Cary Grant: one of the greatest actors of his time and the epitome of the well-dressed man. His debonair persona both on and off screen is what has made him a legend. But it’s his subtly and modesty that makes Grant so endearing. Unlike many actors who rise to the top with ego and the desire to flaunt their wealth and success, his difficult upbringing kept him grounded through the years.
Grant was born in 1904 as Archibald Alexander Leach. He turned to theater at a young age while escaping a challenging childhood. Grant’s father left, and his mother was committed to an institution. From that moment forward, Grant was mostly on his own.
Three years later, he ran away with a traveling comedy group and performed as a juggler, comedian, and acrobat. The group eventually left England to tour in the United States. At sixteen, Grant left the group to set out on his own in New York City. He struggled at first, but after a decade of persistence, he landed a few roles on Broadway and in short films.
Once he gained some interest and attention, he decided to relocate to Los Angeles to pursue film. He quickly landed a contract with Paramount Studios and assumed his new identity as Cary Grant. By his early 30s, Grant established himself as one of the leading men in Hollywood. He starred in some of the greatest films of his time.
In his 40s, Grant became one of the first actors to leave his studio and become a free agent. This allowed him to be more selective with his film roles. He continued to appear in his signature comedies, but he also took some roles that were a departure from his typical character. At the age of 62, Grant appeared in his final film, Walk Don’t Run, and then retired from acting.
Grant’s difficult upbringing humbled him. He was one of the most well-liked actors in the industry: kind, unpretentious, and private in his personal life. And despite being a prominent star, he was a man who valued simplicity.
It’s only fitting that Grant would choose one of the most polished, clean, and unassuming timepieces ever created—a Cartier Tank. We now regard Grant as a men’s fashion icon not only because of his sophisticated style but also because of the way he carried himself. Grant wasn’t boastful or snobbish about his wealth, his success, or the watch he wore on his wrist. He believed that what you wore should draw attention to your best features, that you should buy in moderation, and that function trumps fashion. The sleek yet powerful Tank reflects the elegance and quiet strength of such a stylish and modest gentleman.
Image Credits: Header; Wikimedia Commons. 2; Getty.