Ali MacGraw Sacrificed Career for Steve McQueen Yet Didn’t Get a Dime after Divorce — At 84, She’s a Millionaire Grandma

Ali MacGraw sacrificed her career in pursuit of the personal happiness she hoped for when she fell deeply in love with Steve McQueen and married him.

The couple were married for five years and had children from their previous marriages but none with each other.
The two eventually divorced, leaving MacGraw homeless, and with not a single penny from McQueen.
At 84, the actress is a grandmother with millions.

Ali MacGraw was a romantic who loved to fall in love. She got married thrice—to a Harvard boy, a Hollywood producer, and finally a movie star.

MacGraw was also a hit as an actress. She amazed people with her diverse acting; she could be smooth and strong as well as dark and serious as Katharine Ross.

The actress was also well educated as she had studied at Rosemary Hall on scholarship and pursued art history at Wellesley College.

Biut MacGraw gained huge fame when she was featured in the 1970 movie “Love Story.” The movie earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

In interviews, the actress was refined and intelligent. She featured on the covers of Time, Look, Harper’s Bazaar, and Paris Match. Movie critic Jayce Haber even hailed MacGraw as “the biggest female star since Marilyn Monroe.”

In the early 90s, Time Magazine wrote that MacGraw was on a journey to become successful and rich. The star lived in a Beverly Hills mansion, had a growing career, and was married within the Hollywood industry. MacGraw also admitted that her life was an American fairy tale:

“I had it all. I had been in a blockbuster picture. I had style. I had an education. Taste. … I’d had a real-life — 15 years working in the real world. I hadn’t dreamed about being in the movies, and suddenly, I was the biggest thing walking.”

However, her light began to dim, and she got some negative reviews from the media. After “The Getaway” was released, movie critic Pauline Kael called her “the worst actress in America.”

MacGraw then got into a relationship with Steve McQueen, who was known to charm women. Even his friend Garry Gibb said the actor almost stole his wife, Linda Gray:

“One time we were at the Record Plant in Los Angeles, and Steve McQueen tried to take off with Linda on the back of his motorbike! She’s a very beautiful woman, and had just as many opportunities as me!”

MacGraw also noted how she and McQueen had chemical chemistry. She was especially attracted to the actor who would walk into a room and immediately become the center of attraction. However, she added:

“He was incredibly attractive most of the time but there was also danger, there was bad boy there.”

MacGraw and McQueen were married for five years, and it was a marriage that included both wonderful and dreadful days.

MacGraw Gave up Her Career for Her Marriage

MacGraw’s affair with McQueen started on the first day of filming “The Getaway.” At the time, MacGraw was married to her second husband, Robert Evans, then head of production of Paramount Pictures. Evans and the actress had a son together, Josh Evans, born in 1971.

After meeting McQueen, MacGraw, who was first married to Robin Hoen, divorced Evans. Then the actress married McQueen, who turned out to be a jealous man who made her give up her career for their marriage.

As MacGraw became a homemaker, McQueen maintained his career and went on to become the highest-paid movie star in the world in 1974.

The two were married for five years. According to MacGraw, McQueen “was tremendously insecure and dangerous” during their union. “When it was good it was very, very good, but when it was bad it was horrendous,” she added.

The “Love Story” star also revealed her ex-husband’s aggression would also affect their kids. Aside from Josh, McQueen also came with one two kids from his first marriage, son Chad McQueen and daughter, Terry McQueen.

According to MacGraw, the kids were stuck in a rotten family scenario as Chad would come downstairs and find plates sailing past his head when his parents were arguing.

Even at 84, MacGraw has maintained her beauty. In 2008, she was listed as one of the sexiest women in film ever due to her role in “The Getaway.”

However, Chad revealed that as much as McQueen was aggressive towards his wives, he was affectionate towards his kids. He added that his dad wanted to make up for the childhood he never had:

“If any good came out of him feeling so unwanted as a kid, it was that he always made sure me and my older sister, Terry, knew how much he loved us.”

McQueen’s insecurity made him block MacGraw from landing any acting gigs. The actress’s work was to get him a beer and his meat and potatoes ready by six every day. Sue Mengers, MacGraw’s agent, said the audience loved the actress and that it was unfortunate of her to stop acting:

“I was really angry at her…It made me crazy. He was always very rude when I called, because it was a sign that I might have a job for her.”

MacGraw did not work for five years, but then her marriage to McQueen fell apart. They both cheated on each other and eventually, MacGraw thought of acting again.

In 1977, she accepted a part in the movie “Convoy” after her agent pleaded with her. However, when she got back home and told McQueen that she was getting back on the screens, he told her, “In that case, we are filing for divorce.”

The couple separated in 1978. Upon their divorce, the prenuptial agreement they signed meant MacGraw was left without even a penny.

After the split, MacGraw opened up about her third marriage, noting that McQueen was very damaged and was a mix of anger, darkness, mystery, and child-like vulnerability. She added that his mood swings were incredible.

