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Granger in the trailer for Rope (1948)
Farley Earle Granger, Jr.
July 1, 1925
San Jose, California, U.S.
|Died||March 27, 2011
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||Natural causes|
(1959–2008; Calhoun's death)
Granger was first noticed in a small stage production in Hollywood by a Goldwyn casting director, and given a significant role in The North Star, a controversial film praising the Soviet Union at the height of World War II, but later condemned for its political bias. Another war film, The Purple Heart, followed, before Granger's naval service in Honolulu, in a unit that arranged troop entertainment in the Pacific. Here he made useful contacts, including Bob Hope, Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth. It was also where he began exploring his bisexuality, which he said he never felt any need to conceal.
In 1948, Hitchcock cast him in Rope, a fictionalized account of the Leopold and Loeb murder case, which earned mixed reviews, but much critical praise for Granger. Hitchcock then cast him again in Strangers on a Train, as a tennis star drawn into a double murder plot by a wealthy psychopath, played by Robert Walker. Granger described this as his happiest film-making experience, though he was deeply affected by his friend Walker's death from an accidental drug overdose soon afterwards.
Granger continued to appear on stage, film and television well into his 70s. His work ranged from classical drama on Broadway to several Italian-language films and major documentaries about Hollywood. He tended to find fault with his directors and scriptwriters, however, and his career remains defined by the two Hitchcock films.
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