“I was never happier or more excited in my life. I finally found the thing I really wanted to do. But just now I’m concerned about reconciling grandmother to the fact that her granddaughter is going to be an actress. I know it’s hard for her to have a Cherrill in the movies, but I’ll make her proud of me yet. and I’ll see that she becomes a regular movie fan.” — Virginia Cherrill
Source: Ione Quinby (1928)
“I have never been able to say much good about Chaplin, so I haven’t said much period. He was hard on me, and I was his prisoner for two years. He was always out playing tennis, while I was never allowed to leave the studio. Then, too, I always felt he was disloyal, first to England and then to America. Now when I see City Lights all I can think of is what a friend of mine said: ‘It looks as if your hair was put on with a biscuit cutter!'” — Virginia Cherrill
Source: James Watters (1984)
Photo: City Lights (1931). With Charles Chaplin.
“Cary was married to his career. That’s something that could never have been said about me.” — Virginia Cherrill, who married Grant in 1934.
Cary Grant in Huge Hoax
by Mollie Merrick
October 5, 1934
HOLLYWOOD, Cal. – What will become known in the future as the Cary Grant hoax seems to have come off without any particular harm, save unpleasant publicity to the dark and handsome star, who was reported to have taken poison over a fight with Virginia Cherrill, his wife.
Close scrutiny of the facts reveals the Grant tragedy to be primarily a huge binge with Mr. Grant playing the identical role he has just finished in a picture. In the story, Grant, the young sweetheart, quarrels with his fiancee and phones her that he is about to take poison. The girl rushes to him and all is forgiven.
When the Cary Grants separated a few days ago, the husband seemed to be of the opinion that his wife would return to him in a few days. His wife voiced a contrary idea. When reconciliation seemed not so easy as Grant had expected, he resorted to a bottle of whiskey, it is reported and then sought the telephone.
HIS VARIED and somewhat hysterical calls gave the girl at the apartment house telephone some misgivings. His threat to end it all gave Virginia Cherrill, who was at her mother’s house, considerable worry. She rang back the apartment and told the telephone girl to check on Cary.
The phone girl did, with a call to the receiving hospital. Came the men in white and the stomach pump. All stories must have their sordid moments and this is the dark spot in the Cary Grant hoax. An hour later Cary Grant, considerably shaken but much more himself was ready to be taken home.
The doctor insisted that Cary Grant had played the scene well in every respect but one. He had forgotten to take the poison about which he had been so dramatic.
“Perhaps I forgot the poison,” said Grant, “but I certainly didn’t forget the whisky, and I am ashamed of myself. Only a comedian should get drunk. It doesn’t help a straight actor out any.”
PROPPED UP IN BED with blue polka dot pajamas sat Cary Grant in the final scene of the comedy. Into the room came his lovely blond wife but not into his waiting arms. She stood rather diffidently at the foot of the bed and smiled wanly:
“Hello. Can I do anything?”
“I’m all right,” said her husband. “I was drunk.”
“Well-you know where to find me,” was her retort, and she was on her way.
Both Cary Grant and Virginia Cherrill have admitted that there is no other man or woman. Their friends have shamelessly admitted that money differences keep them apart. Grant‘s idea of spending his salary and Virginia‘s don’t exactly tally, say their intimates. Virginia Cherrill, before her marriage, was beaued about by a young American millionaire with steam yachts ‘n’ everything. A Hollywood apartment may seem flat after all that.
Photo: Cecil Beaton, 1930s.