Betty White hinted at it. Hollywood call-boy Scotty Bower swore that it’s true. Now, thanks to a new documentary based on costume designer Orry-Kelly’s autobiography Women He’s Undressed, a new wave of Cary Grant gay rumors will keep us entertained for several minutes before the next deluge of (abnormally large) celebrity penis pics hits the Internet.
While the autobiography coyly hints at an affair, the documentary categorically proclaims Grant and Orry-Kelly were lovers. In fact, the film alleges the actor wasn’t even particularly secretive about his string of gay male homosexual lovers until he hit what’s commonly referred to as “The Big Time.”
For context, the film historian William J. Mann makes an appearance in the documentary, very ably setting the scene: “It was a city of bachelors,” he informs the patient viewer. “You were surrounded by men who were openly living in ways you couldn’t imagine back home…”
Kelly is quite vocal about how testy he’d become regarding Grant’s obsession with blonde women, not-so-preciously quipping that “he always comes home to me.” The two men met when the English actor — born Archibald Leach — was just turning 21 in 1925.
Somewhat more interestingly, the documentary claims the two men went on violent jags and were prone to getting physical and bashing each other about. Katherine Thompson, writer of the documentary, weirdly tells the New York Post “the physical violence between the men was not uncommon between homosexual men of the period,” as though such a phenomenon is unfathomable in 2016. [Citation needed.]
Grant was married five times; a fact which sparked curiosity from airless busybodies in his lifetime. The lazy tabloid fodder was no doubt helped by his uniquely intimate friendship with actor Randolph Scott — the two shared a house together for over a decade.
For what it’s worth, The Daily Mail mentions Grant’s daughter Jennifer shrugged off such rumors in her own memoir, saying her father liked the speculation because it “made women want to prove the assertion wrong.”
Also of potential note: The actor allegedly once told director Peter Bogdanovitch, “I’ve nothing against gays, I’m just not one myself.”
Queerty reached out to Grant via Ouija but received no statement as of press time. We’ll update as more information becomes known.