Who is Ali MacGraw?

American former actress and activist Elizabeth Alice ‘Ali’ MacGraw was born in Pound Ridge, New York State USA, on 1 April 1939, meaning that Aries is her zodiac sign. She appeared in only 13 movies and two TV series prior to retiring from acting in 1997, and is perhaps still known best for playing the lead character Jenny in the 1970 romantic movie “Love Story”, which starred Ryan O’Neal and John Marley, and was directed by Arthur Hiller. It follows a boy and a girl from different backgrounds who’ve fallen in love, and the movie won 10 of its 26 award nominations, including an Oscar win for Best Music, Original Score (Francis Lai).

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Education and early life

Ali was raised in Pound Ridge alongside her brother Dick, by their father Richard MacGraw and mother Frances (nee Klein), both of whom were commercial artists; her brother Dick was also an artist.

Ali’s mother was Jewish but never told this to her husband because she believed him to be bigoted; Frances was a highly skilled artist and taught in Paris, France prior to settling in the US. Richard was raised in an orphanage, he travelled oversea aged 16 and studied art in Munich, Germany; Ali’s revealed that her father was violent.

She studied at Rosemary Hall in Greenwich, Connecticut and became interested in acting during her time there; upon matriculating in 1957, Ali enrolled at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1961. She was a theatre actress prior to launching her career on TV.

Roles in movies

Ali’s debut film role was playing Melody in the 1968 crime mystery “A Lovely Way to Die”, which starred Sylva Koscina and Kirk Douglas, and was directed by David Lowell Rich. It follows a police officer who’s quit the force and has become a bodyguard of a wealthy widow.

In 1969, Ali played Brenda Patimkin in the popular romantic comedy “Goodbye, Columbus”, which won four of its 13 award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium; some of her following roles were in the 1972 action crime thriller “The Getaway”, the 1978 action “Convoy”, and the 1979 romantic sports drama “Players”.

She starred as Bones Burton in the 1980 romantic comedy “Just Tell Me What You Want”, which also starred Myrna Loy and Alan King, and was directed by Sidney Lumet. It follows the lives of a middle-aged man and his mistress, and the movie won one of its two award nominations. Ali could then have been seen appearing in the 1983 mystery “China Rose”, the 1985 horror thriller “Murder Elite”, and the 1992 adventure “Survive the Savage Sea”.

She portrayed Jane Merkel in the 1993 western “Gunsmoke: The Long Ride”, which starred James Brolin and James Arness, and was directed by Jerry Jameson; it follows retired Marshal Matt Dillon who’s been framed for a crime.

Ali had only two other film roles prior to her retirement, playing Fran Jakes in the 1994 action thriller “Natural Causes”, and Lynn Travers in the 1997 drama “Glam”.

Roles in TV series

Ali’s debut TV series role was playing Natalie Jastrow, one of the lead characters in all the seven episodes of the 1983 romantic war mini-series “The Winds of War”, which also starred Jan-Michael Vincent and Robert Mitchum, and follows the members of the Jastrow and Henry families during World War II; the mini-series won six of its 20 award nominations.

Ali’s only other TV series role was playing Lady Ashley Mitchell in 13 episodes (1985) of the romantic drama “Dynasty”, which starred Linda Evans and John Forsythe, and was created by Esther Shapiro and Richard Alan Shapiro. It follows the members of feuding families the Colbys and the Carringtons, the series aired from 1981 through 1989 and won 24 of its 91 award nominations.

Other credits

Ali sang “Voices That Care” in the 1991 musical documentary film “Voices That Care”.

She produced the 1994 sports documentary movie “Ali McGraw: Yoga Mind & Body”.

Ali received special thanks for the 1995 romantic comedy movie “Now and Then”, and the 2002 biographical documentary movie “The Kid Stays in the Picture”.

Her most recent talk-show appearances have been in “Entertainment Tonight”, “The Hollywood Moment at Home Edition” and “CBS News Sunday Morning”.

Awards and nominations

Ali’s won six of her 15 award nominations. Some of her wins include a 1970 Golden Laurel Award for Female New Face, for “Goodbye, Columbus”, a 1971 David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress (Migliore Attrice Straniera) for “Love Story”, and two Golden Globes in 1971 and 1972 also for “Love Story”.

Ali was also nominated for a 1971 Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for her performance in “Love Story”.

She was honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2021.

Life after acting

Ali’s been staying away from the media’s attention since her retirement, however, she’s appeared in a couple of theatre plays, including a 2016 production of “Love Letters”.

She became passionate about Hatha Yoga in her 50s, and it’s believed that she’s today a yoga instructor.

Love life and husbands

Ali’s been married thrice. Her first husband was German-Canadian banker Robert ‘Robin’ Martin Hoen, whom she met while attending college; the two married on 29 October 1960, but divorced on 4 July 1962; Robert passed away on 13 September 2016.

Ali dated several celebrities in the following years, and also underwent an illegal abortion; she married her second husband, the late American movie producer and actor Robert Evans on 24 October 1969, and Ali gave birth to their son Joshua A. Evans on 16 January 1971. Joshua’s today a successful moviemaker, actor and author.

Ali eventually fell in love with the late American actor Terrence Stephen McQueen, and their affair led to her and Robert’s divorce on 7 June 1973; she married Terrence only five days later, on 12 July 1973, but their divorce was finalized on 9 August 1978.

Ali’s dated numerous celebrities since her third divorce, including Mickey Raphael, Peter Weller and Ronald Meyer, revealing in her autobiography “Moving Pictures” that she was once a sex addict.

Ali seems to be unattached as of June 2023, has been married thrice and has a son with her second husband Robert Evans.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Ali’s been living in Tesuque, New Mexico since 1994; the house which she had previously been renting in Malibu was destroyed in a fire.

She was treated for sex and alcohol addiction at the Betty Ford Center.

Ali’s a huge lover of animals, and has worked with the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She wrote the foreword for Cathy Scott’s book “Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned”, and is today a US Ambassador to Animals Asia, an animal welfare charity organization.

Her maternal grandparents Pauline Donner and Maurice Klein were Jewish emigrants from Hungary.

Ali was also once addicted to cocaine, however, after arriving on the set of “Convoy” too high on cocaine to perform, she chose to quit drugs.

Her two closest friends are American screenwriter, producer and actress Gloria Steinem, and American actress and producer Candice Bergen.

Ali worked as an interior designer in the ‘90s.

Height, eyes and wealth

Ali’s age is 84. She has brown eyes and hair, is 5ft 9ins (1.77m) tall and weighs around 145lbs (65kgs).

Ali’s net worth’s been estimated at over $6 million, as of June 2023.

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