The daughter of legendary Hollywood star Cary Grant has stated in a new book about her father that he “enjoyed being called gay”.

In her new book, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of my Father, Cary Grant, Jennifer Grant – whose mother is actress Dyan Cannon – claims her father was always intrigued by the rumours surrounding his sexuality and was even keen to play up to them.

She said: “Can’t blame men for wanting him, and wouldn’t be surprised if Dad even flirted mildly back. When the question arises, it generally speaks more about the person asking. Dad somewhat enjoyed been called gay. He said it made women want to prove the assertion wrong.”

Grant, who was born Archibald Leach in Bristol in 1904, has been the subject of rumours surrounding his sexuality for decades. In the 1930s and 1940s he lived on and off with cowboy star Randolph Scott in a Malibu beach house known as ‘Bachelor Hall’, though there is no hard evidence that their relationship was anything other than platonic.

Cary Grant was married five times, and died in 1986.