Cary Grant met Randolph Scott in 1932 on the Paramount set of Hot Saturday and the two Hollywood actors formed a bond immediately. They were soon living together, and for the next 12 years, they lived together off-and-on, sharing a Santa Monica beach house and a mansion in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighbourhood. By the mid 1940s, when Grant and Scott were no longer living together, the two remained close friends throughout most of their lives.
There are different theories and rumours about the nature of their relationship, with the most persistent being that the two are actually a gay couple. But Hollywood of that period was run by the infamous iron-fisted studio system, which monitored, managed and practically dictated a star’s personal and public life, and would certainly not allow their leading men living openly as homosexual, let alone as a couple.
In 1934, the studios ordered Grant to get married. His wife, Virginia Cherril, wound up divorcing him 13 months later and Grant moved back in with Scott at the beach house. Stories of a variety of attractive young women going in and out of the beach house—dubbed “Bachelor Hall”—was said to be planted in the press by the studios.
Their mutual friend, Carole Lombard, once jokingly referred to the pair as having the perfect relationship: “Randy pays the bills and Cary mails them.”
The fashion critic Richard Blackwell—of the infamous Mr. Blackwell’s annual best and worst dressed list—claims in his memoir that he lived for several months with the two and it was obvious they were, “deeply, madly in love, their devotion complete.”
Cary Grant and Randolph Scott never publicly acknowledged if they were lovers or mere friends. And both were married multiple times to various women.
Cary Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant dismisses the notion her father was gay in her 2011 memoir: “Dad somewhat enjoyed being called gay. He said it made women want to prove the assertion wrong.”
However, a 2016 documentary, Women He’s Undressed, about the three-time Academy Award winning costume designer Orry-Kelly, acknowledges Grant was in a gay relationship with the designer in the 1920s.
No matter what is the true nature of their relationship, the love and deep bonding between the two men were obvious as seen in the following photos. When Cary Grant died in November 1986, Randolph Scott passed away just three months later.