There will likely be many fans of Cary Grant who may not immediately put the pieces of the puzzle together and realise that ITVX's latest drama is all about the late Hollywood actor.


Born as Archibald Alexander Leach in Bristol, England, Archie's life couldn't have been more different from the life older Cary Grant went on to lead as one of the film industry's best known actors throughout the '50s and '60s.

Known for his roles in romantic screwball comedies and Alfred Hitchcock classics like North by Northwest, the budding actor was told to change his name when he entered the starry world of film acting in the '30s.

But before that, his life was one of hardship and trauma, as explored in the new four-part drama.

While Archie can be quite an eye-opening drama in parts, though, Grant's daughter Jennifer says that her father's life wasn't all a miserable affair.

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Speaking to and other press about her father, who is played in Archie by Jason Isaacs, and working as executive producer on the new series, she revealed: "I think there was still a lot of truth to the man that was winsome and charming and had a great time in his career.

"I don’t think it was all miserable and haunted, I don’t."

Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon holding baby Jennifer Grant, 1966.
Cary Grant, Dyan Cannon and baby Jennifer Grant, 1966. Central Press/Getty Images

Also an actress, Jennifer is Grant's only child, and was born as a result of Grant's ex-wife Dyan Cannon wanting to start a family with the late actor at the time.

It was upon the birth of Jennifer that the iconic actor decided to take a step back from the world of acting and retire to care for his daughter – a move that was practically unheard of at the time.

Speaking about that, Jennifer said of her father: "He worked on himself all along, so it was gradual, it wasn’t a momentary breaking [of] the dam when I was born.

"He got to that point where he could have a child because he was settled enough and because, quite frankly, my mum pushed the issue."

There's much in the new drama that fans of Grant's will be learning about for the first time, such as his poverty-stricken childhood in Bristol, the lie that his father told him which shaped his life and relationships, and his early years in the Bob Pender Troupe.

The reason why the series will fill in a lot of blanks in many fans' memories of Grant is that the actor was a very private man, and despite being involved in high-profile relationships and marriages, not much was actually known about his life until now.

Also serving as an executive producer on the series, Dyan Cannon opened up to and other press about the fact that she doesn't think her late ex-husband would like Archie.

Cannon admitted: "I don’t think he’d like it – it’s much too public about his feelings.

"He was far more private, he didn’t give out a lot, and when he did… the only things he wrote about with great abandon was the LSD. He wrote that for Ladies' Home Journal, can you imagine?"

She added: "Don’t try and figure him out, because it does not make sense. You cannot make sense out of nonsense, so I don’t think he’d like that."

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At the time of their relationship, Cannon was 33 years younger than Grant, and revealed that she does look back on the relationship differently now.

She said: "He was older than my father. I do [look back on it differently]. I get kind of emotional when I think about it, I wish I could’ve loved him then the way I understand love now because I could’ve helped him.

"We want to please, we want to serve, and when that’s taken advantage of, you become not yourself anymore. You lose yourself - and I, completely, I was gone."

The new four-part series delves into Grant's childhood, his relationship with Cannon, but also his rollercoaster relationship closer to home with his mother Elsie, who is played by both Harriet Walter (Succession) and Kara Tointon (Mr Selfridge).

Alongside Isaacs leading the cast as Grant, other cast members include Laura Aikman (Gavin & Stacey) as Cannon, as well as Dainton Anderson (Patrick Melrose), Calam Lynch (Bridgerton) and Oaklee Pendergast (Home), who all play younger versions of Grant.

Archie premieres on ITVX on Thursday 23rd November 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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