(Archibald Alexander Leach)
Did you know...
1. He was born on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, England.
2. He suffered a very unhappy childhood when at the age of nine, he came home from school to find his mother gone. He was told that she had gone on a 'long holiday' when in reality his mother, suffering from depression since the death of a previous child, had been placed in a mental institution by his father. When she didn't return, he believed that she had died and didn't discover that she was still alive and living in a facility until he was 31 years old. At the age of 10, his father abandoned him as well after remarrying and starting a new family.
3. He arrived in the United States in 1920, at the age of 16 when he was on tour with the 'Bob Pender Stage Troup' as a stilt walker, mime and acrobat.
4. He participated in an experimental psychotherapy program at the request and encouragement of then wife Betsy Drake to examine his lack of inner peace and repeated failed marriages. He underwent close to 100 sessions where he took LSD (which was legal in the United States at the time) and said that he benefited greatly from the program.
5. Despite having married 5 times, he was quoted as saying that one of the most passionate loves of his life was the one that got away, Sophia Loren. They met in 1957 while filming 'The Pride and the Passion' and had an affair despite the fact that he was still married to actress Betsy Drake and Ms. Loren was involved with the director Carlo Ponti. He continued to pursue her fervently, inundating her with phone calls, flowers and pleas to reconsider her decision to call off their affair but Sophia Loren's passion for him had already fizzled at this point.
6. He was considered one of the best-dressed men of the 20th century and was named to Vanity Fair's International Best Dressed List 'Hall of Fame' in 1969.
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