Cary Grant's daughter addresses rumors about her father's sexuality in memoir

Cary-Grant-and-Jennifer-Grant

Image Credit: Everett Collection; Scott Alan/PR Photos

Cary Grant earned the title of film icon through a legacy of classic movies, his imitable but not duplicable mid-Atlantic accent, pratfalls honed from years in vaudeville, and the best comedic double take in the business. And like most film icons, he’s been the focus of a variety of posthumous rumors, the most persistent being that the five-time husband was gay. Other Hollywood stars like Montgomery Clift and Rock Hudson hid their sexuality from the movie-going public, so the idea that Grant too had a secret life isn’t without precedent.

But his daughter Jennifer says it is unfounded. In her memoir, Good Stuff, which hits bookstores today, Grant begins by acknowledging that while “there are interesting misconceptions about Dad,” she will “leave these misconceptions to themselves.” For the most part she does—and the large majority of the book is not about Grant’s role as a Hollywood figure, but as a retiree and loving father. However, she does dedicate a few pages in the middle of the book to addressing all those Tinseltown whisperings about her father’s orientation, although she doesn’t go into specifics or even mention his foremost alleged partner, fellow actor Randolph Scott, in the passage.

Grant dismisses the suggestion, saying it is preposterous, but understandable. “Can’t blame men for wanting him,” she writes. “And wouldn’t be surprised if Dad even mildly flirted back. […] Dad somewhat enjoyed being called gay. He said it made women want to prove the assertion wrong.” She does leave open the possibility that her father wasn’t exclusively heterosexual: “Did Dad ever experiment sexually? I don’t know. Have I ever experimented sexually? Have you? If experimentation makes one gay, then my guess is that most of the world is gay.”


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  • will

    I wonder if she addresses Grant’s relationship with Randolph Scott who were rumored to be lovers.

    • ST

      It says in the second paragraph that he wasn’t even mentioned…

    • asher

      According to this article, she does not.

    • Jack

      I’d say she does NOT “even mention his foremost alleged partner, fellow actor Randolph Scott.” (as quoted from the ACTUAL article above!)

    • EFH

      Jennifer is lying — or at least misinformed. Grant had a major problem with people suggesting he was gay. He sued people for millions of dollars over the most innocuous remarks (a predecessor to Tom Cruise in that department).

  • Sammie

    Don’t know anything about Cary grant in RL but watching old movies of his I’d say maybe bisexual he was always the ladies man but for all I know he could’ve had another side as well…just sayin’

  • Ktct

    When I was ten years old, I flew from NY to LA as an unaccompanied minor. I sat next to the nicest man, who read to me and played cards with me. I, of course, did not know it or appreciate it at the time, but was later told that it was Cary Grant. Gay or not, who cares? For six hours, he made me less afraid of being on my own.

    • ks

      Nice! he should be remembered that way :)

    • Alec

      Wow that’s a nice story and a great conversation starter I bet.

    • Katie G

      what an awesome story!

  • danny

    I believe his relationships with his wives and other women were genuine. I also believe his relationships with men, specifically Randolph Scott, were all they are rumored to be. A lot of sexual experimentation went on in the twenties and early thirties in Hollywood. From the well-written and un-tabloidy biographies I have read I wouldn’t doubt that Cary Grant was intimately familiar with pre-WW2 homosexual culture. “bring up Baby” is full of winks and asides that the gay subculture of the era would “get”, but would go over the heads of a regular audience (as well as the more obvious “because I have suddenly gone Gay!” gag line, when he is wearing a women’s robe), and there is no doubt in my mind that Grant knew each hidden meaning in those asides. When things turned repressive in the 30s for homosexuals, Grant and Scott broke up their living arrangements and married women. Grant took more comfortably to that studio encouraged (enforced?) arrangement than Scott, by all accounts. And it is only from then on that Grant is linked with women in long-term relationships, I believe. So I believe Grant was a true bisexual, maybe in the long run even more hetero and gay, but nonetheless, bisexual.

  • dea

    who the hell is cary grant??? do i care about a guy who was in movies 100 years ago? no! and his daughter is fugs.

    • Robert Tyson

      dea, does your mommy know you are playing with her computer? Perhaps you should give it back to a grown up.

    • An Adult

      dea, please finish your 5th grade social studies homework or you can’t watch Bieber videos before bedtime.

    • Laura

      Cary Grant has made some of the most amazing and funny movies, I still watch them all the time. You should really check them out.

