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FARLEY GRANGER REMEMBERED...

Farley_Granger_in_Strangers_on_a_Train_trailer

Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History was written as my humble attempt to capture the many moments during the Studio Era that have fallen by the wayside. Often when a star outlives their fame, they become lost in the cracks. Before the topic  about the first celebrity to be knocked off Dancing With the Stars infiltrates the national dialogue, let’s look back at the career and life of Farley Granger. His name isn’t mentioned anymore when Hollywood’s Golden Age enters casual discussion, even among its most stingent fans.

With absolutely no formal training, the North Hollywood High School student was discovered by talent scouts of Samuel Goldwyn. With the sheer power of his good looks, Granger popularity dramatically grew. He garnered roles in memorable films including The North Star, The Purple Heart, and Hans Christian Andersen. When director Alfred Hitchcock hired Granger for Rope and Strangers on a Train, his A-list status was secured.

What the star did next was astonishing. He quit Hollywood - moved to New York - and studied under Lee Strassberg and Stella Adler. In other words, Farley Granger became an actor. He  practiced his craft on live television and on Broadway. Over the next five decades, he steadily worked and achieved success in productions which included The Glass MenagerieThe Crucible, and a revival of The King and I. He appeared in recurring roles on The Edge of Night, As the World Turns, and most successfully, in One Life to Live. In fact, he received an Emmy nomination for his recurring performance on the soap opera.

His personal life was quite prolific, with flings and long-term relationships with Ava Gardner, Shelley Winters, Leonard Bernstein, and Arthur Laurents. He wrote his memoirs called Include Me Out in 2008 with his life-partner Robert Calhoun, whom he met while performing with the National Repertory Theatre in the early 1960’s.

Appropriately, he never apologized for the career choices he made, and for the life he lived. Farley Granger died on Sunday at the age of 85, peacefully, from natural causes.