Cary Grant Admitted He Was in Love With Roommate Randolph Scott, Friend Claimed
Romance rumors about the friends, roommates, and co-stars have persisted for years.
During the years he transformed into one of Hollywood's most dashing romantic leads, Cary Grant was living with—and possibly loving—another upcoming Hollywood star: fellow actor Randolph Scott. For years, the relationship was played off as a bromance between two highly eligible bachelors. However, in recent years, sources close to Grant have come forward to claim the two were in fact romantically involved. Read on for the full scoop on their relationship and why Grant allegedly said they shared love on "a profound level."
The up-and-coming actors lived together.
According to a January Vanity Fair piece on Grant and Scott's relationship, the His Girl Friday star lived with another man before making it in Hollywood. Shortly after arriving in New York City from his native England, Grant—then still going by his birth name, Archibald Leach—moved into a one-bedroom in Greenwich Village with the openly gay future Hollywood costume designer Orry-Kelly and lived there with him for several years until departing for California in 1932.
Grant was quickly snatched up by Paramount, and it was on the studio's lot where he met a tall, athletic blond actor named Randolph Scott. The two moved in together, as was common among young actors looking to save on rent, first sharing an apartment and then a small house in Beverly Hills.
Both actors saw their careers progress at a rapid pace—Scott's as an actor in Zane Grey Westerns and Grant's as a lead in screwball romantic comedies. Yet despite their increasingly comfortable incomes, they continued to live together. They also socialized together extensively and, according to Vanity Fair, frequented Los Angeles' underground gay nightclubs. Those in the know took note of their companionship, which soon included sharing a much larger house in Los Feliz. Speculation about the pair even appeared in print, including leading gossip columnist Hedda Hopper asking, "Whom does [Grant] think he is fooling?," and the tabloid Photoplay writing in 1933, "Randolph Scott and Cary Grant carry this buddy business a long way…They go every place together and even share the same house."
Scott didn't move out when Grant's first wife moved in.
In 1934, the Hays Code was adopted by Hollywood, setting the moral standard for films and by extension, their stars. Perhaps not coincidentally, Grant wed actor Virginia Cherrill (pictured with them above) that year. His cohabitation with Scott was far from over, however. Cherrill simply moved into their Los Feliz house and then stayed there until both the couple and Scott moved out—into adjacent apartments, according to Vanity Fair.
By 1935, Grant and Cherrill's marriage had ended acrimoniously. The two bachelors moved in together again, this time into a beachfront Santa Monica bungalow, where they stayed through Scott's own short-lived cross-country first marriage, to horse breeder Marion duPont, from 1936 to 1939.
Both before and after their first marriages, the press frequently interviewed Grant and Scott together, constructing profiles of two jovial bachelors in need of the care of women, while also dropping more subversive allusions. For example, in 1939, Photoplay ran another story headlined "The Gay Romance of Cary Grant." It described Grant as an "individualist" who "lives in a casual, comfortable way with Randolph Scott because that way he has companionship when he wants it without any of the complications of a highly geared home."
The next year, the two appeared in My Favorite Wife, their only film together, in which their characters compete for the affections of Irene Dunne. In 1944, their close friendship came to a permanent end, however, when Scott married Patricia Stillman, with whom he adopted two children. They remained married until his death in 1987.
Some sources close to the men claim that they were lovers.
Grant went on to to marry four more women in his lifetime: socialite Barbara Hutton (1942 to 1945), actor Betsy Drake (1949 to 1962), actor Dyan Cannon (1965 to 1968), and public relations agent Barbara Harris (1981 to his death in 1986). Both Cannon and their daughter, Jennifer Grant (his only child), have claimed that they never knew the Bringing Up Baby star to be attracted or to have had relationships with men, though they also noted that they couldn't say outright whether or not he had those experiences.
However, individuals who were reportedly close to Grant and Scott, have claimed that they were definitely a romantic and sexual item.
Fashion critic Richard Blackwell, who spent months living with the pair, described them as "deeply, madly in love," according to Vanity Fair. Decades after Grant's death, Hollywood escort and procurer of sex for the stars Scotty Bowers claimed that he had been intimate with both men at the same time. He also claimed that their status was an open secret.
"Back in those days, people knew they were lovers and together," Bowers said in the documentary film Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.
One friend said Grant admitted it was "love at first sight."
Writer William Royce collaborated with British journalist Maureen Donaldson on her 1989 memoir about her '70s relationship with Grant and was friends with both halves of the couple. In her own 2006 book, Cary Grant: The Wizard of Beverly Grove, Royce wrote that he had run into Scott one day in 1976 and later shared the story with Grant. Vanity Fair reports that Grant opened up to the writer for "several hours" about his relationship with Scott.
"Have you ever heard of gravity collapse? Some people call it love at first sight," Grant reportedly told Royce of meeting his roommate. "This was the first time I'd felt it for anyone."
Grant also supposedly explained that he and Scott weren't gay or straight but somewhere else on the spectrum of sexuality. He noted that both women and men would sleep over at their home, and that Scott never wanted Grant in the same way that Grant wanted him. Royce claimed Grant said that they did have sex, often awkwardly, but primarily connected romantically.
"There was no way Randy would have experimented with me…if he didn't truly love me on some profound level," the actor said, per Royce.
While he recounted the pain of Scott's eventual departure, Grant, then in his 70s, told the writer, "Our souls did touch. What more could I ask?"
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