


Books Just 4 Me Great thorough review Julie! I agree with you, I’m not sure why people expect the characters a celebrity plays to match their own personality. People always say they’re shocked when celebrities do certain things because it’s out of character for them. However, none of us know who they really are. We only know the roles they play. Excellent points!


Julie Books Just 4 Me wrote: "Great thorough review Julie! I agree with you, I’m not sure why people expect the characters a celebrity plays to match their own personality. People always say they’re shocked when celebrities do ..."

Thank you very much, BJ4M!! Unless they've broken the law or have done something especially heinous, I try to separate the talent from the person. I'm also a little jaded- LOL! This is a great bio- I highly recommend it! 💖


Toni Julie, great review. I read this book too, even though I knew quite a bit about Cary Grant. This book was much better than others I’ve read in the past. Most actors, being mere mortals, are different than their screen personas because they’re acting. As obvious as that sounds most of us like to ignore that little fact, especially when we’re young. After reading a few celebrity biographies at a tender age I was shocked at what I learned, just horrified! 😳 As I’ve aged and matured (?) I realized this is a realistic truth. I still like Cary Grant and most of his films despite what I know about him, and others. 😊


Julie Toni wrote: "Julie, great review. I read this book too, even though I knew quite a bit about Cary Grant. This book was much better than others I’ve read in the past. Most actors, being mere mortals, are differe..."

Thank you very much, Toni!! I think we do mature and come to the realization that performers couldn't possibly live up to the images projected on them. Unless they've done something truly monstrous, I don't let what I know about them, get in the way of enjoying their work. Cary is still one of my favorites! 💖


message 5: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Excellent review Julie!💖


Julie Kaceey wrote: "Excellent review Julie!💖"

Thank you very much, Kaceey!! 💖


message 7: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Very informative review Julie. I’ve learnt a few thing myself. I never knew he was born here in the uk and his birth name, for a start ! Glad you enjoyed 😊


Julie Sandra wrote: "Very informative review Julie. I’ve learnt a few thing myself. I never knew he was born here in the uk and his birth name, for a start ! Glad you enjoyed 😊"

Thank you very much, Sandra!! 💖🎉💖


message 9: by Lyn (new) - added it

Lyn Caglio Ooo - sounds so good! Excellent review, Julie. I love biographies so I’ve put this on my list. 👍♥️


Julie Lyn wrote: "Ooo - sounds so good! Excellent review, Julie. I love biographies so I’ve put this on my list. 👍♥️"

Thank you very much, Lyn!! Enjoy!! Happy reading!! 💖


message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa ~ Bantering Books Fantastic review, Julie! :)


Julie Melissa wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie! :)"

Thank you very much, Melissa!! 💖


message 13: by David (new) - added it

David Putnam Great review. :-)


Julie David wrote: "Great review. :-)"

Thank you very much, David!! 😊


Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill Fantastic review Julie! This sounds good!


Julie Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill wrote: "Fantastic review Julie! This sounds good!"

Thank you very much, Kim!! 💖


message 17: by JanB (new)

JanB I love Cary Grant (as you said, who doesn't?) and just recently watched several favorites.

I love your line: "The only thing that surprised me about the allegations was that people were surprised by the allegations." So true! Great review Julie!


message 18: by Karissa (new)

Karissa An excellent review, Julie!


Julie JanB wrote: "I love Cary Grant (as you said, who doesn't?) and just recently watched several favorites.

I love your line: "The only thing that surprised me about the allegations was that people were surprised..."


Thanks so much, Jan!! I've been watching a few favorites too. Wish we had more actors with Grant's style around today! 💖


Julie Karissa wrote: "An excellent review, Julie!"

Thank you very much, Karissa!! 💖


message 21: by Ceecee (new)

Ceecee Fantastic review Julie 💝


message 22: by Carolyn (new) - added it

Carolyn Great review, Julie! "Bringing up Baby" is another early Grant/Hepburn movie that I always watch when it is on too. And, of course, the classic "An Affair to Remember." Sigh. I have this book and now it looks like I have to move it up on my TBR pile. Glad to hear that it is so well done. ;)


Julie Ceecee wrote: "Fantastic review Julie 💝"

Thank you very much, Ceecee!! 💖


Julie Carolyn wrote: "Great review, Julie! "Bringing up Baby" is another early Grant/Hepburn movie that I always watch when it is on too. And, of course, the classic "An Affair to Remember." Sigh. I have this book and n..."

