How Cary Grant Got Expelled From School When He Was 14

Classic Hollywood actor Cary Grant built his name around a suave and debonair persona over the course of a three-decade career in the film industry, as Biography notes. During that time, Grant starred in a number of romantic comedies and dramas as a leading man opposite such notable actresses as Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly (via IMDb). Despite the on-screen charm he was known for, his erudite nature, and a knack for articulate wordplay, Grant lacked much formal education. That was due in no small part to the fact he was expelled from school at just 14 years old.

The reason why Grant was kicked out of school goes to show that the mischievous streak he presented on screen in films like "The Philadelphia Story" and "Bringing Up Baby," was quite true to his nature. If Cary Grant, born Archie Leach in 1904, had his way, though, he would have finished with school much sooner than when Fairfield Grammar School finally threw him out.

Cary Grant ran away and joined a comedy troupe

Grant was already dreaming of a life on the stage when he was expelled from Fairfield Grammar School, the last school he would ever attend. Grant was first introduced to the spotlight as a young boy, watching the action from the wings of the Bristol Hippodrome, among the city's oldest and most well-respected venues, based on reporting from the BBC. In the 1998 biography "Cary Grant: A Class Apart, " by Graham McCann, Grant recalled that experience, saying: "That's when I knew. What other life could there be but that of an actor?"

In the mind of young Cary Grant — then Archie Leach — he had but one choice: to run away from home and join the popular Bob Pender's Troupe of pantomimists and knockabout comedians in nearby Ipswich. Grant's father would not stand for it, though. Soon he found his son and returned him to Fairfield. Grant's dreams of life in the limelight were not quashed, though, nor did young Cary Grant conform any better to the rigors of a formal education once back in class.

Grant peeked somewhere he wasn't allowed

Events leading up to Grant's expulsion from Fairfield Grammar School sound not unlike a sequence from one of the screwball comedies he would later star in. Shortly after Grant returned to Fairfield, his irreverent sense of humor landed him in trouble with singing teachers, and inexplicably, he and a friend decided to climb a wall to take a peek in the female student restrooms, according to the BBC.

A stunt such as that would get a young student in trouble even today, but in the more conservative time of Grant's childhood, it got him expelled. Without school to occupy him, Grant's father seemed to acquiesce to his son's desire to work in show business and allowed his son to rejoin Pender's troupe. From there, Grant's career only blossomed, moving from England to Broadway and finally to Hollywood, where Grant, who died in 1986, would become the renowned Hollywood actor beloved by many even today (per Biography).