Cary Grant Was A Committed LSD Fanatic

“Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.” —Cary Grant

In A Nutshell

Cary Grant is just about the suavest man to ever come out of Hollywood. Handsome, debonair, and charming, he was the archetypal leading man . . . complete with crippling drug addiction. During his time in psychotherapy, Cary Grant became addicted to LSD, taking it over 100 times and claiming that it completely transformed his life.

The Whole Bushel

Even if you never watch old movies and think “black-and-white” is code for “unimaginably boring,” you’ve probably heard of Cary Grant. The star of North by Northwest, Charade and Bringing up Baby was just about the smoothest man who ever existed—a byword for Hollywood sophistication in the heyday of cinema. However, he did have one aspect of his character that was distinctly less savory: Grant was a committed LSD fanatic who enjoyed nothing more than riding the acid river.

See, in those days, LSD wasn’t particularly well-known. At best, it was thought to be a useful psychiatric drug—and Grant was a guy in need of psychotherapy. When he was just a boy, his mother had vanished, turning up 30 years later in an insane asylum, possibly placed there by his adulterous father. He once claimed to have spent his whole life in a fog and that even he didn’t know who he was. So when the chance came to try a new drug meant to do wonders for your psyche, Grant was practically first in line. And boy did it work.

From the moment of his first trip, Grant became convinced that LSD was the answer to all life’s problems. And he wasn’t shy about it either: In an interview with Time magazine he waxed lyrical about his drug experiences, leading Good Housekeeping to write a glowing article about LSD as the key to “second youth.” He became a sort of acid evangelical in the days before Ken Kesey and John Lennon, getting as many of his troubled Hollywood friends to try it as he possibly could, and booking himself in for over 100 sessions. He kept right on singing the wonder drug’s praises until the FDA finally banned the stuff—at which point he simply enjoyed it without the fanfare. He later claimed it changed his life and that taking LSD was the best thing he’d ever done. Cary Grant could probably have given Frank Zappa a run for his money in the spaced-out hippy stakes.

Show Me The Proof

Cary in the Sky with Diamonds
Dyan Cannon Talks Cary Grant’s Drug Addiction

  • Snide

    I don’t blame him at all. It is magical, life changing stuff.

    • Yossarian921

      One of the worst things the FDA did was make LSD, psilocybin iboga, DMT, MDMA, mescaline among others schedule 1. All of these have therapeutic psychiatric uses. No real money in it for the pharmaceuticals and I would imagine that some of these substances would cost them in sales of antidepressants benzodiazepines among other things.

      • too high fa dis

        Not to mention marijuana.

        • Yossarian921

          True but marijuana is a whole different argument. A much easier to make argument.

    • aussieshepherd

      Agreed. I kind of argue with the “addicted” claim. Although I realize one can become addicted to anything, I am not buying it for this particular drug.

      • Vikingdude01 .

        It’s impossible to become chemically dependent on LSD and most common psychedelics (I personally don’t know of any that can result in a chemical dependence). However, it’s possible to become emotionally dependent on anything, LSD included, but if you’re going to become addicted to a chemical it’s almost certainly not going to be LSD.

  • andy

    Interesting snippet bit if you think that Frank Zappa was a “spaced-out hippy” acid head, you shouldn’t really be writing for a column with “knowledge” in its title. There was never a more level-headed rational American.

    • inconspicuous detective

      i’d wager the description was warranted when he was tripping.

  • inconspicuous detective

    garbage drug. i’m not sure why people take them and then defend them knowing the negatives. i mean you’re out there experiencing what the drug does to your body — you’d think that your opinion is informed. but nope. it’s biased instead. ah well. (note: this is a statement about drug use in general, however it is not a blanket statement about how every drug is bad)

    • Yossarian921

      Well its good to see you’re completely unbiased; unlike those uniformed drug users. What a troll.

