CARY GRANT, British-born American actor died on this date (b. 1904); With his distinctive Mid-Atlantic accent, Cary Grant was noted as perhaps the foremost exemplar of the debonair leading man: dashingly handsome, virile, charismatic and charming. He was named the second Greatest Star of All Time of American cinema, after Humphrey Bogart, by the American Film Institute. Throughout his time in Hollywood, Grant was rumored to be either homosexual or bisexual.
In 1932, he met fellow actor Randolph Scott on the set of Hot Saturday. The two shared a rented beach house, known as “Bachelor Hall”, on and off for twelve years. In 1944, Grant and Scott stopped living together but remained close friends throughout their lives. Rumors ran rampant at the time that Grant and Scott were lovers.
In their biographies of Grant Marc Elliot, Charles Higham and Roy Moseley all contend that Grant was bisexual. Higham and Moseley claim that Grant and Scott were seen kissing in a public carpark outside a social function both attended in the 1960s. In his book, Hollywood Gays, Boze Hadleigh cites an interview with homosexual director George Cukor, who commented on the alleged homosexual relationship between Scott and Grant: “Oh, Cary won’t talk about it. At most, he’ll say they did some wonderful pictures together. But Randolph will admit it – to a friend.”
Homosexual screenwriter Arthur Laurents indicated that Grant was bisexual. In his memoir, he says, Grant “told me he threw pebbles at my window one night but was luckless – I wasn’t home. … his eyes and his smile implied that … he would have liked doing what we would have done had I been home. William J. Mann’s book Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969 recounts how photographer Jerome Zerbe spent “three Gay months” in the movie colony taking many photographs of Grant and Scott, “attesting to their involvement in the Gay scene.” Zerbe says that he often stayed with the two actors, “finding them both warm, charming, and happy.”
In a 2004 interview, Grant’s fifth wife, Barbara, says of the rumored Grant-Scott relationship “It wasn’t the case at all. In fact, the house that they had down on the beach was known to have women going in and out like running water.” Grant himself always denied the rumors, saying “They say that about everyone.” When comedian Chevy Chase joked about Grant being Gay in a television interview with Tom Snyder in 1980 (“Oh, what a gal!”) Grant sued him for slander; they settled out of court. Grant complained to writer/director Peter Bogdonovich about the Chevy Chase incident, emphatically insisting that while he had many Gay friends, including Cukor, William Haines, and costume designer Orry-Kelly and had nothing against homosexuals, he was not one himself.
In a 2004 interview for the Turner Classic Movies production, Cary Grant: A Class Apart, Grant’s third wife, Betsy Drake, commented, “Why would I believe that Cary was homosexual when we were busy fucking? He lived 43 years before he met me. I don’t know what he did. Maybe he was bisexual.”