Born in San Jose, California, on July 1, 1925, actor Farley Granger was born into a wealthy family. His father owned a Willys-Overland auto dealership, but with the onset of the Great Depression, the family's fortunes evaporated quickly. By the mid 1930s, the family had relocated to Los Angeles, living a far poorer existence. While a high school student, he bagged groceries and acted in plays. Granger was spotted in a play when he was 17 and signed with Samuel Goldwyn Studios to appear in the RKO drama The North Star (1943; with Anne Baxter and Dana Andrews). After his second film, the 20th Century Fox war drama The Purple Heart (1944; with Dana Andrews and Richard Conte), Granger enlisted in the Navy, spending most of these years in an entertainment unit in Hawaii that was headed by actor Maurice Evans. After his discharge, Granger returned to Hollywood and his Goldwyn contract and was cast in an RKO film titled Thieves Like Us, directed by Nicholas Ray. However, Howard Hughes purchased the studio around the time that production wrapped on the film, and Hughes shelved it for two years and retitled it They Live By Night (1949; with Cathy O'Donnell). By chance Alfred Hitchcock saw a pre-release screening of Thieves Like Us and decided to cast Granger in his film Rope (1948; with John Dall and James Stewart).

Farley GrangerFarley Granger

LEFT: Early 1950s Goldwyn photo. RIGHT: Early 1970s photo of Farley Granger

Following the release of Rope, Granger's next few films were not pleasant experiences for him, and he refused to be loaned out to do a Universal costume drama. As a consequence, Goldwyn placed the young actor on a suspension, which lasted for several months until Alfred Hitchcock asked to use Granger again in the thriller Strangers on a Train (1951; with Ruth Roman and Robert Walker). His subsequent films while under contract with Goldwyn were largely unsuccessful, so in 1953 he bought out the remainder of his contract. With no money coming in, he accepted a role in the Italian film Senso (1954) and acted in a couple of solid films for 20th Century Fox: The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955; with Ray Milland and Joan Collins) and The Naked Street (1955; with Anthony Quinn, Anne Bancroft, and Peter Graves). Granger left Hollywood for the lure of the New York stage in 1955, in a bid to be a better actor. But Granger was greeted with a chilly reception. Finding little stage work, he studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse and worked in off-Broadway productions and summer stock theaters and supported himself with television appearances on Playhouse 90, Climax!, and other anthology TV series.

the films of farley granger

Rope (1948)

Farley Granger, James Stewart, and John Dall

With James Stewart and John Dall in the Hitchcock thriller Rope. This film is comprised of ten takes, some lasting as long as ten minutes, and was shot in 'real time'

They Live By Night (1949)

Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell

Granger stars with Cathy O'Donnell in the RKO film noir release They Live By Night. This film was shot in 1947 and sat on the shelf for two years before being released

Edge of Doom (1950)

Farley Granger and Adele JergensFarley Granger and Mala Powers

LEFT: With Adele Jergens in the RKO noir thriller Edge of Doom. RIGHT: With Mala Powers

I Want You (1951)

Farley Granger and Ray Collins

With Ray Collins in the RKO drama I Want You

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Patricia Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Leo G. Carroll

From Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Strangers on a Train, released by Warner Bros. Pictured are Patricia Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Leo G. Carroll

Behave Yourself! (1951)

Farley Granger and Shelley WintersLon Chaney Jr., Farley Granger, and Glenn Anders

LEFT: With Shelley Winters in the RKO comedy Behave Yourself!. RIGHT: With Lon Chaney Jr. and Glenn Anders

The Story of Three Loves (1953)

Farley Granger and Zsa Zsa GaborFarley Granger and Leslie Caron

From the Warner Bros. romance The Story of Three Loves. LEFT: With Zsa Zsa Gabor. RIGHT: With Leslie Caron

O. Henry's Full House (1952)

Jeanne Crain and Farley Granger

Jeanne Craig and Farley Granger in the O. Henry tale The Gift of the Magi in the 20th Century Fox drama Full House

Small Town Girl (1953)

Farley Granger, Jane Powell, and Bobby Van

Promotional photo from the MGM musical romance Small Town Girl. Pictured are Farley Granger, Jane Powell, and Bobby Van

The Naked Street (1955)

Farley Granger and Anne Bancroft

From the film noir thriller The Naked Street with co-star Anne Bancroft

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)

Farley Granger and Joan Collins

Granger portrays Harry Kendall Thaw to Joan Collins' Evelyn Nesbit in the 20th Century Fox biopic The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. Following the release of this film, Granger would not act in other film for 13 years

Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1963-1967 NBC TV Series)

Farley Granger and Julie Harris

With Julie Harris in an episode of the NBC anthology series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre titled Nightmare, which originally aired in September 1966

Laura (1968)

Farley Granger and Lee Bouvier Radziwill, Jane Powell, and Bobby Van

With Lee Bouvier in a still from the ABC TV movie Laura. Bouvier is the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy

Arnold (1973)

Farley Granger and Stella Stevens

With Stella Stevens in the black comedy Arnold

The Man Called Noon (1973)

