Cary Grant was an English-American actor who was famous for being one of Hollywood’s definitive leading men. He was born on January 18, 1904, in Bristol, England, as Archibald Alec Leach to a hardworking family. Although Grant didn’t have a happy childhood, he grew up learning how to sing, dance, and play the piano. While in school, he hung around backstage at local theaters, igniting his love for performing. Grant was especially interested in vaudeville and looked up to performers such as Charlie Chaplin and Chester Conklin.
At 16 years old, Grant dropped out of school and joined the Pender Troupe on their tour of the United States. After having a successful career in theater, the aspiring actor moved to Hollywood to try out his luck on the silver screen. Grant slowly made his name by appearing in crime films like “Blonde Venus” (1932) and “She Done Him Wrong” (1933). However, it wasn’t until Grant started portraying roles in romantic comedies that he got his big break Some of his most memorable portrayals include “The Awful Truth” (1937), “Bringing Up Baby” (1938), “His Girl Friday” (1940), and “The Philadelphia Story” (1940).
After World War II, Grant entered the peak of his acting career. Working closely with Alfred Hitchcock, the actor went on to star in four films: “Suspicion” (1941), “Notorious” (1946), “To Catch A Thief” (1955), and “North by Northwest” (1959). Grant is also credited for popularizing the Mid-Atlantic accent and praised for his excellent comedic timing. Unlike other leading men of his time, the actor was able to switch between darker and lighter roles with ease.
Before retiring from the profession in 1966, Grant was nominated twice for an Academy Award and was given an Academy Honorary Award in 1970. He was also the second greatest male star during the Golden Age of Hollywood according to the American Film Institute. Even at the time of his passing in 1986, a large portion of Grant’s life still remained a mystery. For instance, was Cary Grant gay? Here’s what his past relationships have to say.
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Cary Grant’s Relationships
Among his Hollywood peers, it was undeniable that Grant was the “epitome of masculine glamour.” With his handsome looks, outstanding talent, and incredible charisma, the actor was almost impossible to resist. It comes as no surprise then that Grant was married five times in his life. Here’s a summary of his marriages as well as his controversial relationship with a certain friend in the industry.
Cary Grant and Virginia Cherrill (1934-1935)
Grant married his first wife, an actress named Virginia Cherrill, on February 9, 1934, in London. After only a year of being married, Cherrill filed for divorce on the basis that the actor had hit her. The divorce proceedings were bitter and public with Cherrill demanding a huge sum from the actor’s earnings. After things were settled, Grant went on to date another actress, Phyllis Brooks, but broke it off before they reached the altar.
Cary Grant and Barbara Hutton (1942-1945)
In 1942, Grant married American socialite Barbara Hutton who, at the time, was one of the wealthiest women in the world. The public scrutinized their pairing, often accusing the actor of marrying the heiress for money. To counter this perception, Grant refused financial settlement during their prenuptial agreement. Unfortunately, their marriage didn’t last and the couple ended up divorcing in 1945. Despite their separation, Grant and Hutton remained good friends until the end.
Cary Grant and Betsy Drake (1949-1962)
Grant actually met his future wife, Betsy Drake, while he was still married to Hutton. Drake, who was also an actress, was aboard the Queen Mary on a trip back to the U.S. when she encountered the dashing actor. Four years after his divorce from Hutton, Grant married for the third time in a ceremony arranged by his millionaire friend, Howard Hughes. Drake went on to become the actor’s leading lady in two films, “Every Girl Should Be Married” (1948) and “Room For One More” (1952).
Grant’s relationship with Drake proved to be the longest among all of his marriages. However, it wasn’t without its ups and downs. Drake supposedly introduced the actor to LSD therapy which was still legal in the 1950s. Their marriage also spiralled down after Grant started an affair with his co-star, Sophia Loren. While they eventually split up in 1958, Grant and Drake remained on amicable terms until his death in 1986.
Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon (1965-1968)
A year before his retirement from the silver screen, Grant married Dyan Cannon who was several decades younger than him. Together they had one daughter, Jennifer Grant, the actor’s only biological child. Not much was known about their relationship since the actor liked to keep things under wraps. But it was public knowledge that the couple had separated by August 1967.
Any hopes for reconciliation were dashed when Grant got into a car accident in New York while on the way to JFK airport. The actor spent weeks in the hospital because of his injuries. The most scandalous part was that he was with Baroness Gratia von Furstenberg at the time of the accident. It seemed to be the final straw for Grant and Cannon’s marriage and the pair divorced nine days later.
Cary Grant and Barbara Harris (1981-1986)
In 1979, Grant met British public relations agent, Barbara Harris, while attending a conference at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. The pair’s relationship was controversial because Harris was almost 50 years his junior. Nevertheless, they had a strong friendship and Harris eventually moved to California in 1979. Two years later, the pair married and the actor spent his last years with his fifth wife.
The Actor’s Alleged Relationship With Randolph Scott
For the longest time, there has been an air of mystery surrounding Grant’s sexuality. Most of the speculation came from the fact that there wasn’t a lot of information regarding the actor’s background and personal life. It also didn’t help that Grant lived with his friend and fellow actor Randolph Scott for 12 years. People usually cite this as the reason why the actor wasn’t keen on settling down or why he jumped from one marriage to the other. Whether Grant and Scott were in a romantic relationship, the public will probably never know.
Was Cary Grant Gay?
No, Cary Grant wasn’t gay. Although he lived together with actor, Randolph Scott, and maintained a long-term friendship with him, it’s unconfirmed whether the duo had an intimate relationship. It’s worth noting that Grant was married five times and was mostly associated with female partners. At this time, fans can assume that the actor was straight.