Actress Dyan Cannon provides a very personable and charming account of her experiences with legendary movie star Cary Grant. One of the good things about reading various accounts of history and personalities is the little details or points of view that are included that are often missed by more "formal" biographies and histories.
Cannon's point of view starts from looking back upon her early career and her meeting and then marrying Grant. She also notes other celebrities they met and what her feelings were at that time.
Interestingly, Cannon says that she did not initially intend upon becoming an actress, it sort of happened. She was saving herself for marriage in the proper way as it was prescribed in Mid-20th Century America at that time. Yet meeting someone who was very persuasive changed all that. And it was when she inadvertently entered into the world of movies and such is when she met Grant.
This reporter found this interesting because Cannon was to be in one of the most controversial movies of its time that challenged the established social norms of marriage in the 1960's. The movie was called, "Bob & Carol and Ted & Alice.
The way Cannon described her early life before being in Hollywood as one of convention and she had anticipated a simple life. But obviously that did not happen. Still Cannon describes a life filled with gratitude and wonderful surprises amid the challenges and disappointments.
When this reporter saw the book, "Dear Cary," I must admit I was curious to know if Cannon's account would refer to anything scandalous like the tell-all book by Scotty Bowers, which recently made waves in the media.
I was surprised to find no such telling, only a sweet and incredibly warm and uplifting account, in the early part of their relationship. She says little of Grant's other relationships outside of his marriages. Cannon chronicles a married life with Grant filled with unexpected tenderness and depth. At times Grant was over-bearing and his struggle with his own personal demons caused her much pain. The pain was something she seems to have struggled to forgive him for. Yet Grant cared for Cannon deeply. And, at that time early in her carer his guidance was a stabilizing force.
But like most "May-December" relationships the situation changes. Cannon was 35 years younger than Grant, which obviously must have put some strain on their five-year relationship. Still the memoir is a fascinating point of view. This reporter had heard of Grant's marriages and struggles with a sad childhood. Yet I did not know the extent of his use of LSD. Apparently, Grant sought help by using the hallucinogenic and was encouraging Cannon to join him.
Cannon also talks about a Hollywood that is no more, not just the remnants of classic Hollywood of which Grant was a major part of but the Hollywood of the 1960's. Even with change there seems to have been a certain optimism in the air during that time that is not found in the world today.
For fans of Hollywood, especially classic Hollywood, Cannon's book with its very personal style will Initially charm and delight.