ancient history

Did Betty White Just Accidentally Out Cary Grant?

Betty White has spent eighty years on television, and that’s a whole lot of years in the biz to collect trade secrets and industry gossip. Like the one about Cary Grant being a ‘mo, which she accidentally revealed.

Chatting with the red-haired flame of The Joy Behar Show, White inevitably found herself discussing That Newsweek Article. And closeted gay Hollywood stars. Like Rock Hudson. And … Cary Grant? The blog Tabloid Prodigy caught the slip up.

BEHAR: But when it comes to a man, all those year, I don`t know that Rock Hudson, he was the heart throb. Let`s say he was out and everybody knew he was a homosexual, I`m not sure he would have had the career. That`s what the point of this article was.

WHITE: Actually it was his dear friend, his beloved friend Doris Day who inadvertently outed him. She invited him to a show she was doing up in Cacarmel (ph). So by then he had AIDS. So the minute he came on camera, then everybody knew. And Doris just couldn`t believe that she had been — you know, a party to that. But Rock was – was — everybody kind of knew his situation, but it didn`t seem to hold back his career.

BEHAR: No, no but –

WHITE: Cary Grant, the same thing.

BEHAR: Oh he was gay, too?

WHITE: Oh, I don`t know.

BEHAR: Yes, you know something, Betty.

WHITE: No, I don`t know. I never had him — I never had it.

Of course, Behar didn’t let Grant’s alleged romance with Randolph Scott go.

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  • alan brickman

    He’s dead and can’t defend himself…bery jealous of both of them….fail….

  • alan brickman

    very jealous of both I mean….

  • Cam

    I know it was a different time, but the guy is dead, stop acting like his being gay was the same thing as him having an arrest record for wife-beating. Sheesh. Like when somebody, I forget who, died of AIDS and Liz Taylor a few years ago was interviewed about them and the interviewer mentioned AIDS and she got angry and said “HE DIED OF PNEUMONIA”. I get that at the time they were protecting friends, but the time is long past when dead stars have to be sheilded against this.

  • Aaron in Honolulu

    @alan brickman: Alan the retard has spoken!

  • jason

    Being gay is not synonymous with having AIDS. I find it irritating when women make the assumption that gay = AIDS. It’s hugely demonizing to the gay male community and serves no purpose other than to prop up the vanity of the women making the assumption.

    Memo to women: most gay men do not have AIDS. Most gay men are healthy.

  • Anyway

    @1: “defend himself”? Right.

  • SmartVac

    Cary is long dead, so I don’t know why she wouldn’t go ahead and tell all.

  • hyhybt

    Funny… until Joy Behar’s reaction, I thought Cary Grant *was* known to have been gay. Wouldn’t have recognized a picture of him, though.

  • ForeverGay

    Besides Cary Grant and Rock Hudson other old Hollywood actors were gay such as James Dean, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Nigel Hawthorne and Raymond Burr.

  • Nico Suave

    @jason: I find it irritating when people make blithely misogynist statements. Do you not mind when MEN make the same assumption? I think Betty was taking into consideration that in the mid 1980s, AIDS disproportionately affected homosexual men (a demographic fact), and in the public mindset it was considered a “gay disease.” Therefore when someone showed up in the spotlight with the symptoms of advanced AIDS, it was equated in the minds of the public with being gay. It really wasn’t until Ryan White and Magic Johnson came out as HIV positive that the idea of AIDS being “everybody’s disease” started to sink in with the general public.

  • dvlaries

    All you’ve got to do is put Grant’s name in Google Images and check out the shots of he and Scott together, and you’re a fool if you draw any other conclusion.
    Hell, they were living together, and it couldn’t have been to save money!

  • Alexa

    Memo to Jason: most gay men are also not women hating pinheads like you. Your constant blaming of women for everything that is wrong with the world is very tiresome. Therapy might be a worthwhile investment, so much unresolved anger is not healthy.

  • hyhybt

    @Nico Suave: Sadly, it *still* hasn’t sunk in for entirely too many people.

