Cary Grant’s daughter denies her dad was queer after years of rumors

Cary Grant’s daughter denies her dad was queer after years of rumors
Cary Grant Photo: SAS Records Management

Cary Grant’s daughter, actor and producer Jennifer Grant, says there is no evidence to support persistent rumors that the Hollywood legend was secretly gay.

In a recent interview with Fox News promoting Archie — a new BritBox series about the North by Northwest star’s early years — Jennifer Grant, who was an executive producer on the project, addressed the rumors, which she previously wrote about in her 2011 memoir Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant.

“When I wrote my book, I got hate mail saying, you know, ‘Why aren’t you standing up for the fact that your father was homosexual?’” she recalled. “But the truth of the matter is, I never saw anything to indicate that.”

“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,” she continued. “But 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,” Grant added. “So, I think it might not be a common misconception, but it’s certainly a rumor out there.”

Grant’s comments about her father echo those she made to The Guardian earlier this year. “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,” she told the paper, noting that she’s faced accusations of being anti-gay for her insistence that her father was straight. “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.”

She even went so far as to say that if her Oscar-nominated dad did have an affair with a man before she was born, she thought that was “fantastic.”

“I hope he enjoyed it,” she said.

Cary Grant was married five times throughout his life but didn’t father a child (Jennifer) until he was in his 60s, with his fourth wife, actress Dyan Cannon. But speculation about his sexuality stems largely from his relationship with fellow actor Randolph Scott. The pair lived together on and off for over a decade, leading some to claim they were a couple. Journalist Richard Blackwell and photographer Jerome Zerbe both claimed to have slept with Grant and Scott, with Blackwell claiming in his 1994 autobiography that the two were “deeply, madly in love.”

Others have been more skeptical. In an excerpt from his 2020 book Cary Grant: The Making of a Hollywood Legend published on Vulture, author Mark Glancy suggested that a series of publicity photos commissioned by Paramount Studios and shot by Zerbe of Grant and Scott at the home they shared in the 1930s have been misinterpreted as evidence of their romance.

“If there is a gay perspective in the photos, it is likely due to the photographer, Jerome Zerbe, who was young, gay, and intent on taking a different approach to photographing stars,” Glancy wrote. “Zerbe’s photographs of Grant and Scott perfectly exemplify his approach, but he also brought an unmistakable sexual frisson to these images.”

In his review of Archie for The Hollywood Reporter, critic Daniel Fienberg called the series’ treatment of Grant and Scott’s relationship as “pointlessly coy.”

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