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Cary Grant: The Wizard of Beverly Grove Hardcover – December 19, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


A uniquely revealing book about the life of a famous enigma. -- Gavin Lambert, author of Natalie Wood: A Life A fascinating portrait of an unlikely but powerful friendship that reveals more about Cary than any other book possibly could! –– Howard Gottfried, producer of Network If you love Cary, this unique and often touching story about the real man behind the legend will make you love him even more. –– David Leaf, director of Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile

From the Publisher

This life-changing story not only introduces fans to the private life of film legend Cary Grant, it offers hope to everyone who has suffered from addiction or abuse. The mentoring relationship Cary Grant had with Bill Royce is revealing, inspiring, often hilarious, and sometimes tragic.

After reading Cary Grant: The Wizard of Beverly Grove you can't help but look at Cary Grant with a new perspective, as you will the possibilities in your own life.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Titles (December 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967392063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967392066
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Roberts on December 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book documents the close friendship between the author, Bill Royce, and the legend, Cary Grant. Their emotional story had me both laughing and crying, and gives good insight into Cary's life at home at his house on Beverly Grove. Cary served as a kind of mentor to the author and helped the author sort out neglect and abuse in his early life by sharing his own similar stories, and by being a support system for Bill. We also learn many likes and quirks about Cary Grant, and of his very generous heart. This book is very well written and has many new photos of Cary that have never been published before. I am a huge Cary Grant fan and know this will go down as one of the best Cary books ever!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By William Warren on January 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have always enjoyed Cary Grant in some of his movies, particularly the comedies, but I can't say I was especially a fan of his -- until I read this book. It was a gift from a friend and I took my time before I picked it up and read it. And I am so glad I did!

Neither a sleazy tell all nor a sugar coated tribute, this is the story of a friendship between two people from vastly different backgrounds who shared a common bond -- deeply troubled childhoods with damaged relationships with their mothers. The author, Bill Royce, was 25 years old and a movie magazine editor in Hollywood in 1973 when he met Cary, then nearly 70 and retired from the screen. Cary called all rock and roll "noise" and Royce, who met Cary through a writer on his magazine's staff who was dating Cary at the time, challenged that assumption. From that point, Royce gave Cary a musical education which the latter requested for the sake of strengthening his relationship with his young daughter, Jennifer, from his marriage to Dyan Cannon.

It was this musical bond that started to unlock some of both men's secrets. After Royce played for Cary John Lennon's song, "Mother", in which Lennon sang "you had me but I never had you," Cary told Royce all about his traumatic relationship with his mother, Elsie, who disappeared from his life when he was 9. Cary's father had her put away in a mental sanitarium (in Bristol, England where Cary was born) so he could have an affair with another woman!

This is just the first of many revelations that come forth with music being the catalyst. We learn the truth about Cary's five marriages, his experiences with leading ladies like Sophia Loren, his relationship with Randolph Scott (much more poignant than I could have ever imagined!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hardin Holley on June 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary book, very touching and moving. This is the inside story on Cary Grant, a remarkable man, one very private, who allowed Bill Royce to tell his true story. It's reminscent of "Tuesdays With Morrie" and can be considered a self-help book because of Grant's wisdom conveyed therein, and his example of friendship. It's not just another boring movie star book, but interesting revelations about how he led his life, the choices he made, the friendships created, how he dealt with crises, and became "Cary Grant." Cary never stopped working on himself, to make himself a better person, and it's inspiring to learn that he was such a fine person. I could not put it down, and enthusiasitically recommend this remarkable book. Bill Royce reveals the true story, which only he could tell as he saw Cary or spoke to him on a daily basis for ten years. Cary Grant was a man of substance, a class act, and now you can see why and how he achieved such stature and recognition.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Ms_Scout on May 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you want to read every book on Cary Grant, I guess you should read this book. One of the most interesting parts is Bill Royce's retelling of his bizarre encounter with Phil Spector at a party. Spector was ranting and chasing Royce with a gun because Spector thought Royce was Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Cary Grant told his daughter, Jennifer, and last wife, Barbara, not to believe gossip about him being homosexual. He said after he died, people would come out of the woodwork with rumors and innuendo regarding his life and sexual preferences. He told them not to believe the vicious gossips.

Now Bill Royce says Cary Grant told him not to tell this until after he was gone, but that he had homosexual experiences, and was infatuated with Randolph Scott, and had a fling with some male assistant while he was making a movie with Sophia Loren. But all this was compartmentalized, and his gay experiences were in his past. Ok, whatever you say Bill.

Why did Bill Royce do this? Did he need money? I don't know if I believe what he alleges Grant told him, but even if Cary Grant did admit these things to Royce, I don't want or need to hear it.

Cary Grant's old girlfriend Maureen Donaldson supplied the photographs for this book. In her book, "An Affair to Remember," she says Grant denied being gay or having gay experiences. Ok, so Bill Royce, who worked with Maureen and knew both her and Grant very well, says Grant confided in him about his same-sex experiences, but Grant denied these sort of things to Maureen. Didn't Cary Grant think Maureen and Bill might compare notes? Of course he would. He wasn't stupid.

I've read better. I've read worse.

I will say there are parts of this book that are very interesting. As a whole it's so-so.
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