Granger dies at 85

The actor, best known for his collaborations with legendary moviemaker Alfred Hitchcock, passed away on Monday (28Mar11) in New York. His death has been attributed to natural causes, according to E! Online.

Granger started his career in a theatre in his native California, where he was discovered by Hollywood heavyweight Samuel Goldwyn and handed a studio contract, which led to roles in The North Star (1943) and The Purple Heart (1944).

He stepped away from Hollywood when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy but later returned to the movie business after serving in Hawaii and he went on to win a role in Hitchcock’s classic 1948 thriller Rope, with James Stewart.

Granger later re-teamed with the director for arguably his most famous film role in 1951’s Strangers on a Train. He went on to make films including Senso, The Naked Street and The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, and appeared on TV shows and in theatre.

He opened up about his Hollywood career and his personal life in his 2008 memoir Include Me Out: My Life From Goldwyn to Broadway, revealing his relationships with men and women, including Ava Gardner, Shelly Winters, composer Leonard Bernstein and famed playwright Arthur Laurents, who wrote the screenplay for Hitchcock’s Rope.

Granger’s longterm partner, soap opera producer Robert Calhoun, died in 2008.