Ali MacGraw, born Elizabeth Alice MacGraw in Pound Ridge, New York, USA on April 1, 1939, became a Hollywood superstar overnight after her breakout role in the film “Love Story” in 1970. However, just as quickly as she rose to fame, she disappeared from show business altogether.
Today, at 83 years old, the former actress has settled down in a remote and tiny town and is aging gracefully with her grey hair. But her life wasn’t always so glamorous. Money was tight for Ali’s family, which included her mother, Frances, and father, Richard, who were both artists.
They had to move into a house on a Pound Ridge wilderness preserve, which they shared with an elderly couple. There were no doors, and they shared the kitchen and bathroom with the couple, which Ali described as “utter lack of privacy” and “horrible.”
Richard supposedly had issues from his own childhood, having survived a terrible childhood in an orphanage, running away at the age of 16 to go to sea. He would later study at an art school in Munich, Germany. Ali explained that her father’s adult life was spent “suppressing the rage that covered all his hurt.”
Ali’s parents struggled to make ends meet. Frances worked with several commercial-art assignments and supported the family, while Richard had a hard time selling his paintings and became very frustrated. Ali’s brother, Richard Jr, became a victim of his anger at home.
“On good days, he was great, but on bad days, he was horrendous,” Ali recalled. “Daddy would beat my brother up, badly. I was a witness to it, and it was terrible.”
Ali knew that she, too, wanted to go into a creative line of work as she got older. She earned a scholarship at the prep school Rosemary Hall, and in 1956, she moved to study at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. By the age of 22, Ali MacGraw moved to New York and got her first job as an assistant editor at Harper’s Bazaar, working with photographers as an assistant.
Fashion editor Diana Vreeland hired Ali as a “flunkie,” and she worked her job as an assistant for several months. Then, fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky noticed her beautiful looks, and Ali MacGraw was hired as a stylist, given a better salary. She ended up staying in that position for six years.
Ali was great as a stylist, but soon, she was asked to work in front of the cameras as a model. It didn’t take long before she was on magazine covers all over the world, even appearing in television commercials. One thing led to another, and Ali tumbled headfirst into the profession of acting.
MacGraw went straight from an unknown stylist and into the world of cinema, and boy, did she do it with a bang. Following a small role in “A Lovely Way to Die” (1968), she was asked to star in the 1969 film “Goodbye, Columbus.”
It turned out to be a great call, with MacGraw receiving a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female. The following year, she got her big international breakthrough with a role that would pretty much sum up her career.
Ali MacGraw had received a script from her agent. She’d read it and wept twice because of how much she loved it. She decided she really wanted a part in it and got herself a meeting with the film’s producer Robert Evans, who at the time was Paramount Picture’s head of production, at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge. Not only did Evans think she was perfect for the part in the movie “Love Story,” he absolutely