This respected British actor and film producer is well-known worldwide for starring in all sorts of films, from romantic comedies to epic science fiction dramas. Is Hugh Grant also related to one of Hollywood’s biggest names?
Hugh Grant is not related to Cary Grant. While they may have had a past ancestor in common, they are not directly related, but are both very successful English actors in Hollywood and internationally.
Read on below to find out more about their similarities, as well as their separate, famous families.
Hugh Grant was born in Hammersmith, London, in 1960, the second son of his mother, Fynvola Susan MacLean, and his father, Captain James Murray Grant. Both of his parents came from military families, as did Grant himself.
Grant started out doing sketch comedy and theater productions before moving on to act in supporting roles on TV shows and films. It was only after he got the lead romantic role in Four Wedding and a Funeral in 1994 that he became the Hugh Grant that fans love today.
Grant’s entry in The Trouble with Men: Masculinities in European and Hollywood Cinema reads, “Grant was careful to play up to the affable and self-deprecating English gent. His interviewers commented frequently on his romantic attractiveness, a modern matinée idol, blue eyed, very good looking in a classically English way, with his floppy hair and charming smile, his impeccable manners leavened by the occasional expletive.”
Cary Grant, on the other hand, was not known as Cary Grant until his much later career in Hollywood. He was born in Horfield, Bristol, in 1904, and named Archibald Alec Leach by his mother, Elsie Maria Leach whose maiden name was Kingdon, and his father, Elias James Leach.
This Grant was a very athletic, good looking young man who became a comedian and performer who juggled, did acrobatics, and unicycled. Eventually, Grant started doing theater productions and made it to Hollywood.
This is when he changed his name from Archibald Leach to Cary Grant when B.P. Schulberg convinced him to change it to “something that sounded more all-American like Gary Cooper.” From there, his career took off, landing him a coveted, recurring spot in Classic Hollywood.
While the two are of no relation, because of their similar careers it’s natural to think that they may be from the same family. They both appear on this Twitter user’s list of favorite Christmas movies, Hugh Grant with Love Actually from 2003 and Cary Grant with The Bishop’s Wife from 1947.
Another user, when asked which actor fits the persona of a traditional hero in romantic movies, answered, “Hugh Grant. Or Cary Grant. One of the Grants, anyway.” So while they’re not related, they took on similar roles and have similar personas when acting.
Watch the YouTube video below to see Cary Grant’s Hollywood biography called Cary Grant: The Leading Man.
While Cary Grant’s family history is still fairly unknown, during his time in Hollywood he connected with many other stars and actors like him. He had been married to the American actress Virginia Cherrill from 1934 to 1935, dated the actress and model Phyllis Brooks from 1937 to 1939, and married Barbara Hutton, one of the richest women in the world at the time, in 1942 before they divorced in 1945 on amicable terms.
From 1949 to 1962, he and the actress and writer Betsy Drake were married, and from 1965 to 1968, he was married to Dyan Cannon. His last marriage was to Barbara Harris, who was not an actress but worked in a hotel, and his daughter, Jennifer Grant, went on to become an actress.
Hugh Grant’s family is more in the military than in the entertainment industry, as his famous relatives include Sir Walter Raleigh, William Drummond, James Stewart, John Murray, Heneage Finch, and Sir Evan Nepean.