However, “The Winds of War” actress said she was not a victim of MacGraw’s alleged abuse. In her view, she was also at fault because of how sullen and held back she was, including tight, judgmental, and shimmering. The actress said she sought therapy:

“We both had work to do, but I know now that you don’t go into therapy to save your marriage; you do it to understand who you are.”

MacGraw also noted that her big sin when marrying McQueen was to diminish and present herself in an inauthentic manner. She said insecurity made her trim and cover who she really was to make herself desirable:

“…because he was the most desirable man on the planet, and I would think, I can’t possibly be desirable enough for this creature—every woman in the restaurant is looking at him!”

The hard times also came with sweet and wonderful moments. As per MacGraw, Easter and the Fourth of July were great moments for the couple as they would have potluck dinners with neighbors. These days were real life, peaceful, and incredible.

MacGraw also remembered a dinner for McQueen’s film “The Towering Inferno,” where the two had extraordinary and unbelievable chemistry. On one of her birthday trips, McQueen, who loved daisies, left hundreds of daisies and white roses in her motel room.

However, McQueen’s paranoia and possessiveness contributed to the end of the pair’s romance. McQueen had a suite in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel where he would go after he fought with the actress. But when MacGraw borrowed an apartment to stay in, McQueen would show up randomly, convinced MacGraw was cheating on him.

Looking back at her marriage, MacGraw said it was stupid for her to stop working at the height of her career without making sure she had a house. The actress did not even own a stick of silver. She confessed she hadn’t made a living at all and that her life as a movie star was terrifying and exhausting:

“I’m much more famous than I am rich, but I’m able to scale back my lifestyle. I know a lot of people who were where I was who can’t imagine living any simpler, but I haven’t got a lot of expensive wants.”

After her divorce, MacGraw took up more acting roles aside from “Convoy,” including in “Players,” “The Winds of War,” and “Just Tell Me What You Want.”

MacGraw Is a Happy Grandmother Focused on Volunteer Work
MacGraw’s life now is fulfilling and happy. The actress’s ex-husband died of cancer three years after they divorced. She reflected back and said she wished she and McQueen had grown old and sober together.

The “Gunsmoke” actress has been sober for over 30 years after a long struggle with alcoholism. She left Hollywood in 1994 and started a new life in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she picked up new ventures.

In 2018, she collaborated on a clothing line with Ibu, a fashion collective that worked with female artists. The actress noted that rewriting her past and fantasizing about her future had finally paid off. “…now I believe in living fully to the very best of my ability. I feel blessed,” she added.

MacGraw’s son Josh is an actor and film director. Some of the movies he is known for include, “The Doors,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” and “The Prince of Air.” Josh has been married twice. He married Charis Michelsen on September 11, 2003, and they divorced in 2012.

The film director is married to Rox Saint, since 2012. The couple have one child together, a son, Jackson.

So the actress is now a grandmother courtesy of Josh’s son. She keeps a picture of her son and her happy grandchild on her fridge in the kitchen.

In the picture, Josh and her son display their hands for the camera, revealing them covered in wet gray clay. In front of them sits their project, a square of clay drying in the sun. The clay is imprinted with MacGraw’s grandson’s fingerprints and his two small palms. MacGraw, who finds them hysterical said, “They were so covered in gunk.”

In another picture shared on Twitter, Josh and his son are chilling on a sofa, watching a screen. The two looked engrossed with what they were watching and at peace with each other’s company.

Even at 84, MacGraw has maintained her beauty. In 2008, she was listed as one of the sexiest women in film ever due to her role in “The Getaway.”

MacGraw still has her signature tiny waist, but her hair is currently gray. In 2017, the actress attended Hearst Magazines’ Unbound Access MagFront at Hearst Tower, and she looked absolutely stunning in an all-black attire..

Her black top was styled with black trousers and a chic black coat. The actress also had silver jewels, including drop earrings, a choker, and a silver belt that accentuated her tiny waist. The knee-high boots completed her stylish look.

MacGraw now gives back to society through volunteering. She was pictured volunteering at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and she is also an active volunteer in numerous civic and charitable events in Santa Fe.

The “Dynasty” actress said she is very happy with her life as a volunteer for various nonprofit organizations.

The actress is reportedly worth millions, with her income coming from acting and her business projects. In her fifties, she released a bestseller yoga video titled “Ali MacGraw: Yoga Mind and Body” with the American Yoga Master Erich Schiffmann. This video was popular for over ten years.

In 2006, the actress also worked for “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” where she encouraged people to adopt pets.

At 80, MacGraw designed a chic and sexy shoe line for baby boomers. She collaborated with Butter, a women’s fashion footwear brand, under the Ali for Butter label.

MacGraw’s life in Santa Fe includes involving herself in various projects to get by, as she doesn’t want to take up roles such as guest spots on sitcoms in order to make easy money. The actress is focused on doing smart things.


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