Ali MacGraw

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Ali MacGraw
MacGraw in the trailer for the 1972 film The Getaway
BornElizabeth Alice MacGraw
(1939-04-01) April 1, 1939 (age 75)
Pound Ridge, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress, model, author, animal rights activist
Spouse(s)Robin Martin Hoen (1961–1962; divorced)
Robert Evans (1969–1972; divorced; 1 child)
Steve McQueen (1973–1978; divorced)
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Ali MacGraw
MacGraw in the trailer for the 1972 film The Getaway
BornElizabeth Alice MacGraw
(1939-04-01) April 1, 1939 (age 75)
Pound Ridge, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress, model, author, animal rights activist
Spouse(s)Robin Martin Hoen (1961–1962; divorced)
Robert Evans (1969–1972; divorced; 1 child)
Steve McQueen (1973–1978; divorced)

Elizabeth Alice "Ali" MacGraw (born April 1, 1939)[1][2] is an American actress. She first gained attention with her role in Goodbye, Columbus in 1969, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. She reached international fame in 1970's Love Story, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. In 1972, MacGraw was voted the top female box office star in the world[3] and was honored with a hands and footprints ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. She went on to star in the hit films The Getaway (1972) and Convoy (1978), and the 1983 television miniseries The Winds of War. In 1991, she published her autobiography, Moving Pictures.

Early life[edit]

Ali MacGraw was born in Pound Ridge, New York, the daughter of commercial artists Frances (née Klein) and Richard MacGraw.[1][2] She has one brother, Dick, an artist.[2] Her father was of Scottish descent and her maternal grandparents were from Hungary. MacGraw's mother was from a Jewish family, but did not disclose this to MacGraw's father.[2][4][5] MacGraw has described her father as "violent".[6]

MacGraw is an alumna of Rosemary Hall (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut and Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.[2]


Beginning in 1960, MacGraw spent six years working at Harper's Bazaar magazine as a photographic assistant to fashion maven Diana Vreeland.[2] She worked at Vogue magazine as a fashion model, and as a photographer's stylist. She has also worked as an interior decorator.

Film and television[edit]

MacGraw started her acting career in television commercials, including one for the Polaroid Swinger camera. MacGraw gained critical notice in the 1969 film Goodbye, Columbus, but real stardom came in 1970 when she starred opposite Ryan O'Neal in Love Story, one of the highest grossing films in U.S. history.[7] MacGraw was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for that performance. Following Love Story, MacGraw was celebrated on the cover of Time magazine. In 1971, she was on fashion writer Richard Blackwell's worst-dressed list.[8]

In 1972, after appearing in just three films, she had her footprints and autograph engraved at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. She then starred opposite Steve McQueen in The Getaway (1972), which was one of the year's top ten films at the box office. Having taken a five-year break from acting, in 1978 MacGraw re-emerged in another box office hit, Convoy (1978), opposite Kris Kristofferson. She then appeared in the films Players (1979) and Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), directed by Sidney Lumet.

In 1983, MacGraw starred in the highly successful television miniseries The Winds of War. In 1984, MacGraw joined hit ABC prime-time soap opera Dynasty as Lady Ashley Mitchell, which, she admitted in a 2011 interview, she did for the money.[9] She appeared in 14 episodes of the show before her character was killed off in the infamous "Moldavian wedding massacre" cliffhanger episode in 1985.

In 1991, People magazine chose her as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the World.[10]


Having become a Hatha Yoga devotee in her early fifties, MacGraw produced a yoga video with the American Yoga Master Erich Schiffmann, Ali MacGraw Yoga Mind and Body. This video was a bestseller upon release and still popular more than a decade later. The video's impact was such that in June 2007 Vanity Fair magazine credited MacGraw with being one of the people responsible for the practice's recent popularity in the United States.