Farley Granger

From the spaghetti western The Man Called Noon

Wide World Mystery (1973-1976 ABC TV Series)

Farley Granger and Tyne Daly

From a 1974 episode of the ABC TV anthology series Wide World Mystery titled The Haunting of Penthouse D with Tyne Daly

Widow (1976)

Farley Granger and Michael Learned

With Michael Learned in the NBC TV movie Widow

later years

While Farley Granger acted in several Broadway plays in the early 1960s, none was successful. So, in the late 1960s, Farley Granger started a comeback in television guest appearances. In the early 1970s, he went to Italy and made a string of films, including the spaghetti western comedy My Name Is Trinity (1971; with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer) and in several horror films, such as So Sweet, So Dead (1972; with Sylva Koscina) and Something Creeping in the Dark (1971; with Giacomo Rossi-Stuart). Granger also had roles on the TV soap operas One Life to Live and As the World Turns in the late 1970s and late 1980s. He retired from acting in the early 1990s.

Granger, who was bisexual, had a longstanding off-and-on romance with Shelley Winters and was engaged to Janice Rule in the mid 1950s. He also had relationships with composer Leonard Bernstein and screen and play writer Arthur Laurents. Eventually, Granger found a more satisfying relationship with producer Robert Calhoun, with whom he lived from 1963 until Calhoun passed away in 2008. Despite the demise of his romantic relationship with Shelley Winters, she and Granger remained friends until the end of her life. Farley Granger passed away from natural causes on March 27, 2011, in Manhattan at the age of 85. He left no immediate survivors.

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The Next Big Thing (2001) with Chris Eigeman, Jamie Harris, and Connie Britton
The Imagemaker (1986) with Michael Nouri, Anne Twomey, and Jerry Orbach
Very Close Quarters (1986) with Shelley Winters, Paul Sorvino, and Theodore Bikel
Death Mask (1984) with Lee Bryant, Arch Johnson, and Ruth Warrick
The Prowler (1981) with Lawrence Tierney
Pianeta Venere (1977)
Widow (1976) with Michael Learned, Bradford Dillman, Carol Rossen, Louise Sorel, and Robert Lansing
The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975) with Shirley Jones, Stephen Boyd, James Darren, George Grizzard, David Hedison, Stephen McNally, Ian McShane, Pernell Roberts, Dana Wynter, and Charles Drake
The Coed Murders (1974) with Giovanna Ralli
Death Will Have Your Eyes (1974) with Marisa Mell and Helga Line
Arnold (1973) with Stella Stevens, Roddy McDowall, Elsa Lanchester, Shani Wallis, Victor Buono, John McGiver, Bernard Fox, and Jamie Farr
Kill Me, My Love! (1973) with Pamela Tiffin
The Man Called Noon (1973) with Richard Crenna, Stephen Boyd, and Rosanna Schiaffino
Night Flight From Moscow (1973) with Yul Brynner, Henry Fonda, Dirk Bogarde, and Virna Lisi
So Sweet, So Dead (1972) with Sylva Koscina
The Red Headed Corpse (1972) with Erika Blanc
Amuck (1972) with Barbara Bouchet and Rosalba Neri
Something Creeping In The Dark (1971) with Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
My Name Is Trinity (1970) with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer
The Challengers (1970) with Darren McGavin, Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Juliet Mills, Sal Mineo, and Susan Clark
Guerilla Strike Force (1970) with Paul Burke, Broderick Crawford, and Vic Diaz
Rogue's Gallery (1968) with Roger Smith, Dennis Morgan, Edgar Bergen, Brian Donlevy, Mala Powers, Richard Arlen, Jackie Coogan, and Johnnie Ray
The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955) with Ray Milland, Joan Collins, and Glenda Farrell
The Naked Street (1955) with Anthony Quinn, Anne Bancroft, Peter Graves, and Jerry Paris
Senso (1954) with Christian Marquand
Small Town Girl (1953) with Jane Powell, Ann Miller, Bobby Van, Billie Burke, and Fay Wray
The Story of Three Loves (1953) with Pier Angeli, Ethel Barrymore, Leslie Caron, Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Agnes Moorehead, and Zsa Zsa Gabor
Hans Christian Andersen (1952) with Danny Kaye
Full House (1952) with Fred Allen, Anne Baxter, Jeanne Crain, Charles Laughton, Oscar Levant, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Peters, and Dale Robertson
I Want You (1951) with Dana Andrews, Dorothy McGuire, Peggy Dow, Ray Collins, Martin Milner, and Jim Backus
Behave Yourself! (1951) with Shelley Winters, William Demarest, Lon Chaney Jr., Hans Conried, Elisha Cook Jr., Sheldon Leonard, and Marvin Kaplan
Strangers on a Train (1951) with Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, Leo G. Carroll, Patricia Hitchcock, Kasey Rogers, and Marion Lorne
Edge of Doom (1950) with Dana Andrews, Joan Evans, Mala Powers, and Adele Jergens
Our Very Own (1950) with Ann Blyth, Joan Evans, Jane Wyatt, Ann Dvorak, Natalie Wood, Phyllis Kirk, and Martin Milner
Side Street (1950) with Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig, Paul Kelly, Jean Hagen, Charles McGraw, and Adele Jergens
Roseanna McCoy (1949) with Joan Evans, Charles Bickford, Raymond Massey, Richard Basehart, Gigi Perreau, Marshall Thompson, and Arthur Franz
They Live by Night (1949) with Cathy O'Donnell, Howard Da Silva, and Jay C. Flippen
Enchantment (1948) with David Niven, Teresa Wright, Evelyn Keyes, Jayne Meadows, and Leo G. Carroll
Rope (1948) with John Dall, James Stewart, and Cedric Hardwicke
The Purple Heart (1944) with Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, and Don 'Red' Barry
The North Star (1943) with Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston, Walter Brennan, Ann Harding, Jane Withers, and Erich von Stroheim

