Just like every man, woman, and child, she couldn't resist this charming man and realized only later that he has a "bad boy" side.
Best-known for her portrayal of the innocent college student Jenny in the 1970 film Love Story, actress Ali MacGraw has had a tumultuous love story in real life. The now 80-year-old had been married and divorced three times.
In the past, Ali has been blunt about her shortcomings, including feeling she wasn't complete unless she had a partner. “Being in love was like a drug high," said she in 1991, according to PEOPLE. Before arriving at this realization, she went through difficult times including almost financial ruin and alcohol dependence. However, she got right back up and worked on herself.
But years of turmoil preceded this confident space. She was married to her college sweetheart before joining the industry. Later, she married Hollywood producer Robert Evans, who gave her her big break Love Story. Eventually, she left Evans for actor Steve McQueen, dubbed the "King of Cool" who was her co-star in 1971’s The Getaway. The couple got married in 1973.
“This was a man who could walk into any room and man, woman, and child all would go, ‘Whoa, what’s that?’ And I was no exception,” she told PEOPLE. "I didn't want to do it [The Getaway] — I wanted to stay at home with my baby son Josh — but eventually I agreed ... and became obsessed with Steve virtually from the moment we met. We began an affair within days of starting the film. I knew I would lose everything I cared about, but I was powerless to do anything about it," she said, writes The Times of Oman.
The couple was married for five years and parted ways in 1977. She had left a successful marriage that had made her Hollywood royalty and a career at its peak for him. She moved to his home with her two-year-old son Josh.
"Steve was this very original, principled guy who didn’t seem to be part of the system, and I loved that," MacGraw says. Gradually, she realized he had issues with women, especially when it came to trusting. He made her sign a prenuptial agreement which said that in case of a divorce she wouldn't ask for anything, and she didn't. He also told her that he did not want her to work. She stopped working and started raising his son, Chad and her son Josh.
Initially, she was too smitten by this "bad boy" but soon she started feeling stifled. "I couldn’t even go to art class because Steve expected his ‘old lady’ to be there every night with dinner on the table," she claimed. "Steve’s idea of hot was not me," MacGraw says. "He liked blond bimbos, and they were always around."
When they went separate ways in 1977 she never demanded any alimony from him. McQueen died three years later in 1980 at age 50 from cancer. "I had this romantic idea that you shouldn't cash in on a failed relationship," she said. "But when you stop working at the height of your career to be with someone you love it's stupid not to say: 'I must make sure I have a house.'"
The woman who called her romance with McQueen "chemical" wishes that they "had both grown old sober." "There were wonderful days and dreadful days. I’m not a victim in any way," she added. "There were many times that were just wonderful and there were many times that were just ghastly."
"Steve McQueen is dead for 30-some-odd years, and it’s very sad to me that as sober, grown-up, nonsexually connected beings, we didn’t get to sit down and clean it all," she told HuffPost. "I was always afraid he’d leave me," she says of McQueen. "I mean, it was this absurd... I don’t know what I thought, except that I wasn’t real."
About her failed marriages, she said, "I made choices. I fell in love too easily and I didn’t do any homework." Of her career, she said, "I was never trained as an actress, and that was my own stupidity." She was never at ease in front of the camera and it showed. She has been at the receiving end of many bad reviews throughout the years and has given up on the love for the silver screen for good.
The Goodbye, Columbus siren has been sober for 32 years and chose a quiet life in Santa Fe, New Mexico instead of Hollywood. She has collaborated with a fashion line, Ibu in recent years and also been on stage with friend Ryan O'Neal, who was her co-star in Love Story. However, she doesn't want to act of stage or be back on the screen again. She left Hollywood in 1994 and doesn't want to go back.
"I used to rewrite the past, fantasize about the future,” she said. “But now I believe in living fully to the very best of my ability. I feel very blessed."