Other work[edit]

MacGraw made her Broadway theatre debut in New York City in 2006 as a dysfunctional matriarch in the drama Festen (The Celebration). In 2008 GQ magazine listed her in their "Sexiest 25 Women in Film Ever" edition.[11]

Animal welfare[edit]

In July 2006, MacGraw filmed a public service announcement for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), urging residents to take their pets with them in the event of wildfires.[12] In 2008, she wrote the foreword to the book Pawprints of Katrina[13] by author Cathy Scott and photography by Clay Myers about Best Friends Animal Society and the largest pet rescue in U.S. history.[14] An animal rights advocate throughout her life, she received the Humane Education Award by Animal Protection of New Mexico for speaking out about animal issues.[15]

Personal life[edit]

MacGraw has acknowledged having had an abortion in her early twenties when the procedure was illegal.[16] After college, she married Harvard beau Robin Hoen, a banker, but they divorced after a year and a half.[17]

On October 24, 1969, MacGraw married film producer Robert Evans; their son, Josh Evans, is an actor, director, producer and screenwriter. They divorced in 1972 after she became involved with Steve McQueen on the set of The Getaway, whom she then married on August 31, 1973, and divorced in 1978.

MacGraw's autobiography, Moving Pictures (which she describes as "not well written"), revealed her struggles with alcohol and sex addiction. She was treated for the former at the Betty Ford Center.

When former husband Evans received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002, she accompanied him. Their grandson Jackson was born in December 2010 to Josh and his wife, singer Roxy Saint.[18]

Since 1994 she has lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after "fleeing Malibu" when a house she was renting burned down.[19]


1968A Lovely Way to DieMelody
1969Goodbye, ColumbusBrenda PatimkinGolden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer
1970Love StoryJennifer CavalleriDavid di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
1972The GetawayCarol McCoy
1979PlayersNicole Boucher
1980Just Tell Me What You WantBones Burton
1983The Winds of WarNatalie JastrowTV mini-series
1983China RoseRose(TV)
1985DynastyLady Ashley MitchellTV series (14 episodes)
1986Murder EliteDiane Baker
1992Survive the Savage SeaClaire CarpenterTV film
1993Gunsmoke: The Long RideUncle Jane Merkel(TV)
1994Natural CausesFran Jakes
1997GlamLynn Travers
1999Get BruceHerself
2002The Trail of the Painted PoniesNarrator
2005Passion & Poetry: The Ballad of Sam PeckinpahHerself
2007Do You Sleep in the Nude?Herself
2009Split EstateHerself


  1. ^ a b "Ali MacGraw Biography (1939-)". Film Reference. Advameg. Retrieved June 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Weller, Sheila (March 2010). "Once in Love with Ali". Vanity Fair. p. 5. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2011. In the original version of this article, Ali MacGraw's age last April was originally stated as 71. She turned 70 last April. We regret the error. 
  3. ^ Poll Names Charles Bronson, Ali MacGraw, Sean Connery
  4. ^ Kleiner, Dick (1969-04-12). "Ingenue Star Ali Mcgraw Is Selective About Parts". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  5. ^ Bykofsky, Stuart D. (1983-02-04). "ALI MACGRAW: A STAR BY CHANCE". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  6. ^ New York magazine, April 3, 2006, pp. 69–70
  7. ^ "DOMESTIC GROSSES". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  8. ^ Yahoo[dead link]
  9. ^ Ali McGraw Reflects on Her Career in Front of the Camera
  10. ^ People magazine, "Beautiful Through the Years," May 12, 1997
  11. ^ "GQ magazine names the sexiest 25 women in film ever". Boxwish. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  12. ^ "PETA Offers Southern California Residents Urgent Information for Safeguarding Animals During Evacuations". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  13. ^ "PAWPRINTS OF KATRINA tells stories of animal recuse in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina". 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  14. ^ "Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned". Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  15. ^ "Animal Protection of New Mexico, Inc.". Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  16. ^ By Ali MacGraw (1985-08-05). "When Abortion Was Illegal - Personal Tragedy, Coping and Overcoming Illness". People. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  17. ^ Ali MacGraw Hopes War Finally Will Bring Her Peace
  18. ^ Internet Movie Database: Josh Evans - Biography
  19. ^ "Ali MacGraw, Defining Beauty". CBS News. 2007-12-05. 

External links[edit]