Cary Grant Connection Shown in Idyllwild Friday

Svetlana, an Idyllwild artist, recently reunited with Cary Grant's daughter, Jennifer

By Marcia E. Gawecki

He was the perfect gentleman onscreen and off. Handsome, debonair, with that wonderful British accent. He could play a romantic comedy, and then switch to a compelling drama the next.

He played opposite all the leading ladies of the time, including Katherine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Eva Marie Saint, and Deborah Kerr. He was “mad” for Sophia Loren, but it was Mae West who famously asked him onscreen, “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”

He was best known for “North by Northwest,” “His Girl Friday,” “An Affair to Remember,” and “The Philadelphia Story.” Everyone loved to watch Cary Grant.

However, only a few close friends knew that Svetlana, an Idyllwild artist, once worked for Cary Grant.

She never said anything about the movie star’s personal life, perhaps adhering to a nondisclosure agreement. More than likely, she just respected the guy and his privacy. Since she worked as his chef, Svetlana sometimes would let it slip that Cary Grant liked a certain kind of food. But that was it.

Now, Svetlana’s secret has come to light! In a Cafe Cinema Special Event, at 7 p.m. this Friday, June 17, there will be a short video capturing a 30-year reunion between Svetlana and Jennifer Grant, Cary Grant’s only daughter. After the short, Cafe Cinema will show a 15-minute CBS interview with Jennifer Grant, followed by the Cary Grant film, “Monkey Business.”

Cafe Cinema regulars (from L): Rosemary, Svetlana and Analia

According to Jeffrey Taylor, Cafe Cinema, the reunion between Svetlana and Jennifer Grant happened a few weeks ago at her book signing of “Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant.”

“The two hadn’t seen each other in 30 years,” Jeffrey said. “Svetlana helped raise Jennifer from age 14 to 18.”

Jeffrey captured the tearful and remarkable reunion on his personal camcorder. This short will be shown first on Friday.

According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) web site, Jennifer Grant is Cary Grant’s only child. She resembles her mother, actress Dyan Cannon. Although he became Hollywood’s leading man, Cary Grant discouraged his daughter from becoming an actress. However, after graduating from Stanford University and working as a chef, Jennifer joined the TV cast of “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

Her book, “Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant.” is available on One reviewer called it, “A love letter to an amazing father.” It reveals many mementos of Jennifer’s early childhood.

Jeffrey Taylor, Cafe Cinema, captured the reunion on video

“I want people to know that the persona was real,” Jennifer said in a CBS interview. “It wasn’t a mask.”

The love that Cary Grant bestowed on his daughter was evident in the mementos in her book. However, Archibald Leach’s childhood in Bristol, England, wasn’t as joyful. His mother was sent to a mental institution when he was nine, and his father was neglectful. At age 14, he ran away and joined the circus. Yet, Cary Grant turned it into a positive. Later, his Hollywood films showed Grant performing cartwheels, backflips and slapstick.

At 7 p.m. this Friday, June 17, Cafe Cinema will show a video of Jennifer Grant and Svetlana’s reunion; the CBS interview with Jennifer; and finally, “Monkey Business,” a film starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Colburn and Marilyn Monroe. Svetlana will be on hand to talk a little bit about the reunion.

All events at Cafe Cinema are free and open to the public. To get to Cafe Cinema, head towards Idyllwild Arts on Tollgate Road. Turn left on Meadow Glen, stay to the right until you hit Double View, and then make a left. Take a quick right on Deer Foot Lane, and look for the house on the right with the familiar purple sandwich board. For more information, visit or call (951) 659-6000.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

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