Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
The couple had a fiery relationship, with Ava once commenting: ‘We were always great in bed. The trouble usually started on the way to the bidet.’ Even though they divorced in 1957, Ava never re-married, and friends of hers said that she never loved another man as much as she loved Frank.
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
Actress Joanne Woodward said of her fifty year marriage to Paul Newman: ‘Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.’
Sonny and Cher
Sonny and Cher’s marriage may have been a tumultuous one, with Cher herself looking back at their relationship, saying: ‘Of all the people who have known me well, Sonny knew me the least.’ But they sure looked the glamorous sixties part.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan
Ronald’s proposal to Nancy was a simple one. Over dinner at their favourite restaurant one day, he said: ‘Let’s get married.’ To which she replid: ‘Let’s.’ It’s reported that the pair always held hands when they walked and often left love letters for each other around the house. Cute.
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco
What started out as a scheduled meeting between a silver screen icon and royalty ended in a fairytale wedding. Looking back on her marriage to Prince Rainier, Grace Kelly said: ‘When I married Prince Rainier, I married the man and not what he represented or what he was. I fell in love with him without giving a thought to anything else.’
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
Bogie and Betty, as they were known, met on the set of To Have and Have Not in 1944. Bogart was married at the time and as soon as his divorce came through the couple married on a friend’s farm in Ohio. The couple went on to star in many more films together and live an idyllic family life in LA for 12 blissful years, before Bogart was killed by cancer of the esophagus in 1957, leaving a 33-year-old Bacall devastated.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Theirs is one of the most famous love affairs of all time. After meeting on the set of Cleopatra in 1962, and divorcing their current spouses, the pair went on to marry and divorce twice. While Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times, her relationship with Richard Burton was the one that really shook her to her core, and she was devastated when he died in 1984. When asked why she thought the couple couldn’t make it work together, she famously said: ‘Maybe we loved each other too much.’
Marlon Brando and Martin Luther King
Bill Clinton meets John F Kennedy, 1963
Lucille Ball and Eleanor Roosevelt.
From the Book “Marilyn: The Ultimate Look at the Legend” by James Haspiel in which he describes Marilyn’s walk to Elizabeth Arden in New York City.
“On a mild mid-morning…I was walking towards the Gladstone and as I arrived at the entrance I came upon a teenager standing outside with an 8-mm camera aimed directly at the hotel’s revolving door, which was already in motion. Marilyn came awhirl through the door and literally performed a 360-degree turn for his home-movie camera. She was dressed in an elegant black suit with a fur collar, her lustrous hair shoulder length, and was fully made up. Dazzling! (see photos above) She was about to walk from 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue over to the fifth Avenue beauty salon of Elizabeth Arden. So I walked side by side with her; naturally, to the utter frustration of this kid who was walking backwards with his movie camera pointed at us, because I was now unavoidably in all of his wonderful footage of Marilyn. In fact, although I sought him out over the following years, he never allowed me to see the candid film he took of Marilyn and me walking across town that day.
As she walked her famous walk in her very high black stiletto heels, cars and trucks just pulled over to the curb and drivers emerged from them shouting “Marilyn! Marilyn!” When we finally got the three blocks over to Fifth Avenue, we then had to walk uptown to 54th-55th Streets. As we arrived at the doorway to Elizabeth Arden’s salon, I heard the nearby sounds of an automobile crashing, and looked over to see a taxicab driver whose head was bobbing out of the passenger-side front window of his cab, the vehicle itself now embedded in the back end of a delivery truck! He had a gleeful smile on his face and was hollering, “Marilyn!” I tapped her on the shoulder and exclaimed “See what you did!” She gave me a very “Marilynesque” laugh and swept rather grandly into the salon.”
Ralph Roberts: Marilyn’s personal masseur, Ralph Roberts, has been described as a gentle giant and a Southern gentleman. They first met in 1955 at Lee Strasberg’s home. Like Marilyn, Roberts was a student of The Method who had become a friend of the family, and masseur to Susan Strasberg. He took up massage to make ends meet between acting jobs, and quickly built up an appreciative clientele including Milton Berle, Ellen Burstyn, Judy Holliday, and Walter Matthau. Roberts also provided the inspiration (and behind the scenes training) for the masseur character in the Broadway hit Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
Biographer Donald Spoto says that after Marilyn hired him to help her through filming of Let’s Make Love (1960), “he quickly became her closest friend and most intimate confidant for the rest of her life.”
Roberts played a minor part as an ambulance driver in The Misfits (1961), as well as massaging the tired and aching limbs of actors in the production. He was in the thick of the battles between Marilyn and Arthur Miller in the final months of their married life and he helped Marilyn through the loneliness she felt after the split. Roberts drove her home after her horrific experience in the psychiatric ward of the Payne Whitney Hospital; later in 1961 he took Marilyn and her half sister Berniece Miracle to what had been Miller’s and Marilyn’s country home in Roxbury to pick up some of Marilyn’s things.
When Marilyn moved back to Los Angeles in August 1961, Roberts flew West with her. Marilyn rented a room for him at the Chateau Marmont hotel, ten minutes from her Doheny Drive apartment. Marilyn felt so close to him she nicknamed him “the Brother.” However, some time in late November, Marilyn told Roberts that her psychoanalyst Dr. Ralph Greenson thought it would be better if Ralph went back to New York. He obeyed her wishes, but they stayed in touch, and Ralph was back in Los Angeles in March 1962 to help Marilyn with the many errands she had after moving into her new home in Brentwood. He stayed on, continuing to spend time with her and relieve her tensions with his massage skills.
On the day Marilyn died, Roberts called her home before 6 P.M. to double check what food to buy for the barbecue they had planned for the following evening. Dr. Greenson picked up the phone and told Roberts that Marilyn was not home. It has been said that later that evening a very groggy Marilyn left an incomprehensible message on Roberts’ answering machine.
Three kids in Berlin, 1910. Photographer Philipp Kester.
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