Actor Farley Granger died Monday (March 28) in New York of natural causes at the age of 85. He is perhaps best known for starring in the 1948 and 1951 Alfred Hitchcock classics “Rope” and “Strangers on a Train.” He is pictured above, top right with Hitchcock and co-star Robert Walker on the “Train” set and below left in “Rope,” below right in 2004.
“Rope” is a fictionalized version of the real-life Leopold and Loeb murders, with Granger and John Dall in the roles of the famous killers. James Stewart is their former professor who figures out what they’re up to. It’s a 90-minute cat and mouse movie that appears to have been done in one continuous 90-minute take. It is actually done in three long takes, but you have to be looking hard for the splices to know.
“Strangers on a Train” is the classic thriller where two strangers, played by Granger and the ever-creepy Walker (who tragically passed away before the film’s release), meet on a train and agree to kill the irritation in each other’s lives. Having the deed done by a stranger, with no connection to the victim, makes it the perfect crime. Granger’s Haines thinks it was all a joke – but Walker’s Bruno Antony does not.
Later in his career, Granger turned away from films to television, then became quite the Broadway star in New York. Over the years, he was romantically linked to Shelley Winters and Ava Gardner, ultimately settling down partner Robert Calhoun, a producer with whom Granger published an autobiography in 2007 titled “Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway.” Granger and Calhoun were together from 1963 until Calhoun’s death in 2008.
Granger wrote in his autobiography, “I never have felt the need to belong to any exclusive, self-defining, or
special group . . . I was never ashamed, and I never felt the need to
explain or apologise for my relationships to anyone . . . I have loved
men. I have loved women.”
And we loved you, as you helped create two of our very favorite Hitchcock movies. Rest in peace, Farley Granger.
You can see him in action inthe trailers for “Rope” and “STrangers ona Train” below.