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Cary Grant & Randolph Scott 1930s

In 1932 Cary Grant and Randolph Scott met on the set of "Hot Saturday." The movie was originally to star Gary Cooper with Grant in the supporting roll but when Cooper backed out of the project Grant was moved up to the starring roll and Grant's supporting roll was assigned to Paramount contract player Randolph Scott.

And so began one of the longest, deepest and most unusual love relationships in the history of Hollywood. A sometimes indiscreet relationship that would last eleven years.

Grant was bi-sexual. His first long-term gay relationship was with Broadway & Hollywood costume designer Orry-Kelly. He was also linked with silent film superstar William Haines.

Less than a year after meeting Grant & Scott had become "roommates" sharing a hillside house underneath the giant letters of the HOLLYWOOD sign.  Located at 2177 W. Live Oak Drive in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A.  One cover story for the cozy couple was that they moved in together to "save money" despite the fact that Grant was a movie star and Scott was a millionaire.

Cary & Randy's Hollywood love nest

Getting the mail at 2177 Live Oak Drive on the edge of Griffith Park

Scott was six years Grant's senior, six-foot four, lean and muscular. He came from a wealthy textile family and was raised in an atmosphere of traditional southern gentility.

Black butlers [how quaint]

After an injury stopped him from pursuing an athletic career Scott was bitten by the acting bug while performing in a college play. He went to Hollywood to see if a "friend of the family" could help him break into the movies-----that "friend of the family" was billionaire and wanna--be movie producer Howard Hughes.

Grant & Scott were a good match sexually. Their physical needs were not particularly over-heated. Sex was almost an afterthought of their relationship------a natural extension of the buddy--buddy collage frat--boy friendship they shared.

When a photo surfaced of the pair at home doing dishes [both wearing aprons] one Hollywood gossip columnist wondered in print if the two actors weren't "carrying this buddy--buddy business a bit too far."

One has to wonder in an image driven town like Hollywood why Grant and Scott would pose together for magazine spreads where they are depicted as happy house husbands. After all, stars like William Haines were blackballed for "flaunting" there gayness and refusing to go back into the closet. Part of Grant and Scott's strategy was to "hide in plain sight." By presenting themselves as two red--blooded bachelors out on the town with "nothing to hide" they, for the most part, escaped closer scrutiny.

Of course Hollywood studios insisted that Grant maintain the illusion of being a "ladies man" and take young starlets out to movie premiers and such. Grant agreed to date women in public only if Scott could also come along! The bachelors would then ditch the starlet at the first opportunity and then go out for a night--cap at the Brown Derby or Trocadero.

When Grant got married to his first wife the very jealous and very wealthy Scott attempted to "win him back" by buying Grant a house.  But not just any house----a Santa Monica beach house complete with swimming pool. [Pictured below on a tourist postcard]  This house was nicknamed "Bachelor Hall" in the press. Although the house was purchased outright by Scott it was registered in both their names and served as their private getaway.

The house still stands at 1038 Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica. The house is easy to find because it sits by itself between two parking lots.

Dick Ellis [better known as "Mr. Blackwell"] spent several months living with Grant and Scott in their Santa Monica beach house. In his memoirs "From Rags to Bitches" 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."

As a couple Cary and Randy were often invited to Newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst's castle in the sky at San Simeon in central California. It is intriguing to think of Cary and Randy swimming together [skinny dipping perhaps?] in the spectacularly romantic Neptune Pool over looking the unspoiled California coastline.

Pictured above is Cary on one of the Hearst Castle tennis courts. The group shot below shows Grant on the extreme left and Scott on the right. This was taken at one of Hearst's famous themed costume parties. The theme this time was the circus. Grant and Scott were part of an "acrobatic troop" called "The Flying San Simeons." The man in the Ring Master outfit is "Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind" director Mervyn LeRoy. The man in the center is Laurel & Hardy producer Hal Roach. Seated in front is Hearst's mistress and castle hostess Marion Davies.

Below is a photo of Cary and Randy at a different Hearst/Davies party. The man in the Tuxedo is Leslie Howard. The short man standing in front of Randy is romantic comedy director Ernst Lubitsch. Note that Cary and Randy are wearing matching outfits.

Although the two were lovers there was also a big-brother type "rivalry" between the two. When Scott later in life married a DuPont [chemical] heiress worth over $100 million some have speculated that this motivated Grant to "one--up" Scott by marrying the even richer Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton.

At the premiere of Grant's picture "Talk of the Town" with Grant's super rich wife Barbara Hutton. As a couple they were known as "Cash and Cary."

Randy at far left next to Carole Lombard. Grant on the right.

Randy was born into a wealthy family while Cary came from a poor working class background and was know for being very frugal.
This led Carole Lombard to quip, "it is the perfect domestic partnership. Randy pays all the bills and Cary mails them."

