EARLY YEARS (1904-1931)


Archibald Alec Leach was born on January 18, 1904, at 15 Hughenden Road, Bristol, England to Elias Leach, a clothing presser and his wife, Elsie Maria Kingdon. They were married in 1898 at an Episcopalian church. They were a typical Victorian working class family. Elsie had given birth to a baby boy in 1900 but he died tragically at the age of one. Archie was her second child. She was very protective of him. He attended Bristol Road Boy's School from 1909 to 1914. In 1913 his mother suddenly disappeared out of his life. Archie was told she had died. In reality his father had put her into a mental institution. In 1915, he attended Fairfield High School, but was expelled in 1918. That same year, Archie worked as a stage callboy at Bristol's Hippodrome. In 1919 he joined Bob Pender's Acrobatic Troupe in Bristol with the approval of his father. The troupe came to tour America in 1920. They appeared at New York's Hippodrome and then toured across the nation. Archie fell in love with America and in 1922, when the troupe returned to England, Archie decided to stay in New York to pursue a stage career. There he met Orry Kelly, a young man from Australia and the two roomed together in the Village. Mr. Kelly would become Warner Brothers top couturier in the 1930s. In 1922, Archie worked as a stilt walker at Coney Island's Boardwalk, advertising Steeplechase Park, a job he hated. With his good looks he was able to break into vaudeville and Broadway and started appearing in walk on roles. In a few years, Archie would land major acting roles on Broadway. Durine one of these shows, "Nikki" (1931), he changed his name professionally to Gary Lockwood at the insistence of Fay Wray, his co-star. In New York he appeared as an extra in a 15-minute short called "Singapore Sue." It was filmed at the Paramount Astoria studios. He was not credited. At this point, he left New York and went to Hollywood to find work in the talkies. In 1932, Paramount gave him a screen test and signed him to a film contract. They also gave him a new name, Cary Grant.


The Lottery Bride

Bristol, England
Archie Leach's hometown

The Merry Widow

15 Hughenden Road
House where he was born

Archibald Leach

Archibald Leach
born Jan 18, 1904

Elsie Leach

Elsie Leach
Archie's Mother

Elias Leach

Elias Leach
Archie's Father

Rose Marie

Bristol Road Boy's School c 1910
Top Row, 3rd from Right

San Francisco

Bristol Fairfield High School
1915-1918

Naughty Marietta

Bristol's Hippodrome
Job as a callboy 1918

Rose Marie

Bob Pender Troupe
c. 1919-1924

San Francisco

The Bob Pender Troupe
c. 1919-1921

Hippodrome NYC

Hippodrome NYC
44th St & 6th Ave
Bob Pender Troupe

Steeplechase Park

Steeplechase Park
Coney Island 1922
Grant on Stilts

Golden Dawn 1927

Golden Dawn
1927

Archie Leach 1929

Archie Leach 1929
Actor on NY stage

Muny Theatre

Muny Theatre (summer stock)
St Louis 1930

Nikki 1931

Nikki (Stage) 1931
Longacre Theatre, NYC

Nina Rosa 1931

Nina Rosa (Stage) 1931
Musical by Otto Harbach
St. Louis, MO

Singapore Sue 1931

Singapore Sue 1931
Paramount Short
with Anna Chang

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