Farley Earle Granger (July 1, 1925 – March 27, 2011) was an American actor. In a career spanning several decades, he was perhaps best known for his two collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Rope in 1948 and Strangers on a Train in 1951.
The studio publicity department was concerned audiences would confuse Farley with British actor Stewart Granger, so they suggested he change his name and offered him a list from which to choose. "The names were all interchangeable, like Gordon Gregory and Gregory Gordon. I didn't want to change my name. I liked Farley Granger. It was my father's name, and his grandfather's name. They kept bringing me new combinations, and finally I offered to change it to Kent Clark. I was the only one who thought it was funny," Granger later recalled. Eventually the studio issued a press release announcing Farley Granger, a senior at North Hollywood High School, had been cast in The North Star after he responded to an ad in the local paper. "I thought that was a really dumb story," said Granger. "The truth was much more interesting."
Making the film proved to be a fortunate start to Granger's career. He enjoyed working with director Milestone and fellow cast members Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Walter Brennan and Jane Withers, and during filming he met composer Aaron Copland, who remained a friend in later years. When released, the film was ravaged by critics working for newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst, a staunch anti-Communist who felt the movie was Soviet propaganda.
For Granger's next film, he was loaned out to 20th Century Fox, where Darryl F. Zanuck cast him in The Purple Heart, in which he was directed by Milestone and again co-starred with Dana Andrews. Granger become close friends with supporting cast member Sam Levene, a character actor from New York City who took him under his wing. He also became friends with Roddy McDowall and found himself linked with June Haver in gossip columns and fan magazines.