‘Childhood pain drove him’: The truth about my father, Cary Grant

As a new drama, Archie, tells the story of the actor’s traumatic childhood in Bristol, his daughter Jennifer speaks about its lasting impact. By Julia Llewellyn Smith

Jennifer Grant now, and with her father, Cary
Jennifer Grant now, and with her father, Cary
The Times

When Jennifer Grant was researching Archie, the four-part ITVX biopic of her father, the Hollywood legend Cary Grant, she and the screenwriter Jeff Pope visited Bristol, where Grant was born — named Archie Leach — in 1904 into extreme poverty. They knocked on the door of the two-up two-down in Horfield where he grew up.

“When the owner opened the door I got a little bit teary,” says Jennifer, Grant’s only child from his five marriages. “I went upstairs and could see exactly the same view from the bedroom that Dad would have seen. I was quite shaken, I really felt I was getting a piece of history.”

Talking to Jennifer in a Soho hotel room, you feel that same frisson. Grant, who starred