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Ali MacGraw
Ali MacGraw - 1972.jpg
MacGraw in The Getaway, 1972
Elizabeth Alice MacGraw

(1939-04-01) April 1, 1939 (age 85)
  • Actress
  • model
  • author
  • animal rights activist
Years active 1960–present
Robin Hoen
(m. 1961; div. 1962)

(m. 1969; div. 1972)

(m. 1973; div. 1978)
Children Josh Evans

Elizabeth Alice MacGraw (born April 1, 1939) is an American actress and activist. She gained attention with her role in the film Goodbye, Columbus (1969), for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

Early life

MacGraw was born in Pound Ridge, New York, the daughter of commercial artists Frances (née Klein; 1901–1980) and Richard MacGraw. She has one brother, Dick, an artist. Her mother was Jewish, the daughter of emigrants from Budapest, Hungary. MacGraw's mother chose not to disclose her ancestry to her father, instead professing ignorance about it. "I think Daddy was bigoted," MacGraw has said.

Her mother was considered a "pioneer" as an artist, who had taught in Paris before settling in Greenwich Village. Her parents married when her mother was nearing 40: "My gorgeous father: a combination of Tyrone Power and a mystery, a brilliant artist and a brain beyond brains." He was born in New Jersey with his childhood spent in an orphanage. He ran away to sea when he was 16 and studied art in Munich. MacGraw adds, "Daddy was frightened and really, really angry. He never forgave his real parents for giving him up." As an adult, he constantly suppressed the rage he built up against his parents. She described her father as "violent".

MacGraw attended Rosemary Hall in Greenwich, Connecticut and Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.


Early career

Beginning in 1960, MacGraw spent six years working at Harper's Bazaar magazine as a photographic assistant to fashion maven Diana Vreeland. 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

MacGraw in The Getaway, 1972

MacGraw gained attention in the film Goodbye, Columbus (1969), but real stardom came when she starred opposite Ryan O'Neal in Love Story (1970), one of the highest-grossing films in U.S. history. 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 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 1985, 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. She appeared in 14 episodes of the show before her character was killed off in the "Moldavian Massacre" cliffhanger episode in 1985.

She also hosted segments for the Encore Love Stories premium cable network in the late 1990s and 2000s.

In February 2021, MacGraw and O'Neal were honored with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, nearly 50 years after the release of Love Story.


MacGraw made her Broadway theatre debut in New York City in 2006 as a dysfunctional matriarch in the drama Festen (The Celebration).

In 2016, MacGraw reunited with Ryan O'Neal in a staging of A.R. Gurney's play Love Letters, which toured the US and UK through 2017.

Magazine recognition

In 1991, People magazine selected MacGraw as one of its "50 Most Beautiful People" in the World.


Having become a Hatha Yoga devotee in her early 50s, MacGraw produced a yoga video with the American Yoga Master Erich Schiffmann, Ali MacGraw Yoga Mind and Body. The impact of this bestselling video 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.

Animal welfare

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. In 2008, she wrote the foreword to the book Pawprints of Katrina by author Cathy Scott and photography by Clay Myers about Best Friends Animal Society and the largest pet rescue in U.S. history. MacGraw is also a U.S. Ambassador for animal welfare charity Animals Asia. 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.

Personal life

While in college, MacGraw met Robin Hoen, a Harvard-educated banker, and the couple married on October 24, 1960. They divorced a year and a half later. Hoen died on September 13, 2016.

On October 24, 1969, MacGraw married film producer Robert Evans. Their son, Josh Evans, is an actor, director, producer and screenwriter. Their grandson Jackson was born in December 2010 to Josh and his wife, singer Roxy Saint. They separated in 1972 after she became involved in a public affair with Steve McQueen on the set of The Getaway. She married McQueen on July 12, 1973, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and divorced him in August 1978.

MacGraw has lived in Tesuque, New Mexico, since 1994, after the house she rented in Malibu was destroyed by a fire.

Interesting Facts about Ali MacGraw

  • She gained an international profile for her role in the film Love Story (1970), 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.
  • In 1972, she was honored with a hands and footprints ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre after having been in just three films.
  • In 1991, she published an autobiography, Moving Pictures.
  • MacGraw was originally intended to make a cameo as herself in the Breaking Bad episode "Grey Matter" as a guest at the birthday party of character Elliott Schwartz, set in Santa Fe, but her appearance did not make the final cut of the episode.
  • She remained good friends with her fromer husband Robert Evans until his death. When he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002, she accompanied him.
  • MacGraw she has dated Warren Beatty, Rick Danko, Bill Hudson, Ronald Meyer, Rod Stryker, Fran Tarkenton, Peter Weller, Henry Wolf and Mickey Raphael.

Ali MacGraw quotes

  • "I want to be a person who makes a quiet difference."
  • "Looking at beautiful things is what makes me the happiest."
  • "I think we live in a time where people are just insane on the subject of how they look."



Year Title Role Notes
1968 A Lovely Way to Die Melody
1969 Goodbye, Columbus Brenda Patimkin Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer
1970 Love Story Jennifer Cavalleri David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
1972 The Getaway Carol McCoy
1978 Convoy Melissa
1979 Players Nicole Boucher
1980 Just Tell Me What You Want Bones Burton
1985 Murder Elite Diane Baker
1994 Natural Causes Fran Jakes
1997 Glam Lynn Travers
1999 Get Bruce Herself


Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Winds of War Natalie Jastrow TV miniseries
1983 China Rose Rose
1985 Dynasty Lady Ashley Mitchell 14 episodes
1988 Joan Rivers and Friends Salute Heidi Abromowitz Herself TV special
1992 Survive the Savage Sea Claire Carpenter TV film
1993 Gunsmoke: The Long Ride Uncle Jane Merkel
2002 The Trail of the Painted Ponies Narrator
2005 Passion & Poetry: The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah Herself
2007 Do You Sleep in the ...? Herself
2009 Split Estate Narrator
2010 Landscapes of Enchantment Narrator
2012 Valles Caldera: The Science Narrator

See also

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