      • inconspicuous detective

        your point? that’s why it’s my opinion. the difference is that while you’d expect someone on drugs to know what’s wrong with drugs, they don’t. and not because nothing’s wrong with drugs, but because of a huge bias.

        • Yossarian921

          You think that people that use drugs are completely ignorant to the downsides? My opinion is that not only are you a troll You are an idiot.

          • inconspicuous detective

            not ignorant, they tend to downplay or ignore the downsides. it is due to the heavy bias that comes from the pleasure of stimulating their senses with the drug that they will defend it, in some cases due to addiction.

          • Yossarian921

            Do you downplay the downside of spending all day online posting your petulant opinions. Seems like you are a drug user too.

          • inconspicuous detective

            online all day? do you have any proof? or are you talking out of your arse? don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical (it means the answer is obvious, because i’m guessing you didn’t know). don’t you have something to snuff, smoke, or inject druggie?

          • Frisbeetarian

            Oh jeeezus. Are you really pulling CIA mindcontrol bullshit? If you can read, the CIA practically forced people to use the fucking drug or bribed them heavily and they drugged them mostly without consent.

            ” i’m not sure why people take them and then defend them knowing the negatives. i mean you’re out there experiencing what the drug does to your body”

            If that’s your freaking arguing about this then why are you using MKULTRA?
            You’re probably still in high school, getting brainwashed about drugs being evil substances. Some are and I do get it, but marijuana, psilocybin, and LSD aren’t really that bad and alot of the time can inspire you greatly as shown in this article. Get your head out of your ass please.

          • inconspicuous detective

            before you speak about heads and arses, you should take yours out. it makes the speech muffled and hard to understand. or that could be your terrible grammar. either way, i’m citing the NEGATIVE EFFECTS IT HAD. it doesn’t matter the circumstance —- this is what it’s capable of when taken. i can give you other examples if you’d like. just say the word.

          • Frisbeetarian

            Terrible grammar? At least I’m capitalizing my letters…
            Dude… Everything has negative effects if taken too much. But the good outweigh the bad sometimes. LSD can be an example of that, as shown in this very article.

          • inconspicuous detective

            nah, you should read my response to chester actually. it’s a more articulated comment on what i mean. and if you can google incidents with people on acid. lsd is not something that has much of a good side, and by comparison the bad side is like a never ending hole in the ground. (apologies for snapping).

          • Frisbeetarian

            Steve Jobs said that using LSD was one of the most important and influential things in his life.
            George Carlin used LSD.
            Eric Clapton used LSD.
            So did Aldous Huxley, and Francis Crick, and a whole bunch of other people who have been highly influenced and (one might say) enlightened by the drug. Oh, and most of the most influential musicians have used it too, so how can you say it has no good side?

          • Yossarian921

            I see you brought up mkultra like 6-7 times. That’s your whole argument? An extralegal project where the CIA gave LSD to people without their knowledge, and people had bad trips and deaths were reported(I trust that the CIA just gave them LSD and told the truth). Again I ask; A CIA mindfuck experiment is your whole argument? Seems a little petulant to me. Also over 4000 posts here and who knows where else I am pretty sure you spend your whole day trolling here and elswhere.

          • inconspicuous detective

            because it can, will, and does result in deaths and random outbursts of potentially dangerous behavior.

          • Frisbeetarian

            Bill Hicks once said, “Always that same LSD story, you’ve all seen it. ‘Young man on acid, thought he could fly, jumped out of a building. What a tragedy.’ What a dick! Fuck him, he’s an idiot. If he thought he could fly, why didn’t he take off on the ground first? Check it out. You don’t see ducks lined up to catch elevators to fly south—they fly from the ground, ya moron, quit ruining it for everybody. He’s a moron, he’s dead—good, we lost a moron, fuckin’ celebrate. Wow, I just felt the world get lighter. We lost a moron! I don’t mean to sound cold, or cruel, or vicious, but I am, so that’s the way it comes out. Professional help is being sought. How about a positive LSD story? Wouldn’t that be news-worthy, just the once? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition and lies? I think it would be news-worthy. ‘Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we’re the imagination of ourselves’ . . . ‘Here’s Tom with the weather.’”

