Ali McGraw, born Elizabeth Alice MacGraw, rose to Hollywood stardom quickly, but just as rapidly as she gained fame, she abandoned show business entirely. The 83-year-old actress now resides in a small and secluded town, gracefully aging with her grey locks. Ali was born on April 1, 1939, in Pound Ridge, New York, USA to artist parents, Richard and Frances MacGraw. Her mother worked in Paris at a school before settling in Greenwich Village. In 1939, Ali was welcomed into the world.
Richard, Ali’s father, faced difficulties stemming from his own childhood, causing him to behave differently from others. Richard survived a traumatic upbringing in an orphanage and eventually ran away at the age of 16 to go to sea. Later, he attended an art school in Munich, Germany. Ali stated that “Daddy was frightened and really, really angry. He never forgave his real parents for giving him up,” and explained that his adult life was consumed by “suppressing the rage that covered all his hurt.” Despite her successful career, Ali was not spared from personal trials and had to make a life-altering decision when she met Steve McQueen. Ali gave up her own career to support Steve’s career, eventually leading to their marriage.
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Ali MacGraw’s Challenging Childhood and Early Life
Frances and Richard, along with their children Ali and Richard Jr, struggled financially, leading them to move into a house located in a Pound Ridge wilderness preserve with an elderly couple. Unfortunately, the living conditions were far from ideal as the family had no privacy and had to share the kitchen and bathroom with their housemates. Ali recalled the experience as “horrible” due to the lack of privacy.
While Ali’s mother Frances managed to support the family with various commercial-art assignments, Richard struggled to sell his paintings, leading to intense frustration. This frustration often led to violent outbursts towards Ali’s brother Richard. Ali witnessed her father’s abuse towards her brother, which was a traumatic experience for her.
In spite of the challenging circumstances, Ali had a strong determination to follow in her parents’ artistic footsteps and build a career in the creative field. She secured a scholarship to attend the prestigious prep school, Rosemary Hall, and later moved to Massachusetts to study at Wellesley College in 1956. Upon graduation, at the young age of 22, Ali ventured to New York City, where she began working as an assistant editor at Harper’s Bazaar. She worked closely with renowned photographers, taking her initial steps into the fashion and editorial world.
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Ali MacGraw’s Ascent into the Fashion World of New York City
Ali MacGraw began her career in the fashion industry as a lowly “flunkie” for fashion editor Diana Vreeland. Her role was similar to the one depicted in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” where her duties included menial tasks such as fetching pencils for her boss. However, her stunning beauty did not go unnoticed for long. After several months, fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky noticed her striking looks and Ali was given a promotion to stylist with a better salary. She excelled in this position for six years, impressing her colleagues with her strong work ethic.
Her hard work paid off, and Ali MacGraw quickly became a successful model, appearing on magazine covers worldwide and even starring in television commercials. However, fate had other plans for her, and she soon found herself drawn toward acting. Ali had previously been sketched nude by Salvador Dali a few years earlier, but when the surrealist artist began to suck her toes, Ali realized that her true calling was to be an actress, not a model.
Despite her success in the fashion industry, Ali was destined for even greater achievements in the world of entertainment. She dove headfirst into the profession of acting, and with her natural talent and hardworking attitude, she quickly became a Hollywood superstar. Her unique blend of beauty and talent made her a sought-after actress, and she soon gained international fame for her roles in films such as “Love Story” and “The Getaway.”
Ali MacGraw’s Film Career
Ali MacGraw’s transition from fashion styling to acting was a bold move, but one that paid off handsomely. Despite her lack of formal acting training, MacGraw’s on-screen charisma was undeniable and helped to establish her as a rising star in the film industry. Her debut in the 1968 film A Lovely Way to Die was a modest beginning, but it was her standout performance in the 1969 movie Goodbye, Columbus that garnered significant attention. Her performance in the film earned her the coveted Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female, signaling to Hollywood that a new talent had arrived. But it was her role in the 1970 film Love Story that would cement her status as an acting icon, captivating audiences with her portrayal of a working-class college student and helping to make the film one of the highest-grossing movies in history.
When she read the script for Love Story, Ali was so moved by it that she knew she had to be part of the film. She arranged a meeting with the producer, Robert Evans, and not only did he agree that she was perfect for the role of Jenny, but he also fell in love with her. In Love Story, Ali played a working-class college student opposite Ryan O’Neal, and the film became a huge hit. It quickly climbed the charts to become the number-one film in the United States, and at the time, it was one of the highest-grossing movies in the US and Canada.
