‘Beverly Hills, 90201’ star Jennifer Grant, 57, has hit out after years of talk her big screen icon dad was in the closet, and in the wake of the 2016 documentary titled ‘Women he’s Undressed’ which detailed the rumours.
She told The Guardian ahead of the release of the upcoming ITV series ‘Archie’ on her father, which she is producing, that he was “not flirtatious with men”.
Jennifer added: “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.
“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.
“A friend of mine sent me a picture the other day of Gregory Peck, my father and Mervyn LeRoy and they’re good buddies. But I never got that hint.”
Jennifer admitted she wondered if “perhaps earlier in his life” her dad “had an (male) affair”, adding: “I’ll never know, but if he did, fantastic. I hope he enjoyed it.”
Jennifer – Cary’s only child – was born when the five-times married actor was 62 years old.
The actor, who died in 1986 from a stroke, had a public persona as a ladies’ man, but throughout his life was the subject of talk he was gay.
He was roommates with his actor friend Randolph Scott, which spurred on the rumours, especially after a picture of them frolicking shirtless at home in their “bachelor’s paradise” was printed in film fan magazines.
Jennifer said in her 2011 memoir ‘Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of my Father, Cary Grant’: “Can’t blame men for wanting him, and wouldn’t be surprised if dad even mildly flirted back.
“When the question arises, it generally speaks more about the person asking… dad somewhat enjoyed being called gay. He said it made women want to prove the assertion wrong.”
In 1980, comedian Chevy Chase, 79, was successfully sued by Cary for defamation after he said in a talk show appearance: “Homo. What a gal!”, and was forced to withdraw his comments.