Robert Osborne is aware, arguably more than almost anyone, of today’s (Wednesday, Jan. 18) significance birthday-wise.
Cary Grant (1904-86) was born on this day, and Turner Classic Movies — of which veteran Hollywood columnist and historian Osborne is principal host — is expectedly marking the occasion by showing several Grant films. “Topper,” “Holiday” and “My Favorite Wife” are among the titles, and Osborne doesn’t deem it an overstatement that Grant is one of the prime actors TCM was designed to showcase.
“I just think he was the best,” Osborne tells Zap2it. “He was kind of the epitome of what it was all about. He had the talent, he had the glamor, he had the looks. He was there at the right time, working with all those great ladies, be it in the Katharine Hepburn era or the Grace Kelly era … even Ingrid Bergman. I don’t think there was anybody better.
“And his work stands up so well,” adds Osborne. “He’s such a handsome man, but he doesn’t look like he knew that. He was a leading man up-and-down, yet he could be so silly and so funny. He never took himself that seriously when he wasn’t supposed to. It wasn’t like he was a real human being that ever existed, yet he was real.”
Osborne knows that firsthand: “I did have the chance to meet him a couple of times, later in his life. The first time was at the opening of the (1984) Olympics in Los Angeles. He was older, but he had such a nice smile and was so friendly and pleasant to everybody, I thought that was very attractive.
“We got him at the right time,” Osborne concludes. “And he’s on film for all time.”