Old School Americana & Nostalgia

People

Cary Grant’s Ex-Wife Looks Back on Life With a ‘Man Going Through Hell’

Cary Grant’s Ex-Wife Looks Back on Life With a ‘Man Going Through Hell’

Cary Grant’s ex-wife Dyan Cannon is reflecting on her three-year marriage with Cary Grant in a new miniseries about his life.

Cannon, 86, served as the executive producer on the four-part series titled Archie, which was Grant’s birth name. The story follows the Old Hollywood star through his troubled childhood and illustrious career. The episodes also share an inside look at Grant’s personal life, including his romance with Cannon.

Cannon and Grant married in 1965. She was his fourth wife and the only woman he shared a child with. Grant was more than 30 years Cannon’s senior, which created some issues in their relationship, but ultimately, the age gap was not was caused the marriage to fail. Instead, it was a lifetime of trauma that Grant survived.

In an interview with Fox News, Cannon reflected on her brief relationship with the leading man, and she shared major regrets.

“I wish that I could have then understood love as I understand it now,” she admitted. “And I think I would have personalized less and been more understanding and then been able maybe to help a man who was really going through a lot of hell.”

Dyan Cannon Went to Extremes to Save Her Marriage with Cary Grant

Cannon, a three-time Oscar nominee, said her love for Cary Grant had nothing to do with his place in Hollywood. She never used him as a stepping stone in her career. She only hoped for a relationship with “love,” “connection,” “understanding,” and “safety.” However, Grant was a controlling husband with a quick temper. Cannon explained that she worked hard to give him peace, but she couldn’t because he needed self-reflection, which he avoided.

“I think he felt safe with me, and he could,” she continued. “I loved him deeply and was committed to him. So much so that when he wanted me to quit my acting career, I did. He wanted to change my hair, the way I dressed, the way I walked, the way I wrote. And I so wanted to make him happy.”

“But happiness is an inside job,” she noted. “You can’t make anyone else happy. And so whatever I tried, failed.”

Dyan Cannon admitted that she cut out her personal boundaries in an effort to save her marriage. She even went as far as trying LSD therapy for him, despite being adamantly against it. The experience created a major turn in her marriage and caused her adverse psychological issues, but she left it out of the miniseries because it was too painful of a memory.

“You know something? If you go against your deepest feelings in order to please somebody else, you’re screwed. It’s not healthy to anyone,” she continued. “You can’t go against your highest sense of right to please or make anybody else happy.”

Dyan Cannon and Cary Grant divorced in 1968. He went on to marry Barbara Harris in 1981 and remained with her until he died in 1986.