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Granger, Farley (1925-2011)  
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They separated four years later. The break-up was amicable, and the two men remained friends. As Laurents explained, he and Granger simply "grew up and grew apart."

Granger was later to have affairs with both women, such as actresses Shelley Winters, Janice Rule, and Ava Gardner, as well as men, including Leonard Bernstein, before settling down with a male companion, Robert Calhoun.

When, late in his life, he was asked about his sexual preferences in a New York Times interview, Granger replied, "I've lived the greater part of my life with a man, so obviously that's the most satisfying to me."

Three years after starring in Rope, Granger again worked with Hitchcock in the classic thriller Strangers on a Train (1951), based on the first novel by acclaimed lesbian writer Patricia Highsmith.

The actor stars as Guy Haines, a socially ambitious tennis star romantically involved with a senator's daughter while waiting for a divorce from his wife. On a train one day, Haines encounters a psychopath named Bruno Anthony (memorably played by Robert Walker), who seems infatuated with Guy and overly familiar with his romantic entanglements. Smoothly, almost seductively, Bruno suggests the two men "swap" murders--Guy's unfaithful wife for Bruno's hated father. Guy, of course, does not take the proposition seriously, but Bruno does.

Although Hitchcock himself was famously dissatisfied with the final results, laying most the blame on the casting of the lead roles and a weak script, the film was a box office hit and the first major success of Granger's career.

During the early 1950s, Goldwyn attempted to exploit Granger's boyish good looks and turn the actor into a "teen idol." He was subsequently cast in a succession of well-made but ultimately forgettable romantic melodramas, often teamed with Joan Evans, a young actress Goldwyn was, unsuccessfully, grooming for stardom.

Granger's films of this period include Side Street (1950), Our Very Own (1950), Edge of Doom (1950)--in which his character murders a priest--and I Want You (1951). He was also cast in George Beck's ill-conceived comedy Behave Yourself! (1951) about a group of gangsters tangling with a Welsh terrier named Archie. In 1953 he was loaned out to MGM for the amiable but uninspired musical Small Town Girl and the Vincente Minnelli-directed segment of the anthology film The Story of Three Loves.

Granger's final film for Goldwyn was Charles Vidor's Hans Christian Andersen (1952), a wholly fabricated biography of the Danish fairytale writer, in which Granger co-starred with Danny Kaye as Andersen. Not surprisingly, Andersen's bisexuality was carefully avoided in the script.

Granger had become discontented with his career at Goldwyn Studios and asked to be released from his contract. Instead, Goldwyn allowed the actor to go to Italy to star in Luchino Visconti's Senso (1954). The film, with dialogue by Tennessee Williams and Paul Bowles, is a visually stunning, historical saga of love and betrayal set against the Italian Risorgimento, or struggle for unification and independence, in 1866. Many critics consider Granger's portrayal of a cynical, heartless young Austrian soldier to be perhaps his greatest performance.

Uncertain how to proceed with Granger's film career, Goldwyn finally allowed the actor to buy out his contract upon his return from Italy.

Granger immediately moved to New York and began appearing regularly on television in such anthology shows as Toast of the Town and Kraft Television Theater. His film career, however, stalled. He made only two more films in the 1950s--The Naked Street (1955), as a small-time playboy on death row for murder, and The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955), playing the sociopath millionaire Harry K. Thaw--and did not appear in any films during the 1960s.

Granger also turned his attention to Broadway, appearing in several memorable productions. As he later explained, "I developed a great love for the theatre. I wanted desperately to work in it. I began more and more to prefer that to film, because I felt you were freer and could do more on stage than in a film."

His first effort on Broadway, however, was less than triumphant. Appearing in First Impressions, a musical based on the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice, Granger played Darcy opposite Polly Bergen's Elizabeth Bennet. The musical opened in March 1959 and closed a scant two months later.

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