    • Enrique S

      @DEA: Grow up will ya? You sounded like a classic spoiled brat know-it-all upstart.

  • jfms777

    Does she discuss her mom, Dyan Cannon?

  • Movie Nut

    Who is Cary Grant!!? dea you are OBVIOUSLY a TOTAL idiot!! Let me CLUE you in-The world didn’t JUST START HAPPENING FIVE YEARS AGO!! There were actually REAL LIVE IMPORTANT ACTORS AND DIRECTORS BEFORE WHATEVER TEENYBOPPER HEART-THROBS YOU FOLLOW AND ADORE WERE EVEN BORN!!! I’ll BET MOST of THEM KNOW who Cary Grant was TOO, even if you DON’T!! It is a SAD, SAD comentary on todays culture that if its five minutes old then it is already DISMISSED as PASSE!! By next year everyone will probably be saying WHO IS JOHNNY DEPP or LADY GAGA!!? And so the stupid masses keep on going…

  • FILMBUFF

    Dea if you have no idea who Cary Grant is (and OBVIOUSLY don’t CARE) then why are you reading this article and BOTHERING to put your 2 cents in!? I guess you are just another BRAINLESS complainer who likes to see themselves in print!

  • JDL

    Who the hell is Cary Grant!!? WHAT?! Are you FOR REAL!!? Are you like 5 years old or somethin’!? Cary Grant was an ICON! I’m SURE there are a LOT of actors working today that look back on what HE DID and find INPIRATION!!

  • JDL

    Sorry I meant Inspiration (didn’t notice that I forgot the S until AFTER I posted it).

  • Luke

    Who is Lady Gaga??!

  • Michael

    I think it’s a joke to suggest Cary was gay, I think Cary Grant was heterosexual. I suspect this rumor came from male jealousy. Such is life:)

    • Josiane

      Jack I am in love with your comment. Thank you so much!! I think your tohhguts about Bob Newhart are right on the money brilliant!And it’s interesting, your last question I was actually thinking about that today after I posted this. I don’t think she does qualify because, if you think about it, she is the one who makes everyone else submit to HER world and the Hawksian woman basically knows it’s a man’s world, and if she wants to play with the boys at all, she can’t be bringing around all that girlie stuff. Some of the women in his movies already know this intuitively (Ros Russell in His Girl Friday, Bacall in To Have and Have Not) but then there’s poor Jean Arthur in ONly Angels Have Wings and she has to really learn those hard lessons. she only learns it because she’s in love with the guy and he just can’t have her falling apart in a feminine way every time some pilot dies. she needs to toughen up and that whole movie is about her steep learning curve in becoming a Hawksian woman. But Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby I can’t imagine her going to that airport in Barranca and realizing ANYTHING she would infect all of THEM with her zaniness because she is such a dominant figure she doesn’t need to learn anything, she is who she is. It’s almost like Grant in Bringing Up Baby is playing the stereotypically feminine role the librarian who takes off her glasses and lets her hair down, etc.Also, BLESS YOU for loving that moment of him nailing the harmony line in Bringing Up Baby I chose that screen grab deliberately because in my view that is the real moment he becomes normal a normal man, not uptight totally engaged in the moment no longer thinking, I look so foolish . He DOES look foolish but he is so proud of his harmony line that he doesn’t care! Also his hair is all a mess and he has ceased to care about that. It’s a great moment. And yes, his little nod when he gets that tune right perfect! I referenced it in this here I am thrilled to see someone else loves that moment too. It’s my favorite of his in the film (although how can one choose??) I just know I look forward to it with every viewing.

  • Nancy

    From what I understand, the whole gay rumor was started by a pissed off reporter. Cary Grant and Randolf Scott pooled their studio pay (before stardom struck) and rented a fantastic house with a pool. They were a known weekend party house for all of the young and upcoming Hollywood set. Media was not welcomed at the refuge. One reporter would not gracefully take no for an answer to be admitted so he printed that gay rumor in revenge. From what I understand the parties that happened there pretty much confirmed Mr. Grant was definately hetrosexual.

    • Devon

      Would you happen to have an article about this?

      I’d like to read it.

  • lvbagsoutlet

    Great article. I cant wait to hear more about your research tool. If it is as good as your other products, then you will have another winner. Your article pretty much summed up what I have been seeing too. Great to see some hard data.

  • marny

    Cary Grant was class personified. He represented charm, elegance and youth. No one has ever come close to him, and no one ever will.

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