What You Won't Do For Love: The Story Of A Failed Marriage Between Steve McQueen And Ali MacGraw

Date March 16, 2018

Back in the 1970s, Hollywood’s most exciting couple were the #1 bad boy Steve McQueen and America’s sweetheart Ali MacGraw.

At the time of their marriage in 1973, McQueen was at the peak of his career with an Academy Award nomination and impressive filmography to show for it. MacGraw, on the other hand, was just about to become one of Hollywood’s most wanted actresses, but love intervened.


What Ali Macgraw’s marriage to Steve McQueen cost her

Ali MacGraw’s career exploded back in 1970 with the release of Love Story, which brought her the Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Her next feature film, The Getaway (1972), was written in the stars, because that’s when she met McQueen. At that point, in 1972, MacGraw only starred in 4 movies, some of which received high critical acclaim. She, however, didn’t appear in anything else until 1978, so what happened?

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McQueen and MacGraw met during filming of The Getaway (1972) and quickly got involved with each other. The actress even left her husband, the famous producer Robert Evans, with whom she had a son.

© The Getaway (1972) / First Artists

I was obsessed with Steve from the moment he stepped into my world.

The whirlwind romance overcame Ali, and she became entirely focused on her marriage with McQueen. They lived with her son and Steve’s kids in Malibu, spending their days on the beach and enjoying the ultimate dream. But it didn’t last long.

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Right from the beginning of their relationship, MacGraw gave up her career for McQueen. After a while, multiple affairs began, and Steve started being verbally abusive to Ali. She knew what she had to do, but prenaptual agreement stated that MacGraw had no rights to McQueen’s money or assets, so Ali stayed with him.

He was madly in love with her until the day he died.

Despite, McQueen’s cheating and mood swings, their friends recall that Steve considered Ali the love of his life. He was even bringing her along to his movie sets to spend more time together.

© The Getaway (1972) / First Artists

Their marriage ended in 1978, after extreme highs and lows. Ali continued her acting career but never remarried, and Steve passed away in 1980 at the age of 50.

How does Ali feel now?

Today, MacGraw’s only regret is that her and McQueen never got to resolve their issues. Ali says she’s friends with two of her other ex-husbands, and wishes she could