Cary Grant

by Lil Vacha on June 5, 2010

Birth Name: Archibald Alec Leach

Date of Birth: January 18, 1904

Place of Birth: Horfield, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, U.K.

Date of Death: November 29, 1986

Place of Death: Davenport, Iowa

Ethnicity: English, as well as 1/4 Welsh, possibly some Scottish

Cary Grant was an English and American actor. He was the son of Elsie Maria (Kingdon/Kingdom) and Elias James Leach. Cary moved to the United States around 1920, and became a United States citizen in 1942.

Cary’s daughter is actress Jennifer Grant, with his former wife, actress Dyan Cannon.

Cary’s paternal grandfather was John James Lake/Leach (the son of John James Lake and Eliza Sweet). Cary’s great-grandfather John was the son of John James Lake and Jane Scott. Eliza was the daughter of James Sweet and Rebecca Lawes.

Cary’s paternal grandmother was Elizabeth Leafe/Leaf (the daughter of Henry Leafe/Leaf and Elizabeth Anness/Anniss). Cary’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of John Anniss and Elizabeth Cruwys.

Cary’s maternal grandparents were William Kingdon (the son of William Kingdom/Kingdon and Ann) and Elizabeth Morgan. Cary’s great-grandfather William was the son of William Kingdon. Elizabeth was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.

Cary donated to the charity United Jewish Appeal. There are various statements on the internet that Cary had some degree of Jewish heritage (sometimes on his father’s side, sometimes on his mother’s). It appears that Cary himself may have said that he is of Jewish heritage. However, no Jewish ancestry has ever been documented/verified for Cary Grant.

Sources: Genealogies of Cary Grant –

Genealogies of Cary Grant (focusing on his father’s side) (they contradict each other on the name of Cary’s paternal grandmother, and of her ancestors) –

Birth registration of Cary Grant (as Archibald Alec Leach) –

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew January 26, 2017 at 1:07 pm
andrew July 4, 2016 at 6:49 pm
Capricious October 9, 2015 at 1:17 am

Do people realize that he tanned himself to look brown?

This guy is as white as Bill O’Reilly.

gel July 30, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Why isn’t this guy called Black English?

crunty July 28, 2016 at 11:53 am

Probably for the same reason why you don’t use your real name of Irish-twat.

gel July 28, 2016 at 11:40 pm
crunty August 2, 2016 at 6:14 am

@gel, watch the Irish series “Red Rock”, to see plenty of “black Irish.” Then again, I don’t have a problem with white people’s coloring — like you seem to do.

gel August 2, 2016 at 6:33 am


bts15 March 3, 2015 at 4:27 am

hey can someone tell me what country i could pass??
i will share here a pic of min i am Brasilian with Austrian,german and italian origins

jokin March 3, 2015 at 9:38 am

Looking at your face, i would say you have other roots, apart from austrian, German or italian, as you would not pass for any of those people.

I think that you look very mixed brazilian, i think you could have a mulatto or black background in your roots.

I am european myself and let me tell you, you do not look european at all.

bts15 March 4, 2015 at 5:49 am

ok thanks

maybe i have some asian because my austrian relatives have origins in easter europe,and there is some asian influence i think
but i am not sure

jokin March 4, 2015 at 10:22 am

yeappp::.i got it..

i think you could have indian or pakistaní ancestry, i can tell by your eyes,, skintone and hair.

andrew March 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm

@ bts15

one pic is not enough to say (and poor lighting doesn’t help), your could have some colonial ancestry besides your recent austrian, german, italian..ask your family what they know. And Austrians are not East Euro and they dont have Asian genes.

bts15 March 5, 2015 at 4:21 pm

@ andrew

about colonial acestry i am almost sure i dont have it because i am just the 2th generation was bron in brazil my grandparents are both imigrants

about Austrian,yep i know its not east euro and there is no asian genes,but i meant my austrian relatives,they just was born in Austria,but they have ancestors in east europe,in countries like Hungary,Slovakia and Romania i am not sure if there is asian influence,i just heard about it so that would explain a lot in my apparence hehe

here another pic with a better light,maybe it would help

ethnicitiies February 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

I’m Austrian and German too! Sorry I just like ethnicities haha

passingtime85 March 2, 2015 at 3:56 am


Shouldn’t this profile mention that in his own entry to Who’s Who in America in 1962, Grant listed his mother’s name as ‘Lilian’, not “Elsie” Leach, and in 1948 he donated a considerable sum of money to the new State of Israel in the name of his “dead Jewish mother”?

I realize the profile already alludes to the his possible Jewish heritage, but adding these facts to the profile, really wouldn’t take up much space.

follers March 2, 2015 at 11:22 am

I don’t know if the name difference (Elsie/Lillian) in a book is all that notable.

Is there proof that Cary Grant really said “my dead Jewish mother”? I’ve heard it repeated online that he did, but I’m not sure I quite believe it.

The whole idea that Cary Grant had a different biological mother seems bizarre to me.

I find it interesting that Roger Ebert stated that Cary’s father was “part Jewish”. We know that’s not true, but I wonder what his source was?

passingtime85 March 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm

I think the name difference is pretty notable as he entered the name himself, how exactly would he confuse his own mother’s name with someone else?

In Cary Grant: A Biography By Marc Eliot, the author seems to think he entered the name incorrectly on purpose to protect his mother’s identity, or chalks it up to a mistake that Cary didn’t cared to correct.

As for the donation and the quote Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley, is the only source. I can’t even find a record of the fund to which he donated.

Another weird fact about the identity of his biological mother was something his ex-wife Dyan Cannon revealed. In her book ‘Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant’, she said Cary told her that when he was 10, he was told his mother was Jewish and had “gone away to the seaside for a rest”. That easily could have been a cover story because of his own mother’s mental illness. Yet it’s odd his father would choose to say his mother was Jewish.

Maybe Grant just liked the idea that he may be Jewish, sort if like Richard Burton. Or maybe it was his idea of a joke, to explain why he was circumcised.

follers March 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm

I’m not sure what you want me to say about the name difference. Are you seriously suggesting that Grant’s biological mother was a different woman? Have any biographers other than Higham ever suggested this, outside of the context of Grant possibly having Jewish ancestry?

The Higham book states that Grant gave a check for $10,000 to the United Jewish Appeal, in the name of his “dead Jewish mother”.

The excerpt in this other book explains the story of the $10,000, with the author refuting the claim that Grant was actually Jewish.

follers March 2, 2015 at 10:01 pm

BTW, it’s true that the old Biography Yearbooks list the name “Lillian”. However, her maiden name is given as “Kingdom”, which was Elsie’s maiden name. So Grant was presumably talking about the same woman.

passingtime85 March 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm

I guess the profile is as accurate as it can be. Correction withdrawn I suppose.

HotDog August 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

He’s not Jewish this has been disproved completely.

His dad’s parents were of Scottish descent. Look at his real name. All three of his names are Scottish and the surname he chose as his stage name is also Scottish.

ses101 April 10, 2017 at 6:23 am

The whole Leach/Lake thing is a bit sketchy, but the surname Scott is in his family tree, so he almost certainly has some Scots blood.

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