Randolph Scott: A Hollywood Western Star

Randolph Scott:American film actor who was active in Hollywood from 1928 to 1962.
RANDOLPH SCOTT PHOTO BY:ROBERT ABRUSCATO/MICHELSON/GLOBE PHOTOS, INC

Randolph Scott was an American film actor who was active in Hollywood from 1928 to 1962. He was best known for his roles in Western movies, especially those directed by Budd Boetticher. He was one of the top box office stars of the 1950s and a critically acclaimed figure in the Western genre. He retired from films after his last appearance in Ride the High Country (1962), which is considered a classic of the genre.

Randolph Scott: A Hollywood Western Star
RANDOLPH SCOTT PHOTO BY:ROBERT ABRUSCATO/MICHELSON/GLOBE PHOTOS, INC

Here is a table with some basic information about Randolph Scott:

FieldInformation
Full NameGeorge Randolph Scott
ProfessionActor
BirthdayJanuary 23, 1898
Birth placeOrange County, Virginia, U.S.
Birth signAquarius
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
WeightNot known
Age89 (at the time of death)
Family membersPatricia Stillman (second wife), Christopher and Sandra (adopted children)
Net worth$100 million (estimated)
NationalityAmerican
MoviesSome of his notable movies are: Roberta (1935), My Favorite Wife (1940), The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953), Seven Men from Now (1956), The Tall T (1957), Ride Lonesome (1959), Comanche Station (1960), and Ride the High Country (1962)

Randolph Scott’s Birth Place and Ancestry

Randolph Scott was born on January 23, 1898, in Orange County, Virginia, USA. He was the son of George Grant Scott and Lucille Crane Scott, both of whom had Scottish ancestry. His father was a certified public accountant and his mother was a member of a wealthy North Carolina family. Randolph Scott had five siblings: George Jr., Katherine, Virginia, Josephine, and Samuel.

Randolph Scott’s birth place was a farm near Gordonsville, Virginia, where his maternal grandfather, Samuel W. Crane, owned a large estate. The farm was called “Rotherwood” and it had a mansion, a mill, and several outbuildings. Randolph Scott spent his early childhood there, enjoying the rural life and learning to ride horses. He later said that he felt a strong connection to his Virginia roots and that he always considered himself a Southerner.

Randolph Scott’s Early Life and Family

Randolph Scott’s family was very close-knit and supportive of each other. His parents were devoted to their children and encouraged them to pursue their talents and passions. His father was especially influential in shaping Randolph’s character and values, teaching him to be honest, hard-working, and respectful of others. His mother was a loving and nurturing figure, who instilled in him a sense of culture and refinement. His siblings were also his best friends and companions, sharing many adventures and experiences with him. Randolph Scott later said that he had a happy and idyllic childhood that gave him a strong foundation for his life.

Randolph Scott’s Education and Military Service

Randolph Scott attended Woodberry Forest School, a prestigious boarding school for boys in Virginia, where he graduated in 1916. He then enrolled at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, where he studied textile engineering and manufacturing. He also joined the football team as a quarterback, but he suffered a serious injury that ended his athletic career. He decided to transfer to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed his degree in 1920. He also became a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He was regarded as a brilliant student with a promising future in the textile industry.

However, Randolph Scott’s plans were interrupted by World War I, which broke out in 1914. He felt a patriotic duty to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Army in 1917. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned to the 2nd Trench Mortar Battalion. He was sent to France in 1918 and participated in several battles on the Western Front. He witnessed the horrors of war firsthand and narrowly escaped death several times. He was honorably discharged in 1919 and returned to civilian life with a deep sense of gratitude and humility. He later said that his military service taught him valuable lessons about courage, discipline, and leadership.