          • inconspicuous detective

            yes, and these things happen (not necessarily jumping out of windows but bad trips). do you disagree?

          • Yossarian921

            I see you brought up mkultra like 6-7 times. That’s your whole argument?
            An extralegal project where the CIA gave LSD to people without their
            knowledge, and people had bad trips and deaths were reported(I trust
            that the CIA just gave them LSD and told the truth). Again I ask; A CIA
            mindfuck experiment is your whole argument? Seems a little petulant to
            me. Also over 4000 posts here and who knows where else, I am pretty sure
            you spend your whole day trolling here and elsewhere.

          • inconspicuous detective

            no. it’s not. it’s one example of the negatives it can cause. again, should i find another?

          • Yossarian921

            So a few very very rare occurrences is your proof that LSD is a terrible drug? Unless you are a complete and utter hypocrite to your own ideals, then you are for the prohibition of alcohol.

          • inconspicuous detective

            you’re trying to pin extremes on me to make the argument easier to deal with mate, and it won’t work. lsd proves itself time and time again to be dangerous. where’s your proof it isn’t?

          • Hadeskabir

            Actually you are online all day. It’s like you’re waiting for a new list to come out for you to comment on.

          • inconspicuous detective

            i see. you have no proof. adios.

          • Hadeskabir

            Awww don’t get mad. I’m just joking! I enjoy reading your comments.

          • inconspicuous detective

            and here, lets see if you can actually read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra

    • Chester

      Have you ever done any drug, prescription or otherwise?

      • inconspicuous detective

        for medical reasons, yes.

        • Chester

          have you ever smoked weed, done shrooms, lsd or any other hallucinogen.

          • inconspicuous detective

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra

            no. here’s a good example of the harm they can do (lsd, don’t bring other drugs into this just yet).

            for the record, the bath salts guy was on some kind of spliced weed. so don’t call that safe either (though, decriminalized and regulated it wouldn’t have that problem, as it stands it’s not safe enough).

          • Chester

            So basically your opinion on drugs is about as formed as my butchers opinion on my cars transmission? If you havnt tried them id suggest not knocking them or expressing a general opinion on them in which you appear smug as its very unbecoming.

          • inconspicuous detective

            i apologize for the smugness. over time i’ve actually come to see that my first impressions of you were wrong (going back to the nuclear power article, if you remember how that went). however i don’t believe that one *must* try drugs to have an understanding of their effects. the wise learn from the mistakes of others, afterall. the point being that while drug use might not always be a mistake, we can learn from others and gain something from it. what can be learned that drug use, on the whole, is not good. now some drugs (marajuana for example) are not nearly as harmful as they are claimed to be (the bath salts guy for instance got what a very bad deal, which is what happens when you criminalize a popular, generally harmless drug). i know at times i can sound condescending, or one’s opinion can interfere with what they perceive to be the wrong answer when in fact it is right. that’s why i’m taking the time to say all this — to clear the air and point out that specific example exist of LSD in particular that show it is a harmful and dangerous substance that one really can’t control when they take. you may obviously have other drugs that aren’t nearly as dangerous that you’d want to connect to it to prove your point, or you may want to cite your own experience, but your experience =/= what we know to be the norm if it was safe and ok.

          • Chester

            hey i agree i think alot of drugs are stupid or pointless but i learnt that after trying them, some were fun, some made me think and some did nothing.

          • inconspicuous detective

            yea i can understand that. and you’re right, about some of them. they shouldn’t be illegal or cause us more problems when you try to ban them and fight their distribution; but with that there are some that (i think) are illegal for good reason. they’re not the most popular, but are recognized as powerful and can be quite dangerous to more than the self. because of that, i remain pretty heavy handed about the whole thing; that is because people around the user are at risk with the use of some drugs (not all).

