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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cary Grant and Randolph Scott: A Gay Hollywood Romance.


Cary Grant was born in 1904 in Bristol, England with the unfortunate name of Archibald Leach.   When Archie was only 9, his father put Archie’s mother in a mental hospital, remarried and then abandoned Archie to the care of the state. 


 By the age of 14 he was expelled from school and joined a traveling vaudeville show as a stilt-walker. At the age of 16, he left England for a two year tour of the American vaudeville circuit with his British troupe. Soon he was working with an American troupe in St. Louis where he mastered acrobatics, mime and juggling. After a stint on Broadway, Archie moved to west to California and soon signed a contract with Paramount Studios under his new name of Cary Grant. 


 In spite of his poor background and his vaudeville past, he would constantly be cast as a wealthy sophisticate.


 George Randolph Scott’s early years were almost the exact opposite of Cary Grant’s. George was born in 1898 to a well off family. As a child growing up in Virginia, he lived a life of privilege. George’s parents made sure that he attended the best private schools and that he had a happy and care free childhood.


 After serving in World War I, going to college and a brief stint in the family business; George eventually decided on a career in acting. George’s father knew Howard Hughes, who was making films at that time, and arranged an introduction for his son. Soon known as Randolph Scott, he was only getting bit parts and was little more than window dressing. On the advice of director Cecil B. Demille, Scott gained some much needed acting experience by performing in local productions at the Pasadena Playhouse. The work paid off and soon he was landing larger roles.


Cary and Randolph met on the set of the 1932 movie, “Hot Saturday.”  The attraction was mutual and they quickly began spending all of their free time together. Their friends from that period said that the two handsome young actors lived together openly and began traveling in Hollywood’s gay social circles. A few years before, Cary Grant had lived openly with gay Hollywood designer, Orry-Kelly. 




 Cary and Randolph shared a Santa Monica beach house as well as a mansion in Los Feliz at 2177 West Live Oak Drive. 
 



They would live together for a total of 11 years, longer than most Hollywood marriages.


 



  A closeted gay journalist named Ben Maddox wrote a profile of the two bachelors for Modern Screen in 1933. The photos show Cary Grant and Randolph Randolph sharing house and living a very cozy and domestic life at the beach. Maddox used various code words in his story that would identify them as a couple to gay readers. These photos of them wearing aprons were apparently too much for heterosexual columnists who ridiculed the two men and implied that there was “something” between them.


 

 In 1934, the studio “encouraged” Grant to marry in order to kill the gay rumors that were swirling around the two young actors. In February of 1934, he married Virginia Cherril and 13 months later she divorced him, claiming that he had hit her. 


Virginia also said the Grant was constantly drunk and sullen and never showed any sexual interest. There is an unconfirmed rumor that Cary had been so depressed by his situation that he even attempted suicide. An attempted suicide was something that the studios would have done everything in their power to hush up; so that may be why there is no real evidence of it happening. 


Cary moved back in with Randolph as soon as the divorce was settled. The studio publicity department regularly planted stories about an endless stream of attractive young women going in and out of the beach house which they now referred to as “Bachelor Hall.”


 



 



 

Their good friend, Carole Lombard, when joking about Grant notorious cheapness said  "Their relationship is perfect. Randy pays the bills and Cary mails them.” Between the two of them, they had 7 failed marriages, but they were most likely marriages of convenience. 


 Mr Blackwell, the notorious fashion critic, lived with Cary and Randolph for several months. In his memoir he said that he considered them, “deeply, madly in love, their devotion complete…Behind closed doors they were warm, kind, loving and caring, and unembarrassed about showing it.”


  

 By 1940 they were no longer living together, due to pressure from the studio heads to marry and protect their image. They only made one movie together, ironically it was called, “My Favorite Wife.”

They must have still be lovers at the time since the script supervisor, Bert Granet, for “My Favorite Wife” recalled Cary and Randolfs unusual behavior on set:
“We shot the pool sequence at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. Cary and Randy Scott arrived as a pair and, to the total astonishment of myself, the director, and the ultra-macho crew, instead of taking separate suites moved into the same room together. Everyone looked at everyone else. It seemed hardly believable.”


