'Good Stuff': Cary Grant's Daughter On Growing Up For most of the world, Cary Grant was a Hollywood icon, but to Jennifer Grant he was simply Dad. Grant chronicles her close relationship with her father in her new book, Good Stuff.
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'Good Stuff': Cary Grant's Daughter On Growing Up

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'Good Stuff': Cary Grant's Daughter On Growing Up

'Good Stuff': Cary Grant's Daughter On Growing Up

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JACKI LYDEN, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE)

M: (as character) Please don't make me feel guilty about it, sir. Even if it turns out to be one of those fool ideas that people dream about and then go flat on, I've got a feeling if I let this chance go by, there'll never be another one for me.

LYDEN: In her new book, "Good Stuff," Jennifer Grant remembers her father, Cary Grant. And she joins me now from our studios in New York. Welcome to the show on Father's Day.

M: Thank you so much, Jacki.

LYDEN: It's lovely to read about this relationship, and to think about the times that your father shared with us - the public - and then just with you. Would you explain what you mean by the phrase "good stuff"?

M: You know, it's something he used to say when he was happy. And it could be a very, very simple day. We might be, you know, sitting out on the front lawn. Dad loved classical music, and we might be listening to some Stravinsky or something, and having some tea and eggs. And he'd say, oh good stuff, isn't it?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

LYDEN: He took you with him everyplace that he could and in many ways, you were the center of his universe.

M: So he made all of these tapes and Super 8 films, and took slides and photographs. And every note I wrote him, every note he wrote me and letter, he saved in boxes. And he put them in a fireproof vault in our house to ensure the safety of these archives for me.

LYDEN: Jennifer, can you just take us back and give us a moment where you think it really paints a picture.

M: So that's been the beauty of writing this book, and looking back at the lengths he went to parent.

LYDEN: What did he tell you, if anything, about how a former vaudevillian - Archie Leech - became Cary Grant?

M: One of the reasons that he was such a success is he was, at his core, a very happy soul and a very thoughtful soul. And he found a way to express it that was in line with need. You know, people need to laugh.

LYDEN: Somewhere in here you write, you know, later on I'd have to meet the real world and take it on my own terms. That had to be a challenge.

M: But he'd done it. He'd gone from World War I Bristol and a somewhat tough life to becoming Cary Grant. And it's tough to teach a child when, you know, he was raising me with a lot of privileges that he'd earned.

LYDEN: What memory on Father's Day would you say sort of most takes you back to spending a few hours with him? What activity would you be doing if you could?

M: What comes to mind right now, for whatever reason, is playing Trivial Pursuit - playing some silly game together. We played a lot of games, whether it was cards or backgammon. I'd love to be able to sit with him and play Trivial Pursuit. So if your parents are still around, you know, play a game with them, watch a movie, laugh. Do something easy, but enjoy it.

LYDEN: Jennifer Grant is the author of "Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant." And she joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks for sharing a bit of your father on this Father's Day.

M: Thank you, Jacki.

LYDEN: You can see family photos of Jennifer Grant and her father, Cary Grant, in a slideshow on our website, NPR.org.

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