Ali’s natural beauty and heartfelt performances continued to captivate audiences in subsequent films, including The Getaway (1972) and Convoy (1978). Though she may have lacked formal training, her talent was undeniable, and her contributions to the world of cinema cannot be overstated.
Ali MacGraw’s Rise as an Award-Winning Actress
Ali MacGraw’s career hit a new high when she starred in the romantic drama film Love Story in 1970. Her role as Jenny earned her critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film itself was a commercial success, earning five Academy Award nominations and a win, as well as numerous other awards. MacGraw also won a second Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.
Off-screen, MacGraw’s personal life was also making headlines. She had fallen in love with film producer Robert Evans, who had given her the role in Love Story, and the couple got married in 1969. They had a son named Josh Evans two years later. However, their marriage would soon come to an end when MacGraw met Steve McQueen.
McQueen had visited their home to offer MacGraw the lead role in the crime film The Getaway, and the two actors clicked instantly. MacGraw found herself drawn to McQueen’s unique character and principles, and the two soon began an affair. She eventually left Evans to be with McQueen, and they moved in together in Malibu with her son Josh.
MacGraw’s relationship with McQueen was a subject of much speculation and controversy, but she has always been candid about her love for him. “Steve was this very original, principled guy who didn’t seem to be part of the system, and I loved that,” she said. Though their relationship would eventually come to an end, their love story remains a part of Hollywood history.
The Turbulent Love Story of Ali McGraw and Steve McQueen
Ali MacGraw’s relationship with Steve McQueen was not a bed of roses. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Steve McQueen had his own personal struggles, including a troubled childhood, which made it difficult for him to trust women. This caused some tension in their relationship as McQueen had strict demands for his wife. Ali had to put her own career on hold to raise their children. However, McQueen was not content with her being just a homemaker, and he would explode if she even glanced at another man. He even forced her to sign a prenuptial agreement promising not to ask for anything if they were to divorce, which she reluctantly agreed to.
MacGraw felt trapped in her marriage and found it difficult to deal with McQueen’s controlling behavior. She recalled how she wasn’t even allowed to attend art classes because her husband wanted her to be at home with dinner on the table. Steve also had a particular taste in women, which was different from Ali’s. He preferred blondes, which made her feel even more insecure in their relationship.
This period in her life was challenging for MacGraw. She struggled with addiction and showed up to the set drunk and high during the filming of Convoy in 1978. However, her struggles with substance abuse led her to quit drugs altogether, and she eventually divorced McQueen in 1978. Despite the difficult times they shared, MacGraw has fond memories of their time together and has spoken of her love and admiration for McQueen, who passed away in 1980.
Ali McGraw’s Departure from Show Business: What Led to Her Decision to Step Away
Ali MacGraw’s Hollywood career was not a smooth ride. Although her early roles in movies like Love Story (1970) made her a rising star in Hollywood, her later films, including Players (1970) and Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), flopped badly. Speaking to The Guardian about returning to show business in the late 1970s, MacGraw described the media’s harsh scrutiny of women in the spotlight as “cruel.” After this period of ups and downs, MacGraw decided to shift her focus to interior design, although she didn’t entirely give up on acting. She appeared in a few TV miniseries, including The Winds of War (1983) and China Rose (1985).
But despite her accomplishments, Ali MacGraw’s life began to spiral out of control. She couldn’t find work in film, and she felt like a failure. She was desperate for companionship, and she felt incomplete without a partner, likening being in love to a “drug high.” As a result, she began to drink heavily, leading to a series of poor decisions. In 1986, she checked herself into the Betty Ford Clinic in California, acknowledging that she had lost her judgment and had been attracted to other women’s husbands.
Ali MacGraw’s Life Marred by Family Tragedies
Following the end of Ali MacGraw’s time in Hollywood, she was confronted with several family tragedies that put her resilience to the test. In 1984, her husband at the time, Steve McQueen, passed away from mesothelioma, which caused great emotional distress for MacGraw. She resorted to alcohol as a coping mechanism, and her son Josh Evans, who was 15 at the time, witnessed her struggles. Eventually, Josh convinced her to seek professional help, leading her to check herself into the Betty Ford Clinic in California in 1986. After undergoing a 30-day group therapy program, MacGraw emerged as a more resilient person.