 Cary and Randolph remained extremely close their entire lives. The maître d' at the Beverly Hillcrest Hotel saw both actors in the 1970s, sitting in the back of the restaurant, long after the place had emptied. Cary Grant and Randolph Scott were sitting alone, quietly holding hands.


 If you enjoyed these vintage photos of Cary and Randolph, please subscribe to the Homo History blog. There are links at the top and very bottom of every page.

For more photos of Cary Grant, check out:  http://hotvintagemen.blogspot.com/2016/05/early-photos-of-cary-grant.html

Thanks,
Jeffrey Gent

65 comments:

  1. I makes me very sad to see what must have been a strong love, quieted and hushed up by the ignorance of the time. Even now, we are barely allowed to have relationships. And when we do, we can only get married in a few places. Time will be on our side.

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    1. U.S. Made Gay Marriage legal time was on our side :D. I do wish Grant and Scott could have lived openly though. Cary Grant was a very strong character Randolf Scott too. God bless them both.

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    2. I GREW UP IN A HETEROSEXUAL FAMILY OUT WEST ,JOINED THE SERVICE WENT OVERSEAS ,CAME BACK STATESIDE,INTO A VERY TUMULTOUS POPULATION OF PEOPLE WITH HOMOPHOBIA SO STRONG IT SHOCKED. AS I KNEW NOW THAT I HAD SHOWERED,SHARED THE SAME FOXHOLE , AND SAT AT BARS DRINKING AND PARTYING WITH GAYS AND LESBIANS,AND NOW THE GAY COMMUNITY CAN LEGALLY GET MARRIED,BUT THOUSANDS ARE HIGHLY AGAIN,ST IT, MY SELF I HAVE NEVER BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE PREJUDICED AND HAS NEVER HAD NOTHING BUT GOOD WILL TOWARDS MY FELLOW HUMAN AND I AM VERY HAPPY THAT THEY FINALLY ATTAINED THE SAME RIGHTS AS ALL OF US .

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    3. I think there actions in living openly together, there many photo's in domestic bliss and even sharing the same hotel suit shows that they were saying it loud and proud how they felt for one another. the fact that the studio bosses " encouraged them to marry" proves only one thing, they did it for a quiet life and probably to keep there jobs, but they knew and the whole world knew they were fooling no one. They admitted nothing, nor deny there sexual preference. They just lived there lives as they pleased and why not, love is love, it has no preference, nor prejudice , it just is. A beautiful man , makes me happy to know that he had the love of his life and ill bet they remained so for the rest of there lives. I hope where ever you are, you are together and happy with out the whole world snooping and judging .

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    4. Finding out that Grant and Scott were both Homosexuals makes me want to puke. I could never again look at them the same way after knowing this. It's a shame that some peoples brains are wired in such a way as to cause them to Short Circuit.

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    5. Wish they would make a movie about this. I was always intrigued by this story.

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    6. I wish Mr100741's comment would be removed. We've had enough of hatred, prejudice and bigotry. Let people love who they love. Why do we support war instead?

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    7. Yes, so sad indeed. Our brothers and sisters from the past had to endure so much loneliness and sorrow. RIP,guys.♥♥

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    8. Catherine: Ignorance exists. From my perspective, censoring it is little different than the ignorance of Hollywood studios insisting that CG & RS get married "for appearances".
      Observe it, contemplate it, decry it. But sweeping it under the rug does nothing.
      And Mr100741, try and grow up.

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  2. This explains why I love Cary Grant so much!! I can't get enough of him, watch many of his movies over and over. Thank you for this wonderful history of Cary and Randolph's love affair.

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  3. I had NO IDEA that Cary Grant was gay. But I did enjoy and appreciate your information. Nicely done.

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    1. I'm 43 and a huge fan of Grant. If you read "Full Service" by Scotty Bowers you will get an insight as to how many people you had no idea were gay. You will be quite surprised. Tyrone Power, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, to name a (small) few. If you do your research it's all there.

