When Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon welcomed the arrival of their daughter, Jennifer, in 1966, the legendary leading man shelved his career to become a doting dad and remained one long after the marriage ended. A few days before Jennifer Grant's scheduled appearance in Huntington to discuss her new memoir, "Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant," she spoke to Newsday about growing up with one of Hollywood's most beloved stars. Excerpts from that conversation follow.
Is there anything about your father that might surprise people?
That he retired when I was born is a stunner. That he was able to actually quit and not look back. To leave Hollywood and every facet of it. We never went to movies. He never watched his own films. He didn't go to Hollywood parties. That whole side of his life -- he really retired.
You didn't grow up around famous people, then?
The famous people I knew were friends of his who weren't necessarily from his career. Grace was an exception, Princess Grace. Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck, Quincy Jones, Eva Gabor, Merv Griffin -- but these were people he hadn't worked with. They were people who came to holiday dinners at our house.
Does your mother figure much in the book?
She was a big part of my life, but when I was with Dad, I really had him all to myself. I spoke with her about being more a part of this book, but she's writing her own book.
It sounds like your father tried to give you a "normal" childhood. Did it work?
I feel like I've definitely had my own identity. And, yet, in the background, I've always enjoyed having my parents be who they are. It's lovely to be able to refer to them as my parents. But I've very much had my own life. And I think they very much made that possible.
WHAT Jennifer Grant speaks after a screening of "North by Northwest"
WHEN | WHERE Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington
INFO 800-838-3006; cinemaartscentre.org