Randolph Scott’s Distinctive Feature as an Actor

Randolph Scott’s distinctive feature as an actor was his tall-in-the-saddle Western hero image. He became one of the most iconic stars of the Western genre, appearing in more than 60 films that showcased his rugged charm, stoic demeanor, and moral integrity. He embodied the ideal of the American frontier spirit, portraying characters who were brave, loyal, honorable, and justice-seeking. He also displayed a remarkable versatility as an actor, adapting to different styles and tones of Westerns, from romantic comedies to gritty dramas. He worked with some of the finest directors of the genre, such as Henry Hathaway , Budd Boetticher , Sam Peckinpah , and Andre DeToth . He earned critical acclaim and popular acclaim for his performances, becoming one of the top box office stars of the 1950s and one of the most respected figures in Hollywood history.

Randolph Scott’s distinctive feature as an actor was also his longevity and consistency. He had a career that spanned more than three decades, from 1928 to 1962. He appeared in over 100 films, covering a variety of genres besides Westerns, such as social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals, adventure tales, war films, and even horror and fantasy films. He maintained a high level of quality and professionalism throughout his career, never compromising his artistic vision or his personal standards. He also remained faithful to his fans and his genre, never abandoning the Western or losing his appeal. He retired from films after his last and arguably best role in Ride the High Country (1962), which is considered a masterpiece of the genre and a fitting farewell to his legacy.

Randolph Scott’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough

Randolph Scott’s career beginnings were accidental and unexpected. He had no intention of becoming an actor when he moved to Los Angeles in 1927. He was working as an accountant for his father’s firm and was planning to join the family business. However, he was fascinated by the film industry and decided to try his luck as an extra. He met Howard Hughes , who was impressed by his good looks and charisma and arranged for him to audition for Cecil B. DeMille . He did not get the part, but he caught the eye of Paramount Pictures , who offered him a contract. He accepted the offer and began his film career in 1928.

Randolph Scott’s career breakthrough came in the early 1930s, when he started to play leading roles in Paramount films. He was cast opposite some of the most popular actresses of the time, such as Mae West , Marlene Dietrich , Irene Dunne , and Shirley Temple . He proved himself to be a versatile and charming leading man, capable of handling comedy, drama, romance, and action. He also met Cary Grant , another Paramount contract player, on the set of Hot Saturday (1932). The two became close friends and roommates, sharing a house in Hollywood for several years. They also appeared together in several films, such as The Last Outpost (1935) and My Favorite Wife (1940). Randolph Scott’s career was on the rise and he was becoming one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood.

Randolph Scott’s Achievements as an Actor and a Businessman

Randolph Scott was one of the most successful and influential actors of his time, especially in the Western genre. He achieved many milestones and accolades in his long and illustrious career, both on and off the screen. Some of his achievements are:

  • He appeared in over 100 feature films, covering a variety of genres besides Westerns, such as social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals, adventure tales, war films, and even horror and fantasy films.
  • He was one of the top box office stars of the 1950s, ranking among the top ten money makers for four consecutive years from 1950 to 1953.
  • He was one of the most critically acclaimed actors of the Western genre, working with some of the finest directors of the genre, such as Henry Hathaway , Budd Boetticher , Sam Peckinpah , and Andre DeToth . He was praised for his portrayal of a “strong, silent” type of stoic hero, who embodied the ideal of the American frontier spirit.
  • He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6243 Hollywood Blvd. in 1960
  • He was posthumously inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1975.
  • He was a shrewd investor and a multimillionaire, who amassed a fortune through his investments in real estate, oil, gas, and stocks. He was also the owner of the Cresta Verde golf course in Corona, California.
Randolph Scott’s Achievements as an Actor and a Businessman

Randolph Scott’s Marriages and Family Life

Randolph Scott married twice in his life. His first marriage was to Marion duPont , a wealthy heiress and socialite, who was the daughter of William du Pont Sr., and the great-granddaughter of Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, the founder of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company . They married in 1936 and divorced in 1939.

