Dyan Cannon’s book — “DEAR CARY: My Life With Cary Grant” — is one of the more perceptive looks at Cary Grant. He was 58 and she was 25 when they first started dating, and she was practically a virgin (Cannon: “I’d had sex only once in my life, though it was so inept I’m not sure it even qualified.”).
There’s a weird scene where Cary casually introduces her to Timothy Leary and they kind of double-team her, give her the big sales pitch to “turn on” to LSD. Something she wasn’t particularly eager to try. And didn’t particularly enjoy.
He does come off as a bit of an ass playing Pygmalian with Cannon. Playing at being the big know-it-all who’s gonna solve all of her psychological problems with this magic pill LSD. While not copping to how screwed up he is.
Overall, Cary comes off kind of bizarre in the book. Half the time he comes off like “Cary Grant,” like he’s playing his movie role in real life — charming, witty, gracious, graceful. And then the other half he suddenly becomes stunted, cold, inarticulate. confused, nuerotic. Like he lost the script and couldn’t sustain his act…. But he seemed like a sincere guy with some kind of deep-rooted psychological quirk he couldnt fix. As he famously put it: “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”