THE GETAWAY, Ali MacGraw, 1972

Ali MacGraw is an award-winning actress best known for her role in “Goodbye, Columbus,” which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

MacGraw attended Wellesley College, where she studied art history. After graduating, she worked in fashion magazines, which sparked her interest in fashion photography and led her to a modeling career.

She continued modeling until 1968 when she transitioned to acting. MacGraw is also known for her roles in successful films such as “Love Story,” “Convoy,” and “Players.”

Ali MacGraw pictured wearing a knitted jumper while out at a restaurant February 6, 1985. | Source: Getty Images

The activist was born Elizabeth Alice MacGraw in April 1939 in Pound Ridge, New York, and has a younger brother named Dick McGraw. MacGraw came from a low-income family that lived in a small apartment. She once explained:

“There were no doors. We shared the kitchen and bathroom with them. It was an utter lack of privacy. It was horrible.”

After graduating in 1960, the 83-year-old moved to New York, where she secured a job as an assistant at Harper’s Bazaar, earning $54 a week. “The Getaway” star had aspirations of becoming a stylist.

Six months into her job, fashion designer Melvin Sokolsky visited Harper’s Bazaar and noticed MacGraw. He immediately hired her, offering a position with a better salary.

Ali MacGraw attending Hollywood Foreign Press Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 6, 1970 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

The elated MacGraw told Vanity Fair, “I was thrilled to be a stylist,” mainly because the opportunity launched her modeling career.

Although MacGraw never received formal acting training, she took acting lessons with a fellow model, which led to her casting in “Goodbye, Columbus.”

Her acting career took off, and she became an “it” girl, enjoying the success of her most popular 1970 movie, “Love Story.”

In her real-life love story, MacGraw has been married three times, with each marriage ending in divorce. In 1961, the “Glam” star married her college sweetheart, Robin Hoen, but they divorced a year and a half later, as she felt she was “at the age where it’s too exciting for marriages,” MacGraw explained.

In 1971, the Hollywood leading lady married her second husband, legendary producer Robert Evans. That same year, she gave birth to their only son, Josh Evans, now 52.

She and Evans divorced two years later after she began a public affair with screen icon Steve McQueen. The two met on a blind date, but McQueen was known as a ladies’ man at the time.

After five years of marriage, MacGraw and McQueen divorced in 1978. Despite their separation, MacGraw said she felt safe with McQueen and that being a family with him was easy because they resembled cousins.

Television icon actor Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw pictured during a scene from the 1972 movie "The Getaway." | Source: Getty Images

She left Evans to begin her tumultuous relationship with McQueen. MacGraw admitted that their marriage had both wonderful and ghastly times:

“There were many times that were just wonderful, and there were many times that were just ghastly.”

McQueen cheated on the style icon multiple times, verbally abused her, and never trusted her. According to The Times, his mood swings were unpredictable and violent. MacGraw even sacrificed her flourishing career for him when they married.

“He didn’t say I couldn’t work, but it was pretty obvious,” she told The Times in September 2017. Three years after their divorce, McQueen died of cancer.

Reflecting on her three failed marriages during a conversation with Oprah Winfrey on “Super Soul Sunday,” MacGraw stated they all ended for the same reason: she never fully expressed who she was:

“I thought if I say that, he’s going to leave me.”

She believed her ex-husbands would understand her needs and desires without her having to articulate them.

MacGraw acknowledged that her relationships fell apart because she failed to express her true self. She also admitted that her repeated marriages were driven by arrogance.

Ali MacGraw with her hair tied in a bun during the 28th Annual Golden Globe Awards. | Source: Getty Images

After saying ‘I do’ three times, Ali MacGraw decided not to marry again, focusing instead on being the best parent she could be for her only child, Josh.

MacGraw remained close with her former spouse, Robert Evans. After her home was damaged by a fire in California, she lived at his house for a year before he encouraged her to purchase a home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1994.

Since then, the “Dynasty” star has settled in the area like an average local. Reflecting on her life in Santa Fe, MacGraw said the residents do not see her as an ex-movie star. They don’t comment on her appearance or inquire about upcoming projects. Instead, they appreciate her for the many social-justice and arts causes she supports. MacGraw noted it is a genuine community where everyone knows her.

Once, a customer approached her, revealing they had a crush on the star for more than four decades. Speaking about “Love Story,” she mentioned that people still remember it fondly.

Moreover, MacGraw has been an activist for numerous local and global causes, including the welfare of captive chimpanzees in Alamogordo and the economic self-sufficiency of women worldwide.

In October 2016, she was honored as one of four new Santa Fe Living Treasures for her years of community service during a public ceremony.

Regarding her youthful appearance, MacGraw maintains a routine and lives a healthy lifestyle that she admits might bore most people. She told the Chicago Tribune in June 2018 that she practices yoga and Pilates, emphasizing that the healthier one lives, the better they look.

MacGraw has also embraced aging naturally, choosing not to dye her gray hair. She admitted to dyeing her roots for years with the dark brown color she was born with but found it difficult to maintain, especially in the sun. She realized she couldn’t spend the rest of her life carrying a mascara wand for touch-ups. Instead, MacGraw recommends finding a haircut that suits one’s face.

Ali MacGraw attending the Chanel Cruise 2020 Collection Photocall In Le Grand Palais on May 3, 2019 in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

Notably, Ali MacGraw has no desire to return to acting, even though she and former co-star Ryan O’Neal toured the country performing in A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” last year.

In an August 2017 interview with AARP, MacGraw revealed that reuniting with O’Neal was wonderful but that she had no intention of making acting a part of her life again.

Additionally, MacGraw has worked hard on her sobriety. She told People in July 2018 that she had been sober for 31 years after struggling with alcoholism.

She has also ventured into the fashion industry, collaborating with Ibu, a fashion collective that partners with female artisans. MacGraw once said she used to rewrite the past and fantasize about the future, but now she focuses on living her life the best way she knows how and feels blessed.

How Ali MacGraw Found Inner Peace