His second marriage was to Patricia Stillman , a former actress and writer, who was the daughter of Paul Stillman, a prominent New York banker. They married in 1944 and remained together until his death in 1987. They adopted two children: Christopher and Sandra. Randolph Scott was a devoted husband and father, who cherished his family life.

Randolph Scott’s Social Activities and Interests

Randolph Scott was not very fond of publicity or social events. He preferred to keep a low profile and avoid the Hollywood limelight.

Randolph Scott’s favorite hobby was golfing. He played golf almost every day at his Cresta Verde golf course or at other courses around Los Angeles. He was an excellent golfer who had a low handicap and won several tournaments. He also liked to watch golf on television and read golf magazines. He once said: “Golf is my religion.”

Randolph Scott also liked to read books, especially biographies and histories. He had a large library at his home that contained thousands of books on various topics. He also liked to listen to music, especially classical music and opera. He had a collection of records that he played on his phonograph. He once said: “Music is my solace.”

Randolph Scott’s Net Worth and Legacy

Randolph Scott had an estimated net worth of $100 million at the time of his death. He earned his wealth through his acting career, appearing in over 100 films. He also earned money through his investments and real estate. He was one of the richest actors in Hollywood history.

Randolph Scott left a lasting legacy as one of the greatest and most popular Western stars of all time. He influenced many generations of actors and filmmakers who admired his style and charisma. He also inspired many fans who loved his films and his personality. He once said: “I’ve been very lucky. I’ve made 70 pictures and never made a bad one.”

Randolph Scott’s films are still widely watched and appreciated today. Many of his films are considered classics of the genre, such as Ride the High Country (1962), which was his last and arguably best film. He retired from films after this film, saying: “I’ve done enough for myself and for the industry.”

Randolph Scott was a humble and gracious man who lived a fulfilling and honorable life. He once said: “I don’t deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.” He also said: “I’m satisfied with my life. I’ve done everything I wanted to do.”

Randolph Scott’s Famous Roles in Westerns and Other Genres

Randolph Scott was one of the most famous and prolific actors in the Western genre, appearing in more than 60 films that showcased his rugged charm, stoic demeanor, and moral integrity. He played a variety of characters, from lawmen and outlaws to ranchers and soldiers, who faced various challenges and conflicts in the American frontier. He also worked with some of the finest directors and co-stars of the genre, creating memorable and iconic films that are still widely watched and appreciated today. Some of his famous roles in Westerns are:

  • Tom Andrews in The Last of the Mohicans (1936), based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper . He played a brave and noble scout who helped a British colonel and his daughters escape from hostile Indians during the French and Indian War.
  • Vance Shaw in Western Union (1941), directed by Fritz Lang . He played a reformed outlaw who joined the Western Union company to help build the first transcontinental telegraph line. He faced opposition from his former gang, led by his brother, and from a rival engineer, played by Robert Young .
  • Jeff Travis in The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953), directed by Andre DeToth . He played a former spy for Quantrill’s Raiders who moved to Arizona after the Civil War. He became involved in a feud between two stagecoach lines, one run by his old friend, played by Claire Trevor , and the other by his enemy, played by Lee Marvin .
  • Gil Westrum in Ride the High Country (1962), directed by Sam Peckinpah . He played an aging ex-lawman who teamed up with his old friend, played by Joel McCrea , to escort a shipment of gold from a mining camp. Along the way, they faced temptation, betrayal, and violence. This was Scott’s last and arguably best film, which is considered a masterpiece of the genre and a fitting farewell to his legacy.