Despite overcoming her personal struggles, another tragedy struck in 1993 when her house in California was destroyed by a wildfire. The devastating incident prompted MacGraw to move from Los Angeles to a town near Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she settled down. MacGraw revealed that her neighbors don’t see her as a former Hollywood star but instead appreciate her community work. She has been doing volunteer work at the annual International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
After taking a break from acting for many years, MacGraw reunited with her Love Story co-actor Ryan O’Neal in the Broadway adaptation of the Danish film Festen in 2006. She has also put her heart into working for animal rights and produced numerous successful yoga videos. Even in her 80s, MacGraw stated in a 2019 interview with the Herald-Tribune that she is still open to new adventures and work, explaining that creativity is an important part of her life.
“One of the lucky things for someone my age is that I’m open and curious,” MacGraw said. “There’s not just one thing I love to do and feel bereft if I can’t. But I know that I’m not happy when I’m not doing something creative.” Though she may have left Hollywood behind, MacGraw’s life is full of fulfilling work and new opportunities.
Josh Evans: Ali MacGraw’s Son and Their Bond Through Adversity
Josh Evans, the son of Ali MacGraw, has made a name for himself in Hollywood as a renowned actor and director. Growing up surrounded by the glamour and glitter of the entertainment industry as the child of Hollywood legends Robert Evans and Ali McGraw, he was under immense pressure to excel in show business. Nevertheless, Josh had a clear vision of his career path from an early age and was determined to make it big in the entertainment world.
While he did not initially aspire to become an actor, he landed his first acting job in 1989 with a small role in Dream a Little Dream. He soon realized that he had a passion for acting and wanted to do more. As a teenager, he would regularly visit the manager’s office to keep an eye on the latest film projects being developed.
Over the years, Josh has established himself as a talented actor and director. He has worked on several movies and TV shows, including Born on the Fourth of July, The Doors, and The Price of Air. In addition to acting, he has also ventured into directing, making his debut with the short film, A Course in Miracles.
Despite the success he has achieved, Josh has also had his fair share of struggles. Growing up, he watched his mother battle alcoholism and depression. He helped his mother through her struggles and supported her as she sought help at the Betty Ford Clinic in California.
Currently, Josh Evans is an accomplished actor and director, who has built his own career in Hollywood, apart from his family’s legacy in the entertainment industry. He is also a proud father and remains dedicated to his craft, constantly searching for new opportunities to challenge himself creatively. Josh has a genuine passion for acting and directing, and he continues to work hard towards expanding his repertoire of work, all while maintaining his unique perspective and artistic vision. He has established himself as an independent voice in the industry, and his individuality and talent have garnered him a reputation that is entirely his own.
Josh Evans: Carving His Own Path as an Actor and Director in Hollywood
Having grown up in a family with a storied history in Hollywood, Josh Evans, son of renowned actors Robert Evans and Ali MacGraw, was no stranger to the glamorous world of show business. The pressure of living up to his parents’ success was ever-present, but Josh was determined to follow in their footsteps and make a name for himself in the entertainment industry. His passion for acting and directing led him to achieve great success, with numerous notable roles in movies and television shows. Despite the weight of his family’s legacy, Josh forged his own path and became a well-known figure in Hollywood.
One of Josh’s most memorable experiences was working with famous director Oliver Stone. At the time, Stone was directing “Born on the Fourth of July” starring Tom Cruise, and Josh wanted to play the part of the little brother. He managed to secure a meeting with Stone and landed the role after an audition. Josh went on to star in the biographical film “The Doors” in 1991 and has continued to act and direct.
While acting is more of a job for him, he enjoys the craft and is always looking for new opportunities to explore his talents. On the other hand, directing and telling his stories is a passion that he would do for free. His passion for his work has led to him forging his own path and making a name for himself on his terms, despite his family’s legacy in Hollywood.
Josh is also a father, and his son Jackson was two years old when he married American singer and musician Roxy Saint in October 2012. Ali MacGraw is proud of her wonderful family, and her love for Josh is evident. Josh’s striking resemblance to his mother, especially his big, wonderful eyes, is hard to miss.
The family had a great memory of being together when Robert Evans was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012. Although Robert passed away in 2019, the family continues to cherish these memories.
Ali MacGraw and Josh Evans have built an enviable family, and they take pride in their wonderful achievements. We wish them all the best in the future and hope to see them on the same stage or movie set someday. If you have enjoyed reading about this family’s journey, please share it with your friends and family on Facebook.