  • Stenar

    I didn’t know there was anyone alive who DID NOT KNOW that Cary Grant was gay. I guess the editor of Queerty is one.

  • ossurworld

    I am surprised anyone under 40 even knows who Cary Grant is, was, and always will be.

  • Jaroslaw

    I can’t understand why Betty White wouldn’t tell all since CG’s been gone for a long time and she most likely doesn’t have a lot of time left. On the other hand, if she doesn’t have direct knowledge of his Gayness, then that is probably why she answered the question the way she did.

  • Marcus

    I always knew this simple fact, but you’d be surprised at how many people get defensive and say it wasn’t true…even here in Hollywood.

  • Michael

    My grandmother said some pretty sensational things at Betty’s age. Then she died.

  • Michael

    @Stenar: Well, I don’t remember knowing this, but I also don’t remember what I had for breakfast. Should I be concerned, and maybe, like, have a bigger lunch or something?

  • alan brickman

    Seriously …since he can’t defend or out himself..this specualtion promotes only gay shame….and some man hate issues….

  • alan brickman

    Nice use of the word “R-t-ard”….very literate….

  • Jon

    I thought Cary Grant being gay was common knowledge. Google.

    Also…what is with the self hating gay people on this blog? Why the comments like, “since he can’t defend or out himself..this specualtion promotes only gay shame”? WTF does that even mean? Why should anyone have to defend themselves for being gay? That’s the most homophobic thing I’ve heard in a long time.

  • bruce

    I have told you time and again: women are jealous of male-male sensuality. This is one reason why homophobia exists – ie because women, even liberal women, are jealous and thus need to demonize male homosexual interactions in order to restore the concept of female superiority.

    Women want to be the center of attention. They’re attention whores by nature. Their entire sexuality is a marketing ploy. This is one reason why women claim to be bisexual while their boyfriends or husbands remain strictly straight. This is the way these women want it to be.

    Don’t fall for the idea that women are these wonderful creatures. AIDS was a means of further demonizing male homosexual interactions, and women contributed to the notion that AIDS is a gay disease.

  • hf2hvit


  • B

    How many readers know that Betty White also accidentally outed Archibald Leach? That is, assuming she in fact accidentally outed Cary Grant.

    See “His Girl Friday” for an on-screen mention of Archie (and
    in fact it is a real person for those who don’t know).

  • sasha


    Alot of it is their insecurity and need to control, too.

  • FrancoisTrueFaux

    people overlooking the fact that in “the view” video, hasselbeck insinuates that george clooney is also “like him”

  • ml

    It is probably that she made mistake and she didn’t means to say it. I don’t like The Joy Behar and ABC’s The View show. They have wasted Betty’s time to discuss other things and asked some stupid questions. Betty came to New York is to introduced about the new TV’s Land ‘Hot In Cleveland.” I love Betty White. She is amazing.

  • Jaroslaw

    Would someone tell me why there are any negative check marks by my post 16? Just curious, since it is a very neutral kind of comment. The only thing I can think of is perhaps I pointed out Betty White (whom I happen to love also) won’t likely be here much longer, so IF she did know anything about Cary Grant, why not tell it?

  • eagledancer

    Dear Ms. White is just the latest in a long line of folks commenting on Cary Grant’s sexuality. In an earlier Queerty post, I mentioned he was one of the first to use the word “gay” in the film, Bringing up Baby. Here’s a Wikipedia take on it:

    “It is debated whether Bringing Up Baby is the first work of fiction, aside from pornography, to use the word “gay” in a homosexual context.[5][6] In the scene in question, Cary Grant’s character is wearing a woman’s marabou-trimmed négligée, and when asked why replies, in an exasperated tone, “Because I just went gay all of a sudden!”, leaping into the air on the word “gay”. It is not certain whether the word is being used in its older sense of “happy”, or whether it was intentionally a joking reference to homosexuality…

    In the film, the word “gay” was apparently an ad-lib by Grant. According to Vito Russo, the script originally had Grant’s character say “I… I suppose you think its odd, my wearing this. I realize it looks odd… I don’t usually… I mean, I don’t own one of these.”