Randolph Scott also appeared in many other genres besides Westerns, such as social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals, adventure tales, war films, and even horror and fantasy films. He proved himself to be a versatile and charming leading man, capable of handling comedy, drama, romance, and action. Some of his famous roles in other genres are:

  • John Kent in Roberta (1935), based on the musical by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach . He played an American football player who inherited a Parisian fashion house from his aunt. He fell in love with a Russian princess, played by Irene Dunne , who worked as a singer at the house. He also met his old friend, played by Fred Astaire , who performed with Ginger Rogers .
  • Stephen Burkett in My Favorite Wife (1940), directed by Garson Kanin . He played a handsome athlete who married a woman, played by Irene Dunne , who was presumed dead after being shipwrecked for seven years. He was shocked to discover that she was alive and had returned to him on the same day he remarried another woman, played by Gail Patrick . He also learned that she had spent those years on an island with another man, played by Cary Grant .
  • Captain William Kidd in Captain Kidd (1945), directed by Rowland V. Lee . He played the notorious pirate who masqueraded as an honest merchant and was hired by King William III to escort a treasure ship from India to England. He plotted to steal the treasure with the help of his crew and a renegade nobleman, played by John Carradine . He also had to deal with a loyal officer, played by Charles Laughton , who suspected his true identity.
  • Dr. Terry Evans in The Walking Hills (1949), directed by John Sturges . He played a veterinarian who joined a group of treasure hunters who searched for a lost wagon train full of gold in the desert. He had to contend with greed, jealousy, and violence among the group members, as well as with his former lover, played by Ella Raines , who was married to one of them.

Randolph Scott’s Endorsements of Products and Services

Randolph Scott was not only a successful actor but also a shrewd businessman and investor. He amassed a fortune through his investments in real estate, oil, gas, stocks, and golf courses. He also endorsed various products and services that reflected his image as a Western star and a sports enthusiast. Some of his endorsements are:

  • Camel cigarettes: Scott appeared in several advertisements for Camel cigarettes in the 1940s and 1950s, promoting them as a “mild and mellow” smoke that suited his taste. He also claimed that he smoked them for pleasure and relaxation, and that they did not affect his health or stamina.
  • Stetson hats: Scott wore Stetson hats in many of his Western films, making them a symbol of his style and personality. He also appeared in advertisements for Stetson hats in the 1950s, praising them as “the hat that tops ’em all”. He also said that he wore them for comfort and protection, and that they were “the best investment a man can make in good grooming”.
  • Chevrolet cars: Scott was a fan of Chevrolet cars, owning several models over the years. He also appeared in advertisements for Chevrolet cars in the 1950s, endorsing them as “the most dependable car on the road”. He also said that he drove them for performance and economy, and that they were “the car that satisfies”.
  • Wilson golf clubs: Scott was an avid golfer, playing almost every day at his own golf course or at other courses around Los Angeles. He also appeared in advertisements for Wilson golf clubs in the 1950s, recommending them as “the finest clubs money can buy”. He also said that he used them for accuracy and distance, and that they were “the clubs that make golf more fun”.

Randolph Scott’s Viral Stories and Rumors

Randolph Scott was a popular and respected actor who avoided publicity and scandal as much as possible. He preferred to keep his personal life private and to focus on his work and his hobbies. However, he was not immune to gossip and speculation, especially regarding his relationships and his sexuality. Some of the viral stories and rumors that surrounded him are:

  • His friendship with Cary Grant: Scott met Cary Grant on the set of Hot Saturday (1932) and they became close friends and roommates for several years. They also appeared together in several films, such as The Last Outpost (1935) and My Favorite Wife (1940). Their friendship was portrayed in the fan magazines as a bachelor’s paradise, where they enjoyed each other’s company and shared their hobbies and interests. However, some people speculated that their friendship was more than platonic, and that they were secretly lovers. This rumor was fueled by the fact that they both had failed marriages and dated several women without settling down. It was also supported by some suggestive photographs of them together, such as the ones taken at the beach by photographer Jerome Zerbe . Although both Scott and Grant denied the rumor, it persisted for decades and became part of their public image.
  • His marriage to Marion duPont: Scott married Marion duPont , a wealthy heiress and socialite, in 1936. They had a lavish wedding at her family’s estate in Delaware, attended by many celebrities and dignitaries. However, their marriage was short-lived and unhappy, ending in divorce in 1939. They had no children together. The reason for their divorce was never officially revealed, but some sources claimed that it was due to Scott’s infidelity or his homosexuality. Some also suggested that their marriage was a sham, arranged by Marion’s father to conceal her own lesbianism or to boost Scott’s career.
  • His feud with John Wayne: Scott had a long-standing rivalry with John Wayne , another famous Western star. They competed for roles, box office success, and critical acclaim in the genre. They also had different political views, with Scott being a conservative Republican and Wayne being a liberal Democrat. Their feud came to a head in 1959, when Scott refused to co-star with Wayne in Rio Bravo , directed by Howard Hawks . Scott reportedly turned down the role because he did not want to play second fiddle to Wayne or to share the screen with him. Wayne was offended by Scott’s snub and made some derogatory remarks about him in the press. The two never worked together or reconciled their differences.

Randolph Scott’s Scandals and Controversies

Randolph Scott was a well-behaved and well-liked actor who rarely caused any trouble or controversy in Hollywood. He was known for his professionalism, his integrity, and his generosity. He also avoided politics and religion as much as possible, saying that he did not want to impose his opinions on anyone else. However, he did have some incidents and issues that tarnished his reputation or caused him some problems.

FAQ about Randolph Scott:

Q: When and where was Randolph Scott born?

A: Randolph Scott was born on January 23, 1898, in Orange County, Virginia, USA. He was the son of George Grant Scott and Lucille Crane Scott, both of whom had Scottish ancestry.

Q: What was Randolph Scott’s profession and why was he famous?

A: Randolph Scott was an American film actor who was active in Hollywood from 1928 to 1962. He was best known for his roles in Western movies, especially those directed by Budd Boetticher. He was one of the top box office stars of the 1950s and a critically acclaimed figure in the Western genre. He retired from films after his last appearance in Ride the High Country (1962), which is considered a classic of the genre.

Q: Who were Randolph Scott’s wives and children?

A: Randolph Scott married twice in his life. His first marriage was to Marion duPont, a wealthy heiress and socialite, who was the daughter of William du Pont Sr., and the great-granddaughter of Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, the founder of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. They married in 1936 and divorced in 1939. They had no children together. His second marriage was to Patricia Stillman, a former actress and writer, who was the daughter of Paul Stillman, a prominent New York banker. They married in 1944 and remained together until his death in 1987. They adopted two children: Christopher and Sandra.

Q: How much was Randolph Scott’s net worth and how did he earn it?

A: Randolph Scott had an estimated net worth of $100 million at the time of his death. He earned his wealth through his acting career, appearing in over 100 films. He also earned money through his investments and real estate. He was one of the richest actors in Hollywood history.

Q: What were some of Randolph Scott’s famous roles and films?

A: Randolph Scott appeared in over 100 feature films, covering a variety of genres besides Westerns, such as social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals, adventure tales, war films, and even horror and fantasy films. Some of his famous roles and films are:

  • Tom Andrews in The Last of the Mohicans (1936), based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper.
  • John Kent in Roberta (1935), based on the musical by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach.
  • Stephen Burkett in My Favorite Wife (1940), directed by Garson Kanin.
  • Vance Shaw in Western Union (1941), directed by Fritz Lang.
  • Jeff Travis in The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953), directed by Andre DeToth.
  • Gil Westrum in Ride the High Country (1962), directed by Sam Peckinpah.

Q: Who were some of Randolph Scott’s friends and co-stars?

