When Friars and Friends Grant Cary a Dinner, They Come to Praise Him, Not Braise Him
updated 05/31/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/31/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT
"Cary is everyone's idea of what a man ought to be: intelligent, talented, sophisticated, successful and rich," said Gregory Peck. Dittos followed from the likes of Red Buttons, Tom Brokaw and George Burns. Comic Charlie Callas kiddingly put down the affair: "It was this or Conan the Barbarian, so I came." Letters from leading ladies like Princess Grace, Ingrid Bergman and Audrey Hepburn were read. Elizabeth Taylor's was best: "Though we have never worked together, I have lusted for you, yea, these many years. Is there a chance for us yet?" Former love Sophia Loren wired nothing. Neither did any of Cary's previous wives, though his current spouse, the former Barbara Harris, 31, sat devotedly by his side throughout the evening. Grant's only child, Jennifer, 16, by his fourth wife, Dyan Cannon, did not appear.
Taking the podium, Grant was touchingly shy and awkward. "There are many advantages to being old," he pshawed. "I just can't think of any." Guest Helen Gurley Brown could: "Cary's an inspiration to how great you can look at 78."