Ali MacGraw skyrocketed to fame as a Hollywood superstar, but just as quickly as she reached the heights of stardom, she vanished from the spotlight.
Now, at the age of 83, the actress has found solace in a remote and quaint town, where she is aging elegantly with her silver hair.
With a smooth and flowing transition, the paragraph highlights the actress’s rise and fall in the entertainment industry, and her current peaceful life away from the limelight.
Ali MacGraw, born Elizabeth Alice MacGraw, was born on April 1, 1939, in Pound Ridge, New York, USA. Her mother, Frances, was an artist and worked at a school in Paris, later settling in Greenwich Village. She married Richard MacGraw, who was also an artist. In 1939, Ali was born.
While Ali’s mother was an artist, her father Richard had a troubled childhood. He had survived a terrible childhood in an orphanage, running away at the age of 16 to go to sea. He would later study at an art school in Munich, Germany.
According to Ali, her father’s adult life was spent “suppressing the rage that covered all his hurt.” He never forgave his real parents for giving him up.
The paragraphs offer a glimpse into the background of Ali MacGraw, highlighting her family and her father’s troubled past. With a smooth and flowing transition, the paragraphs provide a deeper understanding of the actress’s life and background.
Ali MacGraw – childhood
Money was tight for the MacGraw family, and they had to move into a shared house on a wilderness preserve in Pound Ridge. “There were no doors; we shared the kitchen and bathroom with them,” Ali said. “It was utter lack of privacy. It was horrible.”
Despite the difficult living conditions, her mother Frances worked hard to support the family through her commercial-art assignments. Her father Richard, on the other hand, struggled to sell his paintings and became increasingly frustrated, resulting in verbal and physical abuse towards her brother.
Despite the hardships at home, Ali knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a creative career. With the help of a scholarship, she attended prep school Rosemary Hall, and later Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
By the age of 22, she moved to New York and landed her first job as an assistant editor at Harper’s Bazaar, working with photographers. The paragraphs provide a glimpse into the difficult upbringing of Ali MacGraw, highlighting the financial struggles and the abuse she witnessed at home.
With a smooth and flowing transition, the paragraphs also show how she was able to overcome her difficult past and pursue her passion in the creative field.
Fashion work in New York
Fashion editor Diana Vreeland hired Ali MacGraw as a “flunkie” at Harper’s Bazaar. Although it was a tough job, she worked hard and six months later, fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky noticed her beauty and hired her as a stylist with a better salary. She stayed in that position for six years.
However, her passion for acting started taking over and soon she was in front of the camera as a model. Her hard work paid off and she was on magazine covers all over the world and even in television commercials.
Eventually, she decided to pursue acting as a profession, after an uncomfortable experience with Salvador Dali. She realized she’d rather be an actress than a model.
Ali MacGraw – films
Ali MacGraw’s rise to fame in the world of cinema was nothing short of spectacular. With her natural beauty and untutored acting style, she quickly captured the hearts of audiences everywhere.
Following a small role in A Lovely Way to Die (1968), she was cast as the lead in the critically acclaimed Goodbye, Columbus, for which she received a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female.
The following year, her career reached new heights with her role in the blockbuster film Love Story. MacGraw had read the script and immediately fell in love with it, and after a meeting with producer Robert Evans at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge, she secured the role of Jenny.
The American romantic drama film became a massive success, becoming the No. 1 film in the United States and the sixth highest grossing movie in history in the US and Canada.
Ali MacGraw’s career took off in the 1970s with her leading role in the film Love Story, which earned her an Academy Award nomination and a second Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. The film’s success was a turning point in her career and solidified her status as a Hollywood star.
However, her personal life was also in the spotlight, and her marriage to film producer Robert Evans was coming to an end. Steve McQueen, her co-star in the film The Getaway, caught her attention and the two began an affair. MacGraw left Evans and moved in with McQueen in Malibu, along with her son Josh.
Ali MacGraw – Steve McQueen
Ali MacGraw was on top of the world following her big international breakthrough in the film Love Story, but her private life was far from idyllic. When she met Steve McQueen and they began an affair, she thought she’d found the love of her life. However, things quickly went downhill.
McQueen had trust issues stemming from his father abandoning him and his mother when he was 14, and this manifested in his relationship with MacGraw. He didn’t like that she had her own career and would explode if she even looked at another man. He also wanted her to sign a prenuptial agreement promising not to ask for anything in the event of a divorce.
Despite these issues, MacGraw stayed with McQueen until 1978, but the experience took a toll on her. She felt trapped, unable to pursue her own interests and unable to escape McQueen’s jealousy and controlling behavior.
She even arrived on set to shoot the 1978 film Convoy both drunk and high, prompting her to quit drugs. This was the start of a difficult period for MacGraw, but she emerged stronger and more determined than ever to live life on her own terms.
Leaving show business
Despite earning an Academy Award nomination and winning a Golden Globe for her role in “Love Story,” Ali MacGraw’s career in Hollywood had its ups and downs. Her movies, such as “Players” (1970) and “Just Tell Me What You Want” (1980) didn’t perform well at the box office.
MacGraw faced criticism and discrimination as a woman in the industry, and she decided to take a break from acting and pursue interior design.
However, MacGraw couldn’t fully give up on her show business career and appeared in the television miniseries “The Winds of War” (1983) and “China Rose” (1985).
Despite these appearances, she found it difficult to get work in film and felt alone and desperate. She turned to alcohol to cope, and in 1986, checked herself into the Betty Ford Clinic in California. MacGraw struggled with addiction and personal demons, but ultimately, was able to turn her life around.
After her stay at the Betty Ford Clinic, Ali MacGraw emerged as a stronger person. Her son, Josh Evans, who was 15 at the time, had a hard time watching his mother suffer, but she was determined to get better. In 1993, another family tragedy occurred when her house in California burnt down due to a wildfire. This prompted her to move from Los Angeles and settle in a town near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In her new community, MacGraw was seen as a regular person who was appreciated for her community work. She volunteered at the annual International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe and became involved in animal rights.
In 2006, she returned to the stage and reunited with her “Love Story” co-actor Ryan O’Neal in the Broadway adaptation of the Danish film Festen. Since then, MacGraw has been out of the spotlight and has focused on her yoga videos and other creative pursuits.
In an interview with the Herald-Tribune in 2019, she stated that she’s open to new adventures and work, saying “I know that I’m not happy when I’m not doing something creative.”
Ali MacGraw’s life was not without its struggles. From dealing with a difficult marriage to Steve McQueen to facing career setbacks and personal tragedies, MacGraw has had her fair share of hardships.
However, she emerged from these challenges as a stronger person, dedicating herself to community work and animal rights. Despite leaving the spotlight, MacGraw has not stopped being creative and is open to new adventures and work.
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