A: Randolph Scott had some close friends and co-stars in Hollywood, such as Cary Grant , Fred Astaire , Billy Graham , Mae West , Marlene Dietrich , Irene Dunne , Shirley Temple , Claire Trevor , Lee Marvin , Joel McCrea , Charles Laughton , Ella Raines , John Carradine , Robert Young , Ginger Rogers , and many others. He met Cary Grant on the set of Hot Saturday (1932) and they became roommates for several years. They also appeared together in several films, such as The Last Outpost (1935) and My Favorite Wife (1940). He met Fred Astaire on the set of Roberta (1935) and they became golfing buddies. They also appeared together in Follow the Fleet (1936). He met Billy Graham through his wife Patricia and they became spiritual friends. Randolph Scott often attended Graham’s crusades and supported his ministry.

Q: What were some of Randolph Scott’s hobbies and interests?

A: Randolph Scott’s favorite hobby was golfing. He played golf almost every day at his Cresta Verde golf course or at other courses around Los Angeles. He was an excellent golfer who had a low handicap and won several tournaments. He also liked to watch golf on television and read golf magazines. He once said: “Golf is my religion.”

Randolph Scott also liked to read books, especially biographies and histories. He had a large library at his home that contained thousands of books on various topics. He also liked to listen to music, especially classical music and opera. He had a collection of records that he played on his phonograph. He once said: “Music is my solace.”

Q: What were some of Randolph Scott’s controversies and rumors?

A: Randolph Scott was a well-behaved and well-liked actor who avoided publicity and scandal as much as possible. He preferred to keep his personal life private and to focus on his work and his hobbies. However, he was not immune to gossip and speculation, especially regarding his relationships and his sexuality. Some of the controversies and rumors that surrounded him are:

  • His friendship with Cary Grant: Some people speculated that their friendship was more than platonic, and that they were secretly lovers. This rumor was fueled by the fact that they both had failed marriages and dated several women without settling down. It was also supported by some suggestive photographs of them together, such as the ones taken at the beach by photographer Jerome Zerbe. Although both Scott and Grant denied the rumor, it persisted for decades and became part of their public image.
  • His marriage to Marion duPont: Some sources claimed that their marriage was a sham, arranged by Marion’s father to conceal her own lesbianism or to boost Scott’s career. Some also suggested that their divorce was due to Scott’s infidelity or his homosexuality. The reason for their divorce was never officially revealed, but some said that it was due to irreconcilable differences.
  • His feud with John Wayne: Scott had a long-standing rivalry with John Wayne, another famous Western star. They competed for roles, box office success, and critical acclaim in the genre. They also had different political views, with Scott being a conservative Republican and Wayne being a liberal Democrat. Their feud came to a head in 1959, when Scott refused to co-star with Wayne in Rio Bravo, directed by Howard Hawks. Scott reportedly turned down the role because he did not want to play second fiddle to Wayne or to share the screen with him. Wayne was offended by Scott’s snub and made some derogatory remarks about him in the press. The two never worked together or reconciled their differences.

Q: When and how did Randolph Scott die?

A: Randolph Scott died on March 2, 1987, at the age of 89, at his home in Beverly Hills, California. He died of congestive heart failure, after suffering from several health problems in his later years. He was surrounded by his family and friends, who mourned his loss and celebrated his life. He was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte, North Carolina, next to his parents and siblings. His grave is marked by a simple headstone that reads: “RANDOLPH SCOTT – ACTOR”.

Q: What is Randolph Scott’s legacy and impact on film and culture?

A: Randolph Scott left a lasting legacy as one of the greatest and most popular Western stars of all time. He influenced many generations of actors and filmmakers who admired his style and charisma. He also inspired many fans who loved his films and his personality. He once said: “I’ve been very lucky. I’ve made 70 pictures and never made a bad one.”

Randolph Scott’s films are still widely watched and appreciated today. Many of his films are considered classics of the genre, such as Ride the High Country (1962), which was his last and arguably best film. He retired from films after this film, saying: “I’ve done enough for myself and for the industry.”

Randolph Scott was a humble and gracious man who lived a fulfilling and honorable life. He once said: “I don’t deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.” He also said: “I’m satisfied with my life. I’ve done everything I wanted to do.”

Written by Vikram

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