Ali MacGraw Retired in a Town Where People Respect Her Privacy while She Does Community Work

Award-winning actress Ali McGraw won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer for her performance in “Goodbye, Columbus.”


Ali McGraw pursued her studies in art history at Wellesley College. She worked on fashion magazines after graduating, and her passion for fashion photography led her to the modeling business.

She continued in this line of work until 1968, when she began her sporadic acting career late. McGraw is renowned for his box office hits, including “Love Story” and “Convoy and Players.”


Ali MacGraw pictured wearing a knitted jumper while out at a restaurant February 6, 1985. | Source: Getty Images

Elizabeth Alice McGraw, the activist, was born in Pound Ridge, New York, in April 1939. Dick McGraw is her younger brother. McGraw was raised in a modest apartment by a low-income family. She once gave an explanation:

“No doors were present. They had use of the bathroom and kitchen as well. There was a complete absence of privacy. It was awful.


Following her graduation in 1960, the 83-year-old relocated to New York, where she secured a position as an assistant at Harper’s Bazaar, earning $54 per week. The star of “The Getaway” intended to become a stylist.


Melvin Sokolsky, a fashion designer, saw McGraw at Harper’s Bazaar six months into her work. He made her an immediate offer of employment with a higher wage.

Ali MacGraw attending Hollywood Foreign Press Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 6, 1970 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

“I was thrilled to be a stylist,” the ecstatic McGraw told Vanity Fair, mostly because it gave her the opportunity to begin her modeling career.

Additionally, despite never having received the training necessary to pursue an acting career, McGraw took acting classes from a fellow model, which led to her casting in “Goodbye, Columbus.”

Her acting career had taken off, and as she enjoyed the success of her most well-known film, “Love Story,” in 1970, she rose to fame as the “it” girl.

McGraw has been married three times in her real-life romantic history, and each marriage has ended in divorce. The “Glam” actress married her college sweetheart, Robin Hoen, in 1961, but the two got divorced a year and a half later because McGraw claimed she was at “the age where it’s too exciting for marriages.”

In 1971, the Hollywood star married renowned producer Robert Evans for the second time, and the couple welcomed their sole child, 52-year-old Josh Evans, into the world.

Two years after she started a public relationship with movie great Steve McQueen, she and Evans split. He was a ladies’ man when they went on their blind date, though.

The pair decided to call it quits after five years of marriage, and they divorced formally in 1978. Despite their distance, McGraw claimed that she felt comfortable and that being with McQueen made it simple to be a family because they had a similar appearance.

Television icon actor Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw pictured during a scene from the 1972 movie "The Getaway." | Source: Getty Images

She had moved on from Evans to begin her turbulent romance with McQueen. McGraw acknowledged that their marriage had its share of highs and lows.

“There were a lot of really amazing moments as well as a lot of really horrifying moments.”

McQueen had verbally abused the style icon, cheated on her several times, and never trusted her. The Times said that he had violent and erratic mood swings. When they got married, McGraw even gave up her successful profession for him.

“It was pretty obvious, but he didn’t say I couldn’t work,” she told The Times in September 2017. McQueen passed away from cancer three years following their divorce.

In an open discussion about her three unsuccessful marriages with Oprah Winfrey for “Super Soul Sunday,” McGraw said that they all ended for the same reason—she never truly revealed who she was.

“I assumed he would leave me if I said that.”

She did this because she thought her ex-husbands could read her thoughts and understand her needs and wants without her having to say them.

McGraw claimed that her repeated marriages were due to her conceit since she was unable to express or let her actual self to appear, which is why her relationships ended abruptly.

Ali MacGraw with her hair tied in a bun during the 28th Annual Golden Globe Awards. | Source: Getty Images

The single mother chose to focus on being the best parent she could be for her only child, Josh, and never got married again after saying “I do” three times.

After a fire in California destroyed her home, McGraw lived with her ex-husband Evans for a year until he persuaded her to buy a property in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1994. This is why McGraw and Evans stayed close.

Since then, the “Dynasty” star has become a regular resident in the neighborhood. McGraw expressed her feelings on residing there, saying that locals do not think of her as a former movie star.

They don’t ask about her next projects or make remarks about how she looks. Rather, they are only concerned with the several artistic and social justice initiatives she volunteers for. McGraw observed that everyone in the town actually knew her.

One day, a customer approached her and confessed that they had been crushing on the celebrity for almost forty years. Speaking about “Love Story,” she added that people were still aware of it.

McGraw has also been an activist for a plethora of local and international causes, such as the economic independence of women globally and the well-being of Alamogordo’s caged chimpanzees.

She was honored as one of the four new Santa Fe Living Treasures in October 2016 during a public ceremony in recognition of her years serving as a community ambassador.

McGraw maintains a regimen for her appearance and leads a healthy lifestyle, which she claims would bore most people. In June 2018, she told the Chicago Tribune that she practiced Pilates and yoga, and thought the healthier a person lived, the more attractive they seemed.

McGraw said that she didn’t color her gray hair and that she accepted her aging process. She acknowledged that she had colored her roots for years to match her natural dark brown color.

The seasoned actress claimed it was difficult to keep the color in the sun and that she would never be able to live out her days carrying a mascara wand in her purse. McGraw suggested getting a haircut that flatters one’s face instead.

Ali MacGraw attending the Chanel Cruise 2020 Collection Photocall In Le Grand Palais on May 3, 2019 in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images

Remarkably, despite touring the nation with her former co-star Ryan O’Neal in A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” last year, she has no desire to resume acting.

In August 2017, McGraw told AARP that while being reunited with the actor was a dream come true, she had no plans to return to acting.

McGraw has also put a lot of effort into maintaining her sobriety; in July 2018, she revealed to People that, despite her struggles with drinking, she had been sober for 31 years.

She has so far worked with the fashion collective Ibu, which employs female craftspeople, on a clothing line. McGraw once claimed to have fantasized about the future and to have rewritten the past.

Things have changed since then, though, and she now feels fortunate and believes in living her life to the fullest.

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