Actress, writer, and psychotherapist Betsy Drake was married to famed Hollywood debonair Cary Grant from 1949 to 1962. Grant reportedly first spotted Drake in 1947 while she was performing on stage in London. The two subsequently struck up a relationship while returning to the US on the RMS Queen Mary.
Upon Grant’s insistence, Drake was then signed to a film contract with RKO Pictures. Drake’s first film saw her sharing the screen with Grant in the romantic comedy Every Girl Should Be Married, which hit theaters in 1948.
A little under two years after the two first met, Drake and Grant tied the knot in a private ceremony that was organized by Grant’s best man, eccentric aviator, film producer, and business magnate Howard Hughes. After exchanging wedding vows, the newlyweds became determined to live a relatively low-key and introspective life together outside of the spotlight in the Southern Californian desert community of Bermuda Dunes.
During their time together, Drake and Grant dabbled in things like transcendentalism, yoga, mysticism, and even psychedelic drugs. Cracks, however, eventually developed in their relationship, and by 1958, Drake and Grant chose to go their separate ways. While they divorced in 1962, they reportedly remained close friends.
Grant’s marriage to Drake constituted his longest union. He would later be married to Dyan Cannon from 1965 to 1968 and Barabara Harris from 1981 to 1986. Despite being married five times and dating countless women, persistent rumors have endured over Grant’s sexuality – with many insisting that he was bisexual.
Betsy Drake passed away at the age of 92 in 2015, but in the years that ensued following the failure of her marriage with Grant, she consistently denied that her ex-husband was anything but heterosexual. Keep watching to hear what the late “Intent to Kill” actress had to say about Cary Grant’s sexuality.
Facts Verse Presents: Betsy Drake Officially Denied the Cary Grant Rumors
Cary and Betsy’s Quiet Life Together
Betsy Drake lived with Cary Grant in Palm Springs in an idyllic Spanish home that was designed by the famed architect John Byers. Having been friends with Terry and Ernie Dunlevie, the developers of the Bermuda Dunes planned community, Drake and Grant felt compelled to invest in the real estate venture. Once they moved in, their presence is said to have significantly boosted outside interest in the development.
Drake and Grant had lived in Palm Springs since the very beginning of their relationship. Soon enough, the media began taking notice of their presence in the community. For example, in 1948, the Limelight-News reported that Drake, Grant, and their director friend Howard Hawks had been spotted dining together in town, and starting in the early ’50s, The Desert Sun noted the couples arrival every season.
Bermuda Dunes was a newly developed resort community just east of Palm Springs on Highway 99. The area spanned 2,650 acres and featured the freshwater Lake Bermuda. To symbolically commemorate how the lake would always be open for the pleasure of the Bermuda Dunes residents, Drake and Grant once participated in a ceremony where they tossed two jumbo-sized gold rings into it’s waters.
Drake had been born in Paris, France, to expatriate parents from an affluent family. Her grandfather opened up the prestigious Drake Hotel in Chicago but subsequently lost all of his wealth in the great stock market crash of 1929.
Around that time, Drake returned to the US, where she had a somewhat chaotic and nomadic upbringing that eventually landed her in New York City. It was in the Big Apple that she was selected by Elia Kazan to be a founding member of the Actor’s Studio.
While onboard the Queen Mary, Grant became quite smitten with Drake. Once he arrived in Hollywood, he made arrangements for her to get in touch with David Seiznick, who ended up signing her with RKO. While starring alongside his future wife in Every Girl Should Be Married, Grant took the film very seriously. During this time, he and Drake’s relationship blossomed. Ultimately their romance culminated in their wedding on Christmas Day, 1949.
Reportedly, Grant was initially perfectly content with retiring to the desert, although rumor has it Alfred Hitchcock was the one who convinced him to stage a return to cinema. How true that tale actually is, however, is debatable.
Regardless of the circumstances, the year before Drake and Grant tossed those gold rings into Lake Bermuda, Grant was in Spain filming The Pride and the Passion. When Drake came out to Europe to visit him, Grant was engaging in an affair with the new Italian film sensation Sophia Loren, who mind you was thirty years his junior. After learning of his infidelity, Drake rushed back to the US in order to avoid ending up in the gossip rags.
She Was Nearly Killed In A Shipwreck
On her way back to America, Drake boarded the ill-fated SS Andrea Doria which was slated to make it’s way to New York. The vessel was jam-packed full of dozens of other well-off tourists and travelers.
