Was Cary Grant gay.

I saw a program on Grant yesterday. It said he and Randolph Scott shared a place for years. Yet he was married 5 times. Had one kid with Dyan Cannon when he was very old. I gave no thought about it until the program made hints. Now I am curious fellow.

Given that Grant never said so, any answer is going to be speculation. The rumor has always been that he and Randolph Scott were lovers and that the relationship picked up and dropped off in between Grant’s relationship with women. There are some semi-homoerotic publicity pictures of Grant and Scott around a pool that fueled the rumors. The rumor was well enough known that Chevy Chase in the I wanna say late 1970s called Grant a “homo” on TV and Grant sued him for defamation.

And Grant won, in the sense that Chase settled out of court.

I can’t find it now, but I seem to remember hearing–maybe in one of those interviews with old stars on TCM?–that the boys’ bungalow had a cute nickname among other Hollywood types that implied a relationship; the “love nest” or some such thing. Sorry, no cite, just a vague memory of gossip.

Why couldn’t he just be bisexual?

Hell, he was Cary freaking Grant-he was so sexy, it wasn’t fair for him to be confined to one sex.


Liberace won his case too.

I agree. If you’re that hot you have an obligation to be bisexual.

Dyan Cannon, who should know, has said that Grant was definitely heterosexual.

The Grant and Randolph Scott photos were from a time when two men could share a home and it not be a sign they were gay. They are inconclusive at best.

Still, it’s clear that Grant knew something about gay culture. He did, after all, introduce the term to the general public in Bringing Up Baby (When asked why he was wearing Katherine Hepburn’s robe, he said, “Because I suddently went gay all of a sudden.” Grant ad libbed the line. Later, again referring to the robe, he said, “I’m just waiting for a bus on 42nd Street.” 42nd Street in NY was a gay hangout in the 20s and, when men there were hassled by the copy, their excuse was that they were waiting for a bus).

But that may mean nothing. Grant was working in the NY theater at the time the phrase was current, and could have learned about it then. Gay culture in NYC in the 1920s was pretty much out in the open; see George Chauncey’s Gay New York.

Dyan Cannon, who should know,[li] has said that Grant was definitely heterosexual.[/li][/QUOTE]

*–and who had a strong incentive to maintain a public front. I mean, if she *was * a beard, then she’d only be doing her job, no?

I second the Chauncey book. Relly first rate info on the topic.

Grant was a very unhappy fellow with many psychological issues and rumors of homosexuality/bisexuality followed him his entire life, but nothing’s conclusive. A lot of what you’ll read about him (including an absolutely ridiculous story that, believe it or not, puts him on the grounds of Sharon Tate’s house banging the gardener at the time of the murders) traces back to two or three malicious gossip sites and or the work of a writer named Boze Hadleigh who released a book of interviews with closeted gay stars entitled Hollywood Gays. According to Hadleigh, his interview subjects (who included Randolph Scott) spoke to him on the proviso he not make voice recordings and not release his books until after they were dead, but a lot of his critics believe (and not without some evidence) that Hadleigh in some cases greatly exaggerated what was said and in other cases just made shit up out of whole cloth about people he never even met, let alone interviewed.

Grant did have openly gay friends (hardly surprising in his line of work) and was a weird fellow in general. He’s also an interesting neurotic: he was notoriously and neurotically stingy (he lived in a mansion but ate cheap TV dinners, bought Cadillacs or Mercedes and remove all the insignia and logos on the grounds that they should be paying him to drive them) but was also notoriously scrupulous about money (he’s the only of Barbara Hutton’s 7 husbands who kept his own accounts and never touched a penny of her money and there’s some evidence he paid some of her bills when she died not-quite-broke but nothing remotely like her previous wealth) and of course he left one of Hollywood’s great fortunes (his daughter had $30 million in her trust fund). He used and praised LSD when it was legal and used in therapy and some accounts say he continued to use it afterwards. Dyan Cannon said in her memoir he could be very abusive when under its influence and that he stalked her for years after their separation/divorce- she would decide at the last minute where to go on a date rather than make plans in advance and yet invariably he’d show up at the same restaurant minutes later. He had huge mother and abandonment issues (he thought his mother abandoned the family when he was a kid, but she was in fact committed to an asylum for 20+ years and he learned she was still alive and hospitalized reading a tabloid interview with a distant relative after he became a star- the relative honestly thought Cousin Archie knew where his mom was).

Whether he was gay or not though- nothing proven and neither answer would surprise me.

I wish I could produce a cite (and one’s probably available), but I read an interview with Chevy Chase once who was still furious about the lawsuit 20 years later. It was settled in private with neither to reveal terms and Grant would imply in interviews that it was settled for an apology, attorney’s fees, and token figure. Chase said “bullshit”- it cost him everything he had and required him to take offers he had turned down, that the attorneys fees (his and Grants together) were alone over $100,000 and the “token” settlement around the same amount and this long before Chase was a multimillionaire. He said his then wife had to go back to work as the settlement left them in danger of eviction and having their utilities turned off and it was several projects before he was right again financially.

Kenneth Anger gets a bit of the blame as well, although his references (at least in my copies of Hollywood Babylon and HB II, which are not original editions) are confined to the aforementioned photos along with captions with a hint of swish abut them.

Hadleigh also released a book of interviews with other gay film people called Conversations With My Elders and one of interviews with women entitled Hollywood Lesbians. Each of them has come under scrutiny as being possible fabrications.

I am so gonna use that line!

I know this is a tangent but I have absolutely no sympathy for Chase’s gripes. If he didn’t like the terms of the settlement then why sign it? And if he only signed because he had no defence against the defamation claim than tough - don’t go round defaming people.

Oh and as for the actual question, I have no idea, but suspect he probably was - just too smooth to be straight.

Sigh. Some day, our children will live in a world where speculating that someone is gay will not automatically equal defamation, like saying they fuck giraffes or Paris Hilton.

He didn’t defame him or even outright claim he was gay. He was on a late night talk show (Tom Snyder), was asked his opinions on being compared to Cary Grant (the upper crust cute playboy type), and said something to the effect of “It’s an honor. Cary Grant’s a legend. And I understand he’s a homo… just kidding Cary. He’s a great gal.”

Chase claims to have had no idea about the gay rumors Grant had faced for decades. The whole thing was a joke- it would be like going on Daily Show and saying “Yeah, I love Jack Nicholson… and I’ve heard he’s a drag queen on weekends… just kidding, he’s too high on crack to go out”. It’s meant to be an absurd throwaway, you’re really not expecting Nicholson to sue you.

I’m sorry but accusing someone of wanting to fuck Paris Hilton IS defamation.

Yes. The fact that Dyan Cannon and Cary Grant not only got married but also had sex - and their child is proof they had sex at least once - convinces me that Cary Grant was not gay.

Also, I believe that even though Grant and Randolph Scott - both successful actors at the time with no financial need to be sharing a house with anyone - lived together for years, their motivation in doing so was almost certainly something other than any supposed gay relationship between them, although at the moment I am unable to think of even one other reason for them to have been sharing a home together.

Slight hijack - do a Google image search for “Kurt Kauper Cary Grant” (#1, 2 & 3)

  • but not at work, guys, no, not at work!

Not necessarily. It could have been artificial insemination.