For years, there has been speculation that Cary Grant was secretly gay or bisexual, with various books and documentaries making claims about the idea. In a new interview with The Guardian, the actor’s only daughter, Jennifer Grant, opened up about the rumors of him having a hidden life. She said that she has no knowledge of her father having any same-sex relationships, but she added that if he did, it’s totally fine with her.
Jennifer is the daughter of Cary and his fourth wife, fellow actor Dyan Cannon. The North by Northwest star was married five times total but only welcomed one child. Cary and Cannon’s marriage lasted three years, and Jennifer was still a baby when they split. After the divorce, the Charade star devoted himself to raising Jennifer and retired from acting. When she was born, Cary was 62 years old. The actor died in 1986 at age 82.
Jennifer is currently producing a British TV series titled Archie about Cary’s early life—he was born Archibald Alexander Leach. Speaking with The Guardian, she talked about the show and also about some of the gossip that has surrounded her famous father and his memory. Read on to find out more.
READ THIS NEXT: Sophia Loren Admitted to an Affair With This Co-Star 26 Years After His Death.
Cary’s sexuality has been questioned for years, including in biographies and documentaries. For example, the 2020 book Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman includes an account from a friend, Bill Royce, who said he spoke to Cary about his sexuality. Royce said (via The Daily Beast) that Cary “saw sex as a spectrum.” He added, “My sense of it was that he found homosexual life unrewarding. As he got older, he wanted children, and he didn’t think he had any chance at a child as long as he was living that life.”
Another account comes from Scotty Bowers, who served as a discreet pimp for celebrities in Old Hollywood, particularly those who were looking to have same-sex affairs. In the documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, Bowers claimed that he had sex with Cary and actor Randolph Scott, both separately and at the same time. Scott and Cary lived together, and it’s been speculated that they were more than roommates.
“Back in those days, people knew they were lovers and together,” Bowers says in the film (via People). “Then all those years go by they come say, ‘How dare you talk that way about them.’ And I say, ‘I’m not talking about them. I’m saying they’re great guys, both of them.'”
Jennifer gave her account of seeing her dad interact with other men to The Guardian, in response to speculation about his sexuality.
“If you’re around your parents a lot, you see them in ways that almost no one else does,” the 57-year-old actor said. “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.”
That said, she acknowledged that a same-sex affair or relationship could have happened before her time—and if so, she’s fine with it. “Perhaps earlier in his life he had an affair [with a man],” Jennifer added. “I’ll never know, but if he did, fantastic. I hope he enjoyed it.”
For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
In her 2011 memoir, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant, Jennifer also commented on Cary’s sexuality, which she said led to backlash from fans of the Oscar-nominated star.
She wrote in her book (via People), “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.”
The Babylon actor told The Guardian that she got backlash from some of her father’s fans for writing this. “I received hate mail saying that I was anti-gay, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” she explained.
Jennifer’s mother has also addressed the rumors about her former husband’s sexual orientation. In 2011, while promoting her own book, Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant, Cannon told The Daily Beast, “I can tell you that we were too busy to even think about that. They talk about everybody in Hollywood … I never saw any indication of that. If that happened before or after me, I don’t know, but not while I was with him.”
Similarly, the Heaven Can Wait star told FOX411, “I just want to tell you that part of our life was very fulfilling, so I don’t know. In Hollywood they talk about everyone in some form or another. If that was the case, I never saw any indication of it.”