        • too high fa dis

          Despite not even knowing what drugs you take I can say with 100% that they are more harmful than LSD, and that you are a massive hypocrite. You should probably educate yourself before spewing ignorant statements over the web, my simple friend.

    • Vikingdude01 .

      Have you tripped? It doesn’t sound like you have because if you had you’d want to tell every person on planet earth to try it.

      • inconspicuous detective

        who cares?

        • Vikingdude01 .

          I’m just saying, LSD is non-addictive, has a bunch of positive effects and there are relatively no negatives to taking a moderate dosa, therefore calling it a “garbage drug” makes no sense. This leads me to believe that you have no experience with LSD or other psychedelics.

          • inconspicuous detective

            define moderate does, seek my reply to chester for the thought out response. also: just wanna clarify that use of the drug in a recreational manner does not affect my opinion of individuals (i think that some people get defensive over the fact that my stance means i think less of them). anyway, do that, because it’s more articulate and less…i guess intense?

          • Vikingdude01 .

            A moderate dose (misspelled dose before) would be about 150-200ug (micrograms) for a first timer. I agree that you don’t have to try a drug to know that it’s bad but you also can’t write off a drug just because of some experiment conducted 50 years ago.

            I thoroughly researched the drugs I’ve tried well before I ever ingest them to make sure they won’t have any long-term negative effects, the only negatives to LSD is that you may experience a bad trip, trigger an underlying mental illness and a heroic dose might possibly scar you emotionally. Also, I would never try meth, cocaine, heroin, etc. I don’t want an addiction or something that can harm me physically.

          • inconspicuous detective

            well i threw the mk ultra project around to silence people who initially said lsd never did anything harmful. following that you can find specific examples online. searching for “man attacks police on lsd” for instance yields 7 pages of that miami cannibal guy having tried a “new form of lsd” (which since toxicology came back negative for all things aside from pot, i’m going with he was sold some bad weed, probably something spliced).

            furthermore, there are cases that do exist (of course you have to go beyond page 7 to find them) of men attacking others when they’re tripping. it’s not always super violent either, but wandering around nude and asking for money or food isn’t a particularly “harmless” side effect. overall, if you wanna do these drugs go ahead. i support that some should remain illegal, but i don’t think less of people who do them or anything. i don’t believe it says anything about the person to do drugs (as long as it’s not excessive or the only thing they do).

    • Mom424

      There’s almost no negative side effects to LSD. No one has ever died of it, and many have had life changing experiences because of it. Shut up, you know not what you speak.

      • SuperWeapons

        I read in my psychology book that some people can have “bad trips” which can reacur several times after using it, even many years down the road. (probably can happen with “good trips” too, though)

        • too high fa dis

          Bad trips are not really serious… at all. Hardly a negative effect in the long run.

        • g.g.palin

          The way I see it is; I have bad dreams, that doesn’t mean I stop dreaming.

        • I call BS. Can you provide a source?

          • SuperWeapons

            I will get you the title and author when i get home; This was my college psychology book, so it should be true.

          • Thanks. Year of publication, too.

          • SuperWeapons

            Abnormal Psychology and Life: A Dimensional Approach. Christopher A. Kearney, Timmothy J. Trull. pg. 253, under “Hallucinogens”. ISBN-13: 978-1-111-34376-7
            There was no ed. # but it was 2012©

            Also this one:
            Discovering Psychology, fifth edition. Don & Sandra Hockenbury. ISBN-13 978-1-4292-1650-0 pg.174, near bottom

          • Thank you, I’ll be checking this out. Everything I’ve read in the past, barring sensationalist propaganda from those opposing LSD use, has shown no validity to the claim of spontaneous recurrence of trips.
            Many years ago, many, many, many years ago, I took LSD and never had either a bad experience. Nor did I ever have a replay of a trip later. It’ll be interesting to see what these books have to say on the subject.

