Mar 9, 2017
Cary Grant: Hints and Closets in the 1930s
Cary Grant had a brilliant career, usually playing suave, sophisticated types driven mad by a free spirit or a series of catastrophes. Must-sees include Topper (1936), Suspicion (1941) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), To Catch a Thief (1955), North by Northwest (1959) by Hitchcock again,and That Touch of Mink (1962) with Doris Day. Many of his movies have gay subtexts.
In Bringing Up Baby (1938), his character answers the door in a frilly women's nightgown (because a woman stole his clothes), and declares "I just went gay all of a sudden." He continues: "I am sitting in the middle of Time Square, waiting for a bus." This is one of the first uses of "gay" in its modern sense, augmented by the reference to cruising. It's an ad-lib, not in the shooting script. How would he know it?
The perennial question is, was he gay?
The facts of the matter are:
2. But neither have been associated with any gay stars, or with the gay subcultures of Hollywood in the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s.
3. Friends and acquaintances noted that he was often seen in the company of young men.
5. He sued Chevy Chase for suggesting that he was gay.
6. His daughter stated that he liked the rumors, because they motivated women to "cure him" through sex.
7. His last movie, Walk, Don't Run (1966), is obviously about a gay romance.
8. He never acknowledged his gay fans.
9. My friend Randall claims that he had a three-way with Cary Grant and Groucho Marx in 1958. The story is on Tales of West Hollywood.
Answer: there's a ton of evidence for both gay and heterosexual identity. Most likely he was bisexual and highly closeted.