When asked where he got the name "Grenade," Curran gives the same explanation his mother offered him while growing up: "He was born with a blast." And that inertia and zeal for life continues for Curran today. An independent film producer, Curran has many experiences with "Old Hollywood" stars and movies. He participated in over 20 feature films and 70 commercials.
Charles Grenade Curran was born to parents who worked in the movie business. His mother, Marion Ahern, was a quarter Cherokee Indian who went to Hollywood with her brother. They went to Paramount Studios in Hollywood where she was assigned to their dance school, "Franchon and Marco." She did so well there that they sent her to MGM Studios in Culver City. Curran's father, Charles, worked at 20th Century Fox Studios in Beverly Hills, and was loaned to MGM on publicity. While there, he met Curran's mother.
"My mother didn't take any guff from nobody," Curran said. "She stood for something, which influenced me to stand for something. There is so much power, so much money and so much fame in the movie industry. It can influence you to become weak. You must stand for something or you will fall."
Curran is proud of his heritage, and explains that buffalos are an important symbol in his life. They brought the pioneers across the plains, and if not for this animal, he said, the church would not be where it is today.
Curran speaks fondly of his cousin John Ahern. "We were raised almost like brothers, really," Ahern said. "We used to get together at lunchtime at the Disney Studios and watch the train that goes around Disneyland as it was being built. These guys were in seventh heaven as they built it because they were model train builders building a life-size train."
Curran served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: the first in San Fernando Valley from 1955-1957 and the second in the Central States Mission from 1958-1960. Curran then attended BYU where he received a bachelor's degree in Advertising in 1965. He also attended Santa Monica City College.
In 1961, he married Elmary Davidson and they had three boys and one girl. In 1973, he married Donna Gould and together they had four girls. In 2001, he married Marta Macdonald and they currently reside in Provo, Utah. All three boys served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Currently, Curran consults with the motion picture industry and is working on a forthcoming book about his life in the movie business. He has rediscovered his love for track. In his track and field career, he won two bronze, two silver, and two gold medals for southern California for 120 yard high hurdles in the all competition, western pre-Olympic games. He participated in the Huntsman Senior Games in St. George, UT as a long jumper and sprinter.
Curran was born into the movie business, years later at the age of age 21, he impressed Nico Charisse and was selected to be the rehearsal dance partner for Eva Gardner at the MGM studios for the movie "The Barefoot Contessa"
He was then sent on a cattle call at MGM and was chosen to do dancing for "Rosemarie." In the 1950s, Curran worked for MGM Studios as an actor-dancer on "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Singing in the Rain" and "Silk Stockings." He also worked on "Guys and Dolls" at Samuel Goldwyn Studios.
His career continued in 1955 at Walt Disney Studios with his cousin John Ahern when he worked as an actor-diver-production assistant on "Davy Crocket," "Mouseketeers" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Curran was also assigned by Disney to work on the world invitational premier opening of Disneyland.
He worked behind the scenes for movies like "Camelot," "Hello Dolly" and "Planet of the Apes" at 20th century Fox.
Curran directed Broderick Crawford in "Ransom Money" in 1969.
Words of Wisdom
Curran also encourages students and young professionals to stand strong in their morals. He relates an experience where he was offered $500,000 to be the Marlboro man but turned down the offer because he knew smoking is bad for health and he wasn't a smoker, so why would he endorse it?
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