As the World Turns, 1956–2010 CBS daytime drama. Granger portrayed Earl Mitchell from 1986 to 1987
The Edge of Night, 1956-1984 CBS/ABC daytime drama. Granger portrayed Trent Archer from 1979 to 1980
One Life to Live, 1968-2012 ABC daytime drama. Granger portrayed Dr. Will Vernon from 1976 to 1977

Monsters, episode Malcolm, originally aired December 23, 1990
Murder, She Wrote, episode How to Make a Killing Without Really Trying, originally aired February 4, 1990
The Love Boat, episode Country Blues/A Matter of Taste/Frat Brothers Forever, originally aired December 8, 1984
Tales from the Darkside, episode Pain Killer, originally aired October 14, 1984
The Love Boat, episode Tell Her She's Great/Matchmaker, Matchmaker Times Two/The Baby Alarm, originally aired November 29, 1980
The Invisible Man, episode The Klae Dynasty, originally aired December 8, 1975
Medical Story, episode Million Dollar Baby, originally aired October 23, 1975
Matt Helm, episode Scavenger's Paradise, originally aired October 11, 1975
Ellery Queen, episode The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne, originally aired September 11, 1975
Nakia, episode A Matter of Choice, originally aired December 7, 1974
The Six Million Dollar Man, episode The Midas Touch, originally aired November 15, 1974
Wide World Mystery, episode The Haunting of Penthouse D, originally aired October 15, 1974
CBS Playhouse, episode The Day Before Sunday, originally aired February 10, 1970
Hawaii Five-O, episode One for the Money, originally aired February 5, 1969
The Name of the Game, episode The Ordeal, originally aired November 22, 1968
The Outsider, episode What Flowers Daisies Are, originally aired September 25, 1968
Insight, episode The 34th Hour, originally aired May 5, 1968
Get Smart, episode Supersonic Boom, originally aired October 28, 1967
Hondo, episode Hondo and the Apache Kid, originally aired October 13, 1967
Ironside, episode Eat, Drink and Be Buried, originally aired October 5, 1967
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, episode Blind Man's Bluff, originally aired February 8, 1967
Run for Your Life, episode The Shock of Recognition, originally aired December 26, 1966
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, episode Nightmare, originally aired September 14, 1966
The DuPont Show of the Month, episode The Prisoner of Zenda, originally aired January 18, 1961
The Bell Telephone Hour, episode The Music of Romance, originally aired November 25, 1960
Dow Hour of Great Mysteries, episode The Inn of the Flying Dragon, originally aired October 18, 1960
The DuPont Show of the Month, episode Arrowsmith, originally aired January 17, 1960
The United States Steel Hour, episode The Wound Within, originally aired September 10, 1958
The United States Steel Hour, episode The Hidden River, originally aired July 2, 1958
Kraft Theatre, episode Come to Me, originally aired December 4, 1957
The DuPont Show of the Month, episode Beyond This Place, originally aired November 25, 1957
Wagon Train, episode The Charles Avery Story, originally aired November 13, 1957
Playhouse 90, episode The Clouded Image, originally aired November 7, 1957
Kraft Theatre, episode Man in a Trance, originally aired October 23, 1957
Kraft Theatre, episode Circle of Fear, originally aired August 14, 1957
The United States Steel Hour, episode The Bottle Imp, originally aired March 13, 1957
Robert Montgomery Presents, episode The Clay Pigeon, originally aired January 28, 1957
The 20th Century-Fox Hour, episode Men Against Speed, originally aired December 12, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Stand by to Dive, originally aired November 28, 1956
Playhouse 90, episode Sizeman and Son, originally aired October 18, 1956
Kraft Theatre, episode Starfish, originally aired June 27, 1956
Climax!, episode Faceless Adversary, originally aired June 7, 1956
Robert Montgomery Presents, episode Pistolero, originally aired April 9, 1956
Producers' Showcase, episode Caesar and Cleopatra, originally aired March 5, 1956
The United States Steel Hour, episode Incident in an Alley, originally aired November 23, 1955
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Splendid with Swords, originally aired June 24, 1955

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Watch Farley Granger's 1948 noir thriller They Live By Night
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