Thank you very much, Carolyn!! Oh, I love those movies too! He was in so many great films! Hope you enjoy the book. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it! 💖


message 25: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Really great review, Julie. Your first paragraph is excellent, and made me laugh. I enjoyed this, too: "I hate glossed over, gushing fan-biopics, tell-all biographies, or bios rooted in tittle-tattle, cheap, hastily tossed together cash grabs...."
I'm feeling a hunger for some fiction after reading two memoirs, but I will keep this in mind. I loved Arsenic and Philadelphia, too.


message 26: by Jen (new)

Jen Terrific review. He was an idol - and a good looking one too! Lol. Glad you found it to be interesting.


message 27: by Laur (new)

Laur Amazing review, Julie 💖


Julie Thank you, Jennifer!! I'm the same way. I can't stand to read the same genres too many times in a row. I have to mix it up. This is a long book, as well. But, I do hope you will be able to read it someday. It was very well done. 💖


Julie Jen wrote: "Terrific review. He was an idol - and a good looking one too! Lol. Glad you found it to be interesting."

Thank you very much, Jen!! Cary was definitely easy on the eyes!! 💖


Julie Laur wrote: "Amazing review, Julie 💖"

Thank you very much, Laur!! 💖


message 31: by Tina (new)

Tina Love Cary Grant! A brilliant review!! 🌟


Julie Tina wrote: "Love Cary Grant! A brilliant review!! 🌟"

Thank you very much, Tina!! He was one of a kind! 💖


message 33: by Yun (new)

Yun Awesome review, Julie! So glad you loved this! I don't think I've ever watched a movie with Cary Grant in it, but your review makes me want to haha. :)


Julie Yun wrote: "Awesome review, Julie! So glad you loved this! I don't think I've ever watched a movie with Cary Grant in it, but your review makes me want to haha. :)"

Thank you very much, Yun!! You would LOVE Cary Grant! I haven't seen many of his earlier films, but he made some good ones with Katherine Hepburn and his Hitchcock movies are great too. 💖


message 35: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Julie , Cary Grant is one of my favorite all time actors . I read another biography of him quite some time ago and as this one , it gave a less than flattering view of his offscreen persona . It didn’t change my enjoyment of his performances either . Fantastic review!


Julie Angela M wrote: "Julie , Cary Grant is one of my favorite all time actors . I read another biography of him quite some time ago and as this one , it gave a less than flattering view of his offscreen persona . It di..."

Thank you very much, Angela!! There is no one else quite him!! 💖


message 37: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Great review! Love Cary Grant! Looking forward to reading this one!


message 38: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Fantastic review, Julie! I learned so much about Cary Grant from your review. I love his movies, but know so little about him. Your review makes me want to learn more--I might have to read this!


Julie Peggy wrote: "Great review! Love Cary Grant! Looking forward to reading this one!"

Thank you very much, Peggy!! Happy reading! Hope you enjoy! 💖


Julie Meredith wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie! I learned so much about Cary Grant from your review. I love his movies, but know so little about him. Your review makes me want to learn more--I might have to read this!"

Thank you very much, Meredith!! It is very interesting!! 💖


message 41: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Excellent and wholly intriguing review Julie! You've really piqued my interest with this one! Way to go! (LOL)!! So glad you enjoyed!


message 42: by PorshaJo (new)

PorshaJo Nice review Julie! I might have to check this one out.


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Wonderful review, Julie!


Julie Susanne wrote: "Excellent and wholly intriguing review Julie! You've really piqued my interest with this one! Way to go! (LOL)!! So glad you enjoyed!"

Thank you very much, Susanne!! It's very well done! I think you'd find it interesting!! 💖


Julie PorshaJo wrote: "Nice review Julie! I might have to check this one out."

Thank you very much, PorshaJo!! I hope you'll find room for it on your shelf. I"d love to get your thoughts on it! 💖


Julie Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Wonderful review, Julie!"

Thank you very much, Brenda!! 💖


message 47: by Amy (new)

Amy Excellent review, Julie! Sounds like this author knows his stuff. I don't know much about Grant, but it sounds like this one shows all sides.


Julie Amy wrote: "Excellent review, Julie! Sounds like this author knows his stuff. I don't know much about Grant, but it sounds like this one shows all sides."

Thank you very much, Amy!! I didn't know much about him either, so this book was very enlightening. Quite interesting! 💖


message 49: by RedemptionDenied (new)

RedemptionDenied Excellent review, Julie!🙂💯👍


Julie RedemptionDenied wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!🙂💯👍"

Many thanks, RD!! 😊


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