After 11 years together their relationship began to cool and the two drifted apart. As he aged Grant became more interested in women. Grant would marry a total of five times and father a daughter with actress Dyan Cannon.

In the video clip below note that Cary is wearing the white sweater with the distinctive black "V" neck that Scott is wearing in the piano scene above.

In the middle is Phyllis Brooks [a model and B-movie actress] whom Grant came close to marrying. Three on a date...again!

They eventually wound up "divorcing" over who would get to keep the Malibu Beach house both loved so much. Grant won by threatening to ruin Scott's acting career but Scott got the final jab by later having his wife buy controlling interest in the movie studio grant was working for.

When Scott left for good the "buddy" who took up the slack in Grant's life was none other than Howard Hughes. Hughes would say toward the end of his life that Grant was "the only real friend I ever had."

Grant died in 1986 followed by Scott's death one year later. Although Grant was clearly the bigger star Scott actually appeared in more movies. Grant made about 75 films while Scott appeared in approximately 100.

Later in life Grant would dodge the questions about his relationship with Scott and say things like: "I have nothing against gays, I'm just not one myself."

But gay director George Cukor said about the homosexual relationship between the two: "Oh, Cary won't talk about it. At most, he'll say they did some wonderful pictures together. But Randolph will admit it to a friend."

Perhaps the most frank and gossipy book about Cary Grant is Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart by Charles Higham. Here are some excerpts:

"[Howard] Hughes had taken the handsome University student [Randolph Scott] under his wing. It was common gossip in Hollywood that they had been lovers. Hughes, whose macho reputation was exaggerated and whose countless affairs with women were largely the invention of his press agents, secured work for Scott as an extra, then as a contract player at Paramount."

"Hughes was  bisexual, but, intensely guilty about his hunger and his divided nature, he sought to hide his more secret activities under a cover of [heterosexual] promiscuity."

The author goes on to speculate that Hughes' tendency to hang around the set of "Katherine Hepburn" movies [ostensibly to romance "Katherine Hepburn"] was really just a pretext to romance her co-star Cary Grant.

In Hot Saturday Cary Grant plays a wealthy playboy who falls in love with a bank clerk played by Nancy Carroll. At first she refuses his advances so Grant throws a party at his lakeside house and invites the entire bank staff just so she will come. When she does not return home until early the next morning the town's gossiping old biddies label her an "immoral" woman. Shunned by everyone she is anxious to resurrect her reputation so she decides to marry her childhood sweetheart Randolph Scott. Will she marry Randy to uphold her "reputation" or will she go with Grant with whom she has now fallen in love? Hot Saturday is a very watchable pre-code love triangle potboiler.

My favorite line in the movie is when Nancy Carroll sees Randolph Scott for the first time since they were both children. She asks him: "Are you still afraid of girls?"

Unfortunately Grant and Scott only share one scene in this movie which is the dancehall scene pictured above. Both Grant and Scott are at their pretty boy best in this movie.

 

Grant born Jan.18 --- Scott born Jan. 23
On the set of "Hot Saturday." Happy Birthday Cary & Randy.
"On their path to film fame."

 

"My Favorite Wife" is the only film the two starred in together besides "Hot Saturday." Grant insisted that Scott be cast in this film. There are some great scenes where Grant and Scott  priss and preen while both vie for the attentions of Irene Dunne. One unforgettable scene has Randolph Scott in nothing but swim trunks doing high dives while everyone poolside watches in awe. The movie was remade later with James Garner and Doris Day as "Move Over Darling." Originally the remake was to star Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe and was titled "Something's Gotta Give." The production was canceled after Monroe died of an overdose a quarter of the way through filming.

Bert Granet was the script supervisor for "My Favorite Wife."
He recalls:

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.

 

My Favorite Wife: Grant's wife has been missing for 7 years. He wants to get married again so he has her declared legally dead. Just before his wedding his "dead" wife reappears. It turns out she has been stranded on a deserted island. But Grant soon finds out, however, she was not completely alone! It turns out his wife has spent the last 7 years on a tropical island----with hunky Randolph Scott!

 

Marc Eliot writes about Cary and Randy's relationship and calls it "Cary's Secret Sixth Marriage."

Their relationship is explored at length in the documentary:
The Silver Screen "Color Me Lavender"

If you subscribe to Netflix you can watch this instantly on your computer. The Randolph Scott & Cary Grant clips start at 1:18:15. [One hour and 18 minutes into the film]

In the 1970s, Cary and Randy would turn up at the Beverly Hillcrest Hotel late at night, after the other diners had gone, and in the near darkness of their table at the back of the restaurant, the maitre d' would see the two old men secretly holding hands.

               
               
               
               
               

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