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Iowa History Daily: November 29 - The Death of Cary Grant

Iowa History Daily: On November 29, 1986, English-American actor Cary Grant died in Davenport. After feeling sick during rehearsals at the Adler Theater, doctors determined Grant suffered a massive stroke which led to his death at St. Luke’s Hospital the following day.

One of the most enduring leading-men of Hollywood’s golden age from the 1930s through the 1960s, Grant endeared himself to audiences around the world with debonair style and comic timing. A repeat costar alongside Katherine Hepburn and an all-time favorite of director Alfred Hitchcock, Grant cemented a significant legacy over a long and prosperous career.

After retiring from starring in films, Grant spent many years working in business and other ventures. He arrived in Davenport in November of 1986 for a performance at the Adler titled “A Conversation with Cary Grant.” Although he showed signs of illness during rehearsal on the 29th, he soldiered through for a nearly two hour rehearsal before stumbling and retreating backstage.

Returning to rendezvous with his wife at the Blackhawk Hotel, a doctor soon arrived and determined Grant was suffering a stroke after checking a blood pressure reading of 210 over 130. Grant refused to go to the hospital, and the doctor watched him deteriorate until he slipped into a coma. Transported to St. Luke’s, Grant passed away at 11:22 p.m. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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