Randolph Scott always retained his well-mannered Southern charm, even though almost his entire screen career took place in the rugged world of the Western, together with his famous palomino horse, Stardust. Despite having a degree in textile engineering and manufacturing from the University of North Carolina. Scott chose to head for Hollywood and was hired as Gary Cooper's dialogue coach for The Virginian (1929), in which he also played a bit part. In the 1930s he acted in a series of routine Zane Grey adaptations, and then briefly and implausibly escaped into the world of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals with Roberts (1935) and Follow the Fleet (1936).
After playing opposite his close friend - and, some even suggested, lover - Cary Grant in the comedy My Favorite Wife (1940) and in a couple of war movies, it was pretty much Westerns all the way until his last and perhaps best film, Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962). In these later Westerns, Scott matures. Though still soft spoken and with impeccable manners, he projects a stoicism that often hides an inner grief. Nowhere is this seen to better effect than in the series of Westerns he made with director Budd Boetticher: Seven Men from Now (1956), The Tall T (1957), Ride Lonesome (1959), and Comanche Station (1960). In these films Scott is a loner, pitting his wits and values against a series of charming but unscrupulous villains, sadness etched on his handsome face. His popularity was as John Wayne in Pittsburgh (1942) and Joel McCrea in Ride the High Country. Scott retired while on a high to enjoy the million-dollar proceeds of both his fame and some savvy investments. Religious in later life, he was a close friend of the Reverend Billy Graham.
Frankly, I don't like publicity. I always remember something that David Belasco said and had incorporated in the contracts of his stars. His theory was, "Never let yourself be seen in public unless they pay for it". To me, that makes sense. The most glamorous, the most fascinating star our business ever had was Garbo [Greta Garbo]. Why? Because she kept herself from the public. Each member of the audience had his own idea of what she was really like. But take the other stars of today. There is no mystery about them. The public knows what kind of toothpaste they use, whether they sleep in men's pajamas and every intimate fact of their lives. When I read publicity about them, I can tell just which press agent they employ.
Interred at Elmwood Cemetery, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, just four blocks from his boyhood home at 312 W. 10th Street.
Remained close friends with Cary Grant until the day he died. When he heard of his old friend's death, he reportedly put his head in his hands and wept.
Due to his shrewd financial investments, Scott was reportedly worth around $100 million by the end of his life.