Farley Earle Granger, American actor, Died at 85


Dead, Farley Earle Granger, Jr. on March 27, 2011, at the age of 85, he was an American actor, best known for his two collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Rope in 1948 and Strangers on a Train in 1951.

Born in San Jose, California on July 1, 1925, the son of Eva (née Hopkins) and Farley Earle Granger, Sr.

He lived at 1185 Hanchett Avenue in the Hanchett Residence Park neighborhood.

His wealthy father owned a Willys-Overland automobile dealership, and the family frequently spent time at their beach house in Capitola.

Following the stock market crash in 1929, the Grangers were forced to sell both their homes and most of their personal belongings and move into an apartment above the family business, where they remained for the next two years.

As a result of this financial setback and the loss of their social status, both of Granger’s parents began to drink heavily.

Eventually the remainder of their possessions were sold at auction to settle their debts, and the elder Granger used the last car on his lot to spirit away the family to Los Angeles in the middle of the night.

Granger’s father found work as a clerk in the North Hollywood branch of the California Department of Unemployment, and his salary allowed him to put a small down payment on a house in Studio City, where their neighbor was actor/dancer Donald O’Connor.

At his office, Granger’s father became acquainted with unemployment benefits recipient Harry Langdon, who advised him to take his son to a small local theatre where open auditions for The Wookie, a British play about Londoners struggling to survive during World War II, were being held.

Granger’s use of a Cockney accent impressed the director, and he was cast in multiple roles.

Right out of high school, he was brought to the attention of movie producer Samuel Goldwyn, who cast him in a small role in The North Star (1943).

He followed it up with a much bigger part in The Purple Heart (1944) and then joined the army.

After his release he had to wait until Nicholas Ray cast him in the low-budget RKO classic They Live by Night (1948) with Cathy O’Donnell, and then he was recalled by Goldwyn, who signed him to a five-year contract.

He then made Rope (1948) for Alfred Hitchcock and followed up for Goldwyn with Enchantment (1948) with David Niven, Evelyn Keyes and Teresa Wright.

Other roles followed, including Roseanna McCoy (1949) with Joan Evans, Our Very Own (1950) with Ann Blyth and Side Street (1949), again with Cathy O’Donnell.

He returned to Hitchcock for the best role of his career, as the socialite tennis champ embroiled in a murder plot by psychotic Robert Walker in Strangers on a Train (1951).

He then appeared in Full House (1952) with Jeanne Crain, Hans Christian Andersen (1952) with Danny Kaye, The Story of Three Loves (1953) with Leslie Caron and Small Town Girl (1953) with Jane Powell.

He went to Italy to make Senso (1954) for Luchino Visconti with Alida Valli, one of his best films.

He did a Broadway play in 1955, “The Carefree Tree”, and then returned to films in The Naked Street (1955) with Anthony Quinn and Anne Bancroft and The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955) with Joan Collins and Ray Milland.

Granger recounted his days as a leading man in his 2007 memoir “Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway,” which included the revelation that he was bisexual.

He wrote the book with Robert Calhoun, his partner since the early 1960s.

In the book, Granger candidly discussed his romances, flings and affairs with men and women, including actresses Ava Gardner, Barbara Stanwyck and Shelley Winters, as well as composer Leonard Bernstein and playwright Arthur Laurents (who wrote the screenplay for “Rope”).