Drake sailed in first class, occupying a single cabin on the boat’s deck. Not far off from the American Coast, the Andrea Doria collided with another ship called the Stockholm. When the collision happened, Drake had been getting ready for bed when suddenly she felt this enormous bang! Everything in her cabin went flying, prompting her to quickly get dressed and make her way out to the deck. After holding on for dear life for several hours, Drake was fortunately rescued by the french passenger liner Ile de France.
A year later, while she was visiting grant on the set of his 1957 film An Affair to Remember, she recounted her harrowing experience. According to her account, after dressing herself, she first crossed the ship’s deck barefoot only to realize that she was on the wrong side of the vessel to be rescued. In order to get saved, she had to climb down to the other side, seeing as how the ship was sinking in that direction. It must have been a surreal experience to fight against one’s instincts and actually go in the direction that the boat was going down, but that’s where the lifeboats were, so that’s where she needed to be.
According to news reports from the time, Drake lost all of her belongings in the shipwreck including a lengthy manuscript that she had penned in Spain and all of her jewels which were unfortunately uninsured. When she finally made it to the Ille de France, she had only her dress and gratitude.
For both her and Grant’s benefit, the drama of her experience on the Andrea Doren eclipsed any gossip that the papers might have covered regarding Cary’s affair with Sophia Loren.
Drake Introduced Grant To LSD
Grant and Drake intended to live out a very peaceful existence out in the desert. Grant later credited her with exposing him to a wide variety of interests, thus broadening his horizons. For example, she introduced him to LSD therapy, which at the time was legal.
Drake had been interested in the fields of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis for quite some time already at that point. With her help, Grant evidently was able to quit smoking through hypnosis. Together, they also explored things like yoga, mysticism, and transcendentalism.
Remaining true to their initial intentions, Drake quit acting. She volunteered working with homeless children in LA and studied at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. Eventually, she earned her Master of Education degree at Harvard.
She continued writing and despite her near-death experience on the Andra Doria, Drake frequently made trips across the Atlantic before finally ending up in London, where she would live for the rest of her lengthy life.
Drake Put Grant To Sleep
Even though Drake desperately wanted to please her husband and was by all accounts infatuated with him, according to a divorce filing from 1962, Grant often would fall asleep right after dinner and preferred to watch TV instead of talking to her.
Simply put, Drake bored Grant – so much so that it could be said that she put him to sleep. Not only that, but his eye often wandered. After he fell in love with Sophia Loren, all hope that Drake might have once had about her and Grant having that fairy-tale-esque happily ever after went right out the window.
When she finally decided that was enough was enough and divorced him, not only did Drake leave behind her husband, but she also left behind the town that had brought them together in the first place, Hollywood.
After her divorce with Grant was finalized, Drake continued to take LSD as a means of recovering from the trauma caused by said divorce.
Drake went on to become a children’s therapist specializing in psychodrama. After moving to London, she continued to work in that field for many years before passing away at the age of 92 in 2015.
Before She Died Drake Set The Record Straight
Drake’s final screen appearance was in a 2005 documentary titled Cary Grant: A Class Apart. In that film, she reflected on her time with Cary both in Hollywood and in Bermuda Dunes. One of the most memorable bits from that film, however, was her denial of persistent rumors that allege that Grant was bisexual. From everything that she saw and experienced, Grant only ever had a sexual attraction to women. Really, considering his long list of lovers and wives, that shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise to anyone.
If you’re not familiar with the rumors, many have speculated and several high-profile books have been written about Grant’s alleged relationship with the actor Randolph Scott with whom he lived on and off for 12 years.
Grant consistently denied rumors that he and Scott’s relationship was anything but platonic. To this day, no one has been able to produce evidence that implies anything otherwise. Not only that, but when Chevy Chase made a joke about Grant being a homosexual on TV in 1980, Grant sued him for slander, forcing the comedian to retract his words.
Cary Grant passed away after having a stroke on the evening of November 29, 1986. He was 82. While he and Betsy Drake’s marriage didn’t last, they, fortunately, were able to maintain a friendship after going their separate ways.
Anyway, we’re going to go ahead and wrap this video up, but before we do, we’d like to pose a couple of questions for you to discuss in the comments. Did you know that Betsy Drake almost died in a shipwreck, and were you aware that she introduced Cary Grant to things like yoga, mysticism, transcendentalism, and LSD? Let us know, and as always, thanks for watching.