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    2. I didn't know James Dean was gay, or Tyrone, or Cliff. They really kept things secret back in those days. Thanks for sharing.

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    3. Sadly, the studios STILL keep things secret. Are we to believe that there are no gays in Hollywood in 2016? Or are they still closeted even in these supposedly gay affirming times?

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  4. Heartbreaking! It makes me mad that the daughter is promoting his most clever covert assertion that he like to be thought of as gay so that women would try to prove him wrong. Is it really that shameful to admit the truth that your father was in love with another, talented and beautiful man?

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    1. I am in total concurrence with you! He was a wonderful talent and being gay doesn't take away from that. He absolutely referenced gay code in many and or most of his films. Btw his "color" was robins egg blue!

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    2. I think he did more than reference gay code when, in the movie Bringing Up Baby, he answers co-star Kathryn Hepburn's question about why he's wearing a sheer peignoir with, "I've suddenly gone gay." [According to Scottie Bowers, Kate was also a big, ol' lez.]

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  5. A pair of great actors and even better human beings.

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  6. nunca había visto estas imágenes, pero se ven tan felices, son hermosas.

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    1. Beautiful. I could not have said it better. Gracias!

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    2. "I had never seen these images, but they
      look so happy, they are beautiful."

      Thank you, "Google translate".

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  7. Wow what great reading and sad for them that they had to live double lives but that was it then unfortunately

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  8. So sad that they had to hide and to think that some have to hide in our times is even sadder.

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  9. What a beautiful set of photos and story. This definitely touched my heart!

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  10. Love the story and it must been terrible to live this kind of life for them been in the spot life.

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  11. Very sad! Will never be able to enjoy a Cary Grant movie as I once did

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    1. WHY NOT? SAME GREAT ACTOR TILL THE DAY HE DIED. HE AND DEBORAH KERR WERE PERFECT IN AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER. WE WATCH IT AT LEAST ONCE EVERY MONTH.

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    2. Very sad that that's your attitude. Why on earth would it matter to you whom they loved?

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  12. Two of my favorite Silver Age actors! Both handsome and talented! Thanks God the times are changing... If they lived today there was no problem to come out of the closet. At that times it would finish a carreer...

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  13. Beautiful photos & written article. However, acceptance is still in it's infancy. This article should published in AARP.

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  14. You are an AMAZING writer! I SO enjoyed reading this post.There is so much truth in here it's crazy!

    Regards
    Igor komor

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  15. Amazing photos, beautifully written, talented actors, handsome, so in love, sad they couldn't be together forever.

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  16. Thanks for sharing such a loving story. The photos were amazing!

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  17. These photos showed the pair could hardly take their eyes off each other.

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  18. This is an amazing piece! I knew, or thought, Grant was Gay but didn't know about his intense lifelong relationship with Randolph Scott. I stumbled upon your page when i was reading on the JFK Library site a list of JFK's favorite things. His favorite actor was "Randolph Scott". I recalled the name but not being into old movies (except i do well recall some old movies staring Cary Grant, Rock Hudson or Tony Curtis...) I had to look him up to see who he was and what he starred in. Googling his name i found this webpage. I wonder if JFK knew he was Gay? 2 of JFK's (and Jackie's) best friends were gay: Lem Billings and William "Bill" Walton.

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  19. People some times forget but at that time studio's OWN you. What movies you did, what parties you attended, where you where seen and YES, even who you married. Today they would have been celebrated as a loving Hollywood couple but in the early 1940's it was VERY taboo. Great story, but also a little sad they went through so much personal pain.

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  20. Beautiful, lovely article, exquisite photos.See, perfect love does exist...

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  21. now I understand why Grant kissed his leading ladies with such detachment; no real passion! Sad!!

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  22. Thanks for the photos and story! The more people know, the more they will accept...

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  23. Thanks for the interesting story and photographs. The more people know, the more they will accept.

