Cary Grant's Daughter Denies Rumors That He Was Secretly Gay

Jennifer Grant addressed some "misconceptions" about her father in a new interview.

Decades after his death, rumors persist that Cary Grant was in the closet as either a gay or bisexual man. But one of the people who was closest to him says that she has no reason to believe them. In a new interview, Cary's only child, Jennifer Grant, shut down the gossip about her father's sexuality. The 57-year-old explained that if her father was gay, she would have supported that part of him, but that she "never saw anything to indicate that."

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Jennifer spoke to Fox News Digital following the release of the British miniseries Archie, which is about Cary's life. (He was born Archibald Leach.) Jennifer and her mother, Dyan Cannon, are both executive producers on the project. In the interview, Jennifer shared memories of her father and opened up about the rumors that he wasn't straight.

"I suppose the [misconception about my father] that comes to mind is the question of, 'Was he straight? Was he gay?'" she said. "When I wrote my book [in 2011], I got hate mail saying, 'Why aren't you standing up for the fact that your father was homosexual?' But the truth of the matter is, I never saw anything to indicate that. And had he been homosexual, I absolutely would've stood up for it. He had gay friends and there's just absolutely nothing to be ashamed of there."

Jennifer continued of her memoir, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant, "I had to speak the truth, which was I saw a very straight male who watched women, was married to women, had me. Did he have affairs earlier in life? Perhaps. I don't know. I wasn't there to see it. So, I think it might not be a common misconception, but it's certainly a rumor out there."

Cary was married five times, including to Jennifer's mother from 1965 to 1968. When Jennifer was born, Cary retired from acting and focused on raising her. He died in 1986 at the age of 82. At the time, Jennifer was 20 years old.

Jennifer Grant and Cary Grant at Fairfax Hotel in Washington, D.C. in 1981
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The claim that Cary was gay or bisexual has been supported by some people who knew him. A friend, Bill Royce, said that the actor "saw sex as a spectrum," according to the book Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman. Scotty Bowers, who was an escort and a procurer for celebrities during the days of Old Hollywood, said that he had sex with Cary and with Cary's roommate Randolph Scott, including at the same time. Some believe that Cary and Scott were actually living together as a couple.

"Back in those days, people knew they were lovers and together," Bowers said in the documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.

Jennifer previously admitted that it's possible Cary had affairs with men before she was born. "Perhaps earlier in his life he had an affair [with a man]," the Beverly Hills, 90210 actor told The Guardian in July. "I'll never know, but if he did, fantastic. I hope he enjoyed it." She said in the same interview, "If you're around your parents a lot, you see them in ways that almost no one else does. And I never saw a hint of that. I think I would have picked up on it—not that I would've cared. But I have to speak the truth of the matter: Dad was charming, and he had great friendships, but he wasn't flirtatious with men."

Cannon has shared similar words about Cary's sexuality. "They talk about everybody in Hollywood," she told The Daily Beast in 2011. "I never saw any indication of that. If that happened before or after me, I don't know, but not while I was with him."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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