Cary Grants Bristol roots explored in online festival

Cary Grants Bristol roots explored in online festival

A festival honouring actor Cary Grant will take place for the first time virtually due to coronavirus.

The biannual festival was launched in 2014 to celebrate the films of the Bristol-born Hollywood legend.

Festival director Charlotte Crofts said: “Despite being online, I still hope we can create a sense of community with those who love Cary Grant.”

The event begins on Friday, exactly 100 years after the star first set sail for the US.

“We usually have people from all over the world attend, so at least this will make it easier for them,” Ms Crofts said.

Born Archibald Leach, in Horfield, Bristol, in 1904, Grant went in search of fame in the US at the age of 16.

Famous films he starred in include North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby and To Catch a Thief.

The online festival will offer a selection of screenings, talks, quizzes and dress-up challenges for attendees.

One talk will focus on how Grant’s Bristol roots fed into his roles.

Ms Crofts said: “People usually associate Cary with being a star persona but he also played a lot of working-class characters, usually with a terrible cockney accent instead of his original Bristol accent.”

There will also be a talk by Mark Glancy, who has written a biography of the actor, due to be released in the UK in January.

He said: “My talk will focus on the actor’s wanderlust, what he learned on his travels and what it says about him.

“It ties in with the 100th anniversary of Archie Leach emigrating to America on the RMS Olympic in July 1920.”

The festival is following the theme of journeys, with several of the film choices featuring plot lines involving travel.

One of the screenings will also feature late actress Deborah Kerr, from Henleaze in Bristol, who starred with Grant in the 1957 hit, An Affair to Remember.

A talk will also be held about well-known Bristol dog, Nipper, who had a cameo alongside Grant in the 1941 melodrama Penny Serenade.

The festival – which runs until Sunday – will be free but donations can be made.

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