Stewart Granger's childhood home, Bournemouth

 

I can remember my mum watching films starring Stewart Granger (he was a little before my time.) Here I am outside his childhood home in Bournemouth on the south coast. I was staying in a hotel nearby and as I donít like those little milk cartons they leave in the rooms I went to find a shop that sold real milk. I ensured I passed the place where the actor lived and was glad to see there was a blue plaque on the wall.

 

For about twenty years Stewart played heroic and romantic leading roles. With a theatrical voice, commanding presence (he was 6' 2") and dignified profile he was made for films. He made the big time, moved to Santa Monica in California (where he now lies.)He lived in his hotel for a while though. His mum owned it (itís called "East Cliff Cottage Hotel") until her death in 1979. Stewart left here in his late teens when he went to work at the Birmingham Repertory Company.

 

His real name was James Stewart but he changed his name as there was already a famous actor with that name. Stewart Granger is a mix of his surname and his Grandmotherís surname. While living in the hotel he aimed to become a doctor but a friend proposed the idea of earning some extra money by getting some stylish clothes and becoming a film extra. He surpassed that stage and became an in-demand star. Retiring from acting he moved to Spain and went into property development. He'd smoked 60 cigarettes a day for forty years so it was no surprise that he was diagnosed with lung cancer and would die within weeks. An operation astounded doctors - he had tuberculosis, not cancer. He returned to acting and the west coast of America. Cancer took hold ultimately he died from prostrate and bone cancer aged 80.

 

For a while he was just a kid living here with his very busy mum. I did a salute and left to buy a bottle of milk.

 

 

 

 

 

His home in Spain...

Eclectic Home of a Hollywood Swashbuckler - The New York Times