America is today grieving the loss of Farley Granger, the 85 year-old actor who plied his trade in several Alfred Hitchcock films including Rope and Strangers on a Train.
News of his death at his Manhattan home has only just been made public but the veteran movie star passed away due to natural causes on Sunday night according to a statement released by the New York City medical examiner’s office.
Granger was born in San Jose and fell into acting during his teens. His first major film role came along in 1943’s The North Star, after he responded to an advert in a local paper. Of his first big screen adventure he said, “I thought that was a really dumb story; the truth is much more interesting.”
That role put Granger on the map and he followed that performance with Purple Heart, a 20th Century Fox production. After the film was finished Granger signed up for the US Navy but his military career was short lived as he suffered chronic seasickness on his maiden voyage and was consigned to land based duties thereafter.
In 1947 he got his biggest break when he was spotted by Alfred Hitchcock while working on Nicholas Ray’s film noir Thieves Like Us. The film was shelved for two years after an RKO Pictures takeover but its release in 1949 was a great success.
Hitchcock cast Granger in Rope which was filmed over a 21 day period. The 1948 film received mixed reviews but one thing every reviewer agreed on was the quality of Granger’s acting. His private life was called into question after his portrayal of a homosexual character in that film and during that era the idea of same sex relationships were unthinkable.
Granger went on to appear in 42 films and his career continued into his late 70’s, swapping big screen for the stage along the way, although with less critical success than his halcyon days.
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Read about Michael Gough; Ferlin Husky; Elizabeth Taylor; Jane Russell and Peggy Rea who passed away recently.
images: flickriver.com, persogiadisuo.blogspot.com