Cary Grant

Cary Grant in trailer for ”To Catch a Thief”, 1955

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, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, as well as one quarter Welsh, possibly some Scottish

Cary Grant was an English and American actor. A classic movie star, his roles included Blonde Venus, She Done Him Wrong, The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, Gunga Din, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, Penny Serenade, Suspicion, Arsenic and Old Lace, None but the Lonely Heart, Notorious, To Catch a Thief, Indiscreet, North by Northwest, That Touch of Mink, and Charade.

Born Archibald Alec Leach, he was the son of Elsie Maria (Kingdon/Kingdom) and Elias James Leach. Cary moved to the U.S. around 1920, and became a United States citizen in 1942. He also used the middle name Alexander.

Cary was married to Barbara Harris, until his death. He had a daughter, 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 grandfather John was born in Brent Knoll, Somerset, England. 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 grandmother Elizabeth was born in Poole, England. Cary’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of John Anniss and Elizabeth Cruwys.

Cary’s maternal grandfather was named William Kingdon (the son of William Kingdom/Kingdon and Ann). Cary’s grandfather William was born in St James, Bristol, England. Cary’s great-grandfather William was the son of William Kingdon.

Cary’s maternal grandmother was named Elizabeth Morgan. 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 verified/documented for Cary Grant.

Sources: Genealogies of Cary Grant –

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

Lil Vacha

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42 Responses

  1. ethnogenesis says:

    It remains unclear whether Cary Grant was part Jewish, because of steprelatives and possible extramarital affairs in his family record. He isn’t in the religion, but to go around publically saying he’s “Jewish” without evidence of recent ancestry nor had he converted to any branches of Judaism isn’t helpful in this article.

  2. pookerella says:

    It is said he is 1/4 Ashkenazi because his mother’s legal father was not her biological father.

    • Preservationist says:

      That has been proven false by many competent genealogists. The wife (Dyan Cannon) by whom he had his only child is half Jewish. Jennifer Grant is one quarter Jewish.

      • andrew says:

        Cary Grant was not straight.

      • passingtime85 says:

        I just didn’t see the reason for mentioning. I inferred it as somehow being an insinuation that he and Dyan Cannon were in a manufactured marriage or in a marriage of convenience, and somehow Jennifer isn’t his offspring. It’s a possibility the marriage was one more for show than of that forged in affection, but I don’t doubt Jennifer’s parentage.

        I probably read too much into the comment, but either way his preferences didn’t/don’t change his heritage, so bringing them up, was an odd choice in my opinion.

        • jackson9 says:

          Okay. Hope you’re having a merry Christmas/ happy holidays @passingtime85.

        • Oaken05 says:

          No, I think your reaction was prefectly reasonable. What your replying to was a total non-sequitur; it’d be like talking about his geneaology and someone replying what his favorite food was. It simply wasn’t relevant to the particular discussion at hand.

          • passingtime85 says:

            I don’t disagree per se, but I should’ve just asked Andrew to elaborate, rather than make an assumption.

            Maybe he was just throwing in some irrelevant information because he didn’t see the point of Preservationist mentioning Cary’s wife/daughter’s heritage, even though it’s Jewish heritage adjacent, it still doesn’t change Cary’s own heritage, so mentioning it is as relevant as mentioning Cary’s sexuality.

            I didn’t know what Andrew meant, or what he was trying to say, it may have had less to do with Cary himself, than the way Preservationist framed his comment. I should’ve just asked or not comment at all.

          • jackson9 says:

            @Passingtime85, I thought your response was reasonable as well. and reading your last comment about how you could have asked Andrew to elaborate shows a lot of maturity btw. I was only pointing out that you and Andrew might have been on different pages/ different understandings of what his comment originally was intended to had meant.

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