  • B

    Regarding No 25, it is interesting that it got 3 negative ratings from various individuals even though it was obviously a joke about Cary Grant’s original name (Archibald Leach, which few people know) and mentions the only on-screen reference to his real name in any of Cary Grant’s movies.

  • Curtis Jensen

    I was unaware that this was even a point of contention. Cary Grants relationships with men are something I’ve heard and read about for years.

  • tmd

    Surprise! Surprise! I had no clue about Cary Grant sexuality … but then maybe it’s because I loved Cary Grant ‘the actor’ and that’s ALL I’m interested in to this day! Being ‘gay’ ‘left of center’ ‘homosexual’, etc. has NO bearing on his or any other actor’s level of TALENT! Does that mean that ALL Heterosexual actors are BRILLIANT? Certainly NOT!! WHY should a ‘gay’ celebrity have to DECLARE that he is ‘gay’? Are ALL ‘straight’ celebrities REQUIRED to DECLARE they are ‘not gay? WHY should this be anyone’s business but their own? OKAY! I’m a STRAIGHT FEMALE & I LOVE ALL those celebrities mentioned here & lots of others were weren’t mentioned. WHY? Because they were GREAT actors/singers/human beings! THAT .. to me .. is ALL that COUNTS!! … JMO …

  • Jaroslaw

    #34 I can’t believe you are on this site and don’t know the answers to your questions. What should anyone’s sexuality have to do with their work? In a perfect world, nothing. But I have to ask: how old are you? Not too long ago, if a man wanted to rise in the corporate world, he better have a wife and kids by age 35. It is probably still true a little today but far less so than say 1970 and prior. In general though people talk about their spouses and children all the time. No, straight actors don’t have to announce they “are not” Gay because for the most part we already assume they are not.

  • Queer Supremacist


    Um, ever heard of DVD? Turner Classic Movies? Netflix? iTunes? I’m in my twenties and I have heard of Cary Grant and actually seen and enjoyed films he has been in. You no longer have to have lived in the time when something was popular to know about its existence.

    As for the sexuality of a man who died when I was in preschool…

    How many hetero actors does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Both of them.

    If you didn’t know this, you’re as naive as Rose Nylund.

  • AOG93

    Maybe in the next post, Queerty will find out that Marlon Brando was also gay…

  • Sexy Rexy

    @eagledancer: Seriously.

    Betty didn’t out him….people have known and discussed Grant’s bisexuality for years, even while he was still alive.

  • Merlyn


    Richard Burton was gay??!! I’ve never heard that!

  • Jimitits

    Cary Judy Judy Judy grant um yeah uknow it was one of the deals growing up hearing gossip rumors etc does it really matter??
    He was an amazing actor on so many versatile roles working with the best directors! Same with rock! 2very cool people forced to live a hidden life n truth
    matters not they r gone but immortal on cinenma!
    Rock on rock
    Cary on cary

  • Dave

    LMAO it’s no big secret that Cary Grant was really bisexual.

    By really bisexual I mean he actually was bisexual unlike Tony Perkins of Psycho who was really a gay man that pretended to be bisexual since he got into a marriage of convenience and did the whole ex gay thing.

    Cary Grant lived with both his male and female lovers and it was well known that he’s bisexual even decades ago when most hollywood actors and actresses were highly closeted like Rock Hudson.

  • ForgiveThemForTheyKnowNotWhatTheyDo

    Cary Grant wasn’t gay and never was gay.. Betty White knows nothing and obviously neither do most of you. You all need psychological help

  • FoxEmerson

    The problem is, Cary Grant was an exemplary actor who appealed to both women and men equally and for various reasons. Women will defend his sexuality because they always want to hold onto the fantasy that he could have been the one.
    Similarly, men will believe he was gay because they can go along with that fantasy.

    Neither side will ever be right because there is far too much information available for both. There’s plenty of evidence and photographs to support that he was gay and the studios did invent a lot of the life most people saw of him.

    Either way, I still watch his movies and don’t care whether he was gay or not.

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