Timothy Leary had nothing on 1950s radiologist

July 29, 2010

When LSD guru Timothy Leary urged the nation's youth to “turn on, tune in, and drop out” in the 1960s, he was following a path already tread by radiologist and internist Dr. Mortimer A. Hartman, who dabbled in psychology and sold LSD to Hollywood A-listers, including Cary Grant.

When LSD guru Timothy Leary urged the nation's youth to “turn on, tune in, and drop out” in the 1960s, he was following a path already tread by radiologist and internist Dr. Mortimer A. Hartman, who dabbled in psychology and sold LSD to Hollywood A-listers, including Cary Grant.

Grant's escapades with LSD are chronicled in Evenings with Cary Grant: Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best, a book by Nancy Nelson that is excerpted in the August issue of Vanity Fair. Describing his LSD experiences, Grant said, “I ran the gamut of emtions, from deep pain with tears to light-headed laughter. For me, it was an experiment, and it was always monitored under Dr. Hartman’s care.” Dr.Hartman concluded, “LSD was not recreational for Cary. It was a very serious experiment.” Once LSD became illegal in California, Grant and Hartman discontinued its use, the article said.