      • inconspicuous detective

        you’re insane if you truly believe that. i’m beginning to think that you only defend drugs because you use them recreationally. you are normally more in tune with reason than you are now. this is a very poor display mum.

        my rebuttal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra

  • Yossarian921

    “addicted to LSD” is not a thing.

  • Hadeskabir

    I never heard of Cary Grant, his fame never crossed the Atlantic ocean. LSD is a hell of a drug, they even made a x-files series on LSD and called it Fringe.

    • CARCOSA.

      Anyone with even a modicum of knowledge about movies has heard of Cary Grant.

      • Hadeskabir

        For you knowledge about movies spins around Hollywood movies. But open your eyes and you’ll see there are tons of good movies made outside USA. I don’t care about Cary Grant. Just an old movie star who was only famous in the USA from a past time.

        • CARCOSA.

          I couldn’t agree more. At the moment films made outside of Hollywood are far better than anything Hollywood is producing. I personally have a great fondness for Korean movies but, once upon a time, there was a golden age in Hollywood. When great actors like Lauren Bacall, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Vivian Leigh, Clark Gable and Cary Grant worked with great directors such as John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder and Frank Capra. They made truly great movies back then, The Searchers, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Gone with the Wind, A Touch of Evil, so many great films.

          Cary Grant was the very epitome of sophisticated cool. Just because it’s old TO YOU, doesn’t mean you should be dismissive of it. He was a giant back then.

          • Hadeskabir

            He was great in the USA. In those times in my country we had our own movie stars! If I tell you about a movie star from my country you don’t know you wouldn’t care about him.

          • CARCOSA.

            You don’t know that, and even if I hadn’t I wouldn’t dismiss them out of hand.

  • jon

    Frank Zappa didn’t do drugs dumbass

    • bothwingsfly

      How do you know?

  • cheeseblast

    frank zappa did not do drugs ever!!!! Nor did he drink. Coffee and cigarettes were his poison. I know his wife gail

    • g.g.palin

      That’s awesome. zappa is the bee’s knee’s and more of a satire of the whole 60’s hipsters culture than a burn out.

  • Jonathon Hero

    If a “knowledge nuts” article is about a famous figure’s drug use, than that famous person probably did not have a “problem” with that drug.

    In all honesty, it would serve to benefit just about everyone to trip at least once or twice in their lifetime. It can be quite the formative experience.

  • Alucard_the_last

    I love LSD.

  • spaceman

    Done LSD many times..very enlightning…its not what you think. Just because government outlaws it doesn’t make that right. LSD/DMT is some very real stuff..open your mind

    • spaceman

      Also you people that have never experienced it can’t really contribute. Its something words can’t describe. No research you do fighting negative or positive is gonna give you insight to help you understand it

      • Chester

        thats because it causes neurons in your brain to misfire or cross lobes so you can hear color or see sound.

  • Paynefully

    Hmm. I know where to get weed, coke crack and heroin and all kinds of pills (I’ve only smoked weed tho). never met sum who was selling LSD. I don’t know if its harmful or eye opening, but I doubt I’d try it unless I was sure that it is the right chemical makeup. But it would have to be a controlled environment I don’t wanna make a fool of myself lol

  • Lino

    Addicted on LSD? Maybe between the all the injections of weed 😉 But seriously, Ive taken acid at least a 100 times myself, and while i might not agree with dear old Gary on acid being the answer on all lifes problems, it can help you alot to grow and discover things within. I never regretted a psycedelic trip….

  • Alan Mollick

    “A positive life-changing experience for me.” – Steve Jobs

  • whocares

    habbit not addiction

  • Tim Wilson

    For the record, Frank Zappa wasn’t into drugs and while he had long hair could hardly be called a “spaced out hippie”.

  • LAMusing

    I heard him talk about this at length during a theatre tour he did – I think it was called “Conversations with Cary Grant”. This supremely elegant silver haired gentleman waxing poetic about LSD sort of threw the audience for a loop 🙂