Cary Grant Works His Magic

He was standing in line right in front of me. He wasn’t playing the “I am a celebrity—get me a front-row seat" card.

The "Magic Castle":http://www.magiccastle.com/, atop a hillside overlooking Hollywood, is a mecca for professional and amateur magicians, as well for as those guests—it’s members only—who are fascinated by sleight of hand. (How _do_ they do it?)

This is especially true in the small rooms, where it’s harder for magicians to disguise the trick. So I consider these practitioners even more skilled than David Copperfield, with his pyrotechnics and the backstage crew who make him look good. At the Magic Castle, everything is right out in front.

And that is where I spoke to Cary Grant. He was standing in line right in front of me. He wasn’t playing the “I am a celebrity—get me a front-row seat" card. He stood politely, chatting in a low but unmistakable voice to his wife, a beautiful dark-haired woman I recognized as his fifth wife, Dyan Cannon’s replacement. He looked debonair, impeccably dressed, and I was close enough to catch a whiff of some expensive French aftershave—nothing like Calvin Klein’s Obsession, something much more exotic and elegant.

I watched him for a few minutes and then made my move. “Mr. Grant," I said, "I didn’t know that you liked magic.” He looked at me and with a subtle grin answered, “Well, that’s what I am known for, isn’t it?” Changing from Archibald Alec Leach into a bona-fide film star is real Hollywood magic—far more impressive than any card trick or disappearing act, with top hats and scarves, boxes or smoke.

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