Hot Saturday (1932 Paramount Pictures)
Grant and Scott met at Paramount while making the movie, Hot Saturday, and sparks flew on screen and off. In one scene a very tall 34-year-old Randolph Scott (Bill) dances with his fiancée (Ruth, portrayed by Nancy Carroll). 28-year-old Cary Grant (Romer) emerges from the rumble seat of his car as he arrives at the dance, and Cary Grant cuts in on Carroll and Scott, and the sexual tension between the two men is so hot that Nancy Carroll is all but superfluous. See for yourself on Netflix.
American actor Randolph Scott reaches out to British born Cary Grant.
The two stars shared a Santa Monica beach house (jokingly known as Bachelor Hall) during the 1930s as well as a mansion in Los Feliz (2177 West Live Oak Drive* – the house still stands). The two cohabitated for 11 years and remained friends throughout their lives, and between them had seven marriages. Randolph Scott’s career reached its peak in the 1950s, when he was the king of Hollywood westerns.
Both went on to marry heiresses. It is well known that Grant was married to Barbara Hutton. Scott was married to heiress Marion DuPont for three years, but they did not live together or have a sexual relationship. Scott remained in Los Angeles, while Marion pursued her equestrian interests at her estate in Virginia known as Montpelier. This, er 55-room mansion in Orange, Virginia, was the ancestral and retirement home built by President James Madison. Today a framed black and white photograph of Scott sits on a bookcase in the Montpelier museum annex that preserves the Art Deco interior of DuPont’s equestrian trophy room; the photo is the sole reference to their marriage. The rest of the house has been returned to its appearance as it was when President Madison lived there. Weirdly, Scott had served as best man at Marion’s first wedding. Stranger still is the fact that Scott had been born in Orange County, Virginia. Clearly fond of each other, Marion and Randolph remained close friends all their lives.
People who knew them early in their careers said Grant and Scott lived openly gay lives behind closed doors, but, as was the case with Rock Hudson, arranged marriages were the order of the day. Studios had to protect their financial properties and interests. The name "Bachelor Hall" and the reported parade of women through there were orchestrated by the studios, who wanted to keep their valuable actors away from any scandal.
Famed homosexual film director George Cukor said this 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.” Chronicler of Gay Hollywood William J. Mann, in his book Behind the Screen -- How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, relates an incident from the 1970s in which a maitre-d' at a Beverly Hills hotel saw Grant and Scott sitting in the back of the restaurant, late at night, now old and white-haired, after all the other diners had left. They were holding hands.
Nevertheless, legions of fans refuse to believe that either man ever took part in a homosexual relationship. Yet both fashion critic Richard Blackwell and glamor photographer Jerome Zerbe claimed they had affairs with both Grant and Scott; and before meeting Scott, Grant had lived with gay Hollywood costume designer John Orry-Kelly.
An oft-repeated swipe was: “Archie Leach (Cary Grant's birth name) was gay, but Cary Grant was straight.” He later said that ultimately, he BECAME Cary Grant, the guy up on the screen, because that’s what everyone wanted him to be.
That says it all, I think.
Photo: Cary Grant in the prime of his youth.
The mansion and pool shared by Cary Grant and Randolph Scott during the 1930s in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. The house stands to this day.