L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Best of friends - Cary Grant and Randolph Scott chez eux

We'll probably never know for sure. Though the rumors began almost immediately, though there have been several first-hand reports that they were definitely a couple, there's also been plenty of backlash against that notion, testimony from friends and relations that that just wasn't true. There is, of course, strong motivation for taking either position. Many are offended at the "queering" of a legend, think it a retroactive slander. While others see it as correction, a reclamation of our queer history. But what would constitute conclusive evidence at this point? Whatever the truth of their actual private lives, there is plenty of visual documentation of the public "private". Here they are, handsomely and happily "at home". Were they just the best of pals, or were they hiding in plain sight?

They met on the Paramount lot in 1932 and, that same year, costarred in the Pre-Code Hot Saturday, Grant's first role as a leading man. The two up and coming actors soon moved in together, and cohabited on and off for the next twelve years, sharing a Santa Monica beach house and another house in Los Feliz. During that time, they both had brief first marriages - Scott would go on to marry a second time, while Grant eventually clocked five nuptials - but would move back in together after the marriages ended, or even well before. Grant's first wife, Virginia Cherrill, who he'd impulsively married in 1934, left him after seven months, citing abuse and neglect, but they weren't divorced for another six months. In the meantime, the two men had resumed their living arrangements. They apparently last shared digs in 1944, but remained life-long - though much less proximal - friends.

The portrait photographs here have been attributed to both John Engstead and Jerome Zerbe, but I haven't been able to verify either/both.
The dog was apparently named Archie; Grant's actual name was Archie Leach.
Next up on the piano, "I Get a Kick Out of You".
With Archie.

Well, what do you think...?


  1. Thanks very much for this one, Stephen.
    Your first paragraph puts everything into perspective in a remarkable way.
    'Hiding in plain sight' would be my verdict upon this unsolved mystery, being based on the
    presumption that no one could possibly suspect, etc. Really rather daring if true.

  2. CG's body language is joyful, whatever the particulars of the relationship.

  3. Hard to say. The photos definely look like a magazine shoot, not candid hope photos. While it may make a nice gay fantasy, not ever straight friendship is a hidden love affair.