Farley Granger

Active - 1943 - 2002  |   Born - Jul 1, 1925 in San Jose, California, United States  |   Died - Mar 27, 2011   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Romance

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While still a teenager Farley Granger appeared in a Los Angeles little theater production, where he was spotted by a scout. Sam Goldwyn signed him to a film contract and he debuted onscreen as a Russian youth in The North Star (1943). Typecast as a troubled pretty boy or a vulnerable, sensitive, soulful young hero, Granger appeared in one more film and then served in World War II. After the war, he returned to the screen as an intellectual thrill-killer in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948) Early predictions that Granger would become a major star failed to come true, however; his career was mismanaged and he never lived up to his potential. After making a series of minor Hollywood films, he moved to Italy in the mid '50s and made one film there, then returned to Hollywood for two more movies before giving up his screen career in favor of work on stage, doing repertory theatre and Broadway productions like The Seagull and The Glass Menagerie. In the late '60s Granger returned to Italy and began living there for much of the year, appearing onscreen in little-known Italian productions, and returning to America less frequently to participate in American projects. He eventually played a psychiatrist and head of a family on the TV soap opera One Life to Live, but mainly specialize in horror films and thrillers as the following decades unfolded, appearing in movies like 1974's Death Will Have Your Eyes and 1985's Deathmask. The actor enjoyed a state of semi-retirement as the years went on, however, stepping in front of the camera in the '90s and 2000s mostly as a participant in documentaries about Hollywood and Alfred Hitchcock, like 1995's The Celluloid Closet and 2001's Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies. Granger passed away in March of 2011 at the age of 85.

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • His movie debut was in 1943's The North Star when he was 18.
  • Best known for his work in the Hitchcock movies Rope (1948) and Strangers on a Train (1951).
  • In 1953 he bought out the remaining two years of his contract with MGM so that he could pursue stage work, and in 1959 was on Broadway as Fitzwilliam Darcy in a musical version of Pride and Prejudice called First Impressions.
  • Also starred on Broadway with Julie Harris and Larry Hagman in 1959's The Warm Peninsula.
  • In 1986 he appeared on As the World Turns playing the role of Earl Mitchell, Lisa's husband. (Julianne Moore appeared on the soap at the same time, though their story lines were not linked.) 
  • Appeared in a 1995 documentary about the history of homosexuality in the Hollywood film industry.
  • His romantic partners included soap star Jimmy Mitchell, Leonard Bernstein, Ava Gardner, Arthur Laurents, Shelley Winters ("the love of my life and the bane of my existence") and Robert Calhoun.
  • Said that of his partners, Gardner attracted him most.
  • Told Daily Intel that he considered himself neither gay nor bisexual: "We're not going to emerge as untarnished until we get rid of labels."
  • His last movie was 2002's The Next Big Thing.
  • His memoir, Include Me Out: My Life From Goldwyn to Broadway, was written with Calhoun and published in 2007.