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  24. Yes. I too thought this was a wonderful story as well as a revelation to me although I have read a number of articles about the muted homo eroticism implied in Scott's westerns. Not of course that referred specifically to the actor himself....but you then start to question associations. Charles Laughton, one of the great stage and screen actors, had difficulty in coming to terms with his homosexuality and to some extent this affected his personality and latter days of his career. He remained married to Elsa Lanchester for all those years, leading a double life.

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  25. I have no doubt there are many famous actors/actresses who are alive and closeted in Hollywood. Even in modern times, they fear losing their career. Just my opinion.










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    1. They both made film(s) with my favorite entertainer of all time - Mae West. She already had quite to Gay following by the early 1930's.

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  26. Thanks for this now hopefully society has started to evolve that what one does in the privacy of their own bedroom if not harming any person is their business

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  27. Being a heterosexual, I only wish I could find a love like this. It's sad that you have to hide who you love just so u could keep your job. I work at a studio today and even though we have come a great deal for gay rights, I think that an a leading man actor would still lose a lot of roles if he came out gay. That's sad. The role should go to the best actor gay or straight. Anyway, loved the article.

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    1. Wow....I love your comment. That shows that also heterosexuals can use their brain! And heart!
      I'll bring back the faith in good guys.....gay or straight!
      Thanks for that, Bill!

      I hope, they are together again.....wherever they are!
      May other artists and actors male or female, gay or straight,
      will have the courage to stand up for their love and will be successful, though!

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  28. i think women are more tolerant of this than men are , i think the pictures are lovely , im glad they found love , after all isnt that what we all want in the end ?

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  29. Great actors, truly sad that they were gay and so unhappy.

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  30. It will take awhile for my brain to process this information and like other comments I will never see Cary Grant movie in the same way again!

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  31. My heart hurts for these two beautiful people, who will always be remembered. Love is love <3

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  32. Holywood sempre foi mestra em esconder a condição de GAY de seus ídolos. Assim como esse dois, outro notório GAY enrustido foi Rock Hudson.

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  33. What a celebration of love, loyalty, great faith, guts, hardships, forced marriages, and unabashed triumph in the way they took a single room on their film, My Favorite Wife. I think they were forerunners against the machine of image + money; they tried so so hard just to be happy. I honor them.

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  34. Hollywood at that time was not receptive to homosexuality, period. It was considered amoral and destroyed the heterosexual idea of romance the movies attempted to sell. I'm happy to know that Scott and Grant found happiness together despite of the mores of the time.

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  35. Thank you for sharing his story. I heard My Grant was gay and it is nice to see that he did have someone to love in his life and esp. in this times.

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  36. Another facet of Grant's sexuality was his friendship with the costume designer Orry Kelly -- there is a great autobiography about Orry Kelly and I believe a documentary....

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  37. Cary Grant loved highly intelligent, creative, talented and successful men and women . I knew him as kid in junior high to an adult in my early 30's. He always wanted a daughter and Jennifer should not be slighted for her feelings about her father.I'm 65 now and more men gay or not should be as complicated, yet iconic as he was.

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  38. I had no idea that either was gay or some of the other names dropped in comments after the story. I will follow this blog as i would like to know more LGBT history. I wish there were a coffee table book of such stories with the lovely photos like this story, very good stuff. Sad that they had to hide their relationship and marry women to make the studio's happy. Hell, i thought it was odd when Elton John married a woman because i thought the world knew he was gay, now we all know and he's married to the man of his dreams. I am not gay however I do support Gay rights because they are CIVIL RIGHTS. Everyone deserves their civil rights.

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  39. I grew up loving Cary Grant films, and always thought his being gay was just an unsubstantiated rumor. Your article really clarifies the matter. His sexual preference doesn't change my respect for both him or Randolph Scott as both actors and human beings. The fact that they could retain their relationship in the social meat grinder of Hollywood, especially during a more intolerant time in history, only re-affirms their feelings for each other. That they were still together decades later is a testament to love. More power to them, and blessings to two great American actors.

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  40. The human race is mean. I will never understand why. Grab your happinessness whenever you can. Its not as easy as it looks.

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  41. I think times are changing.It takes awhile, probably to long for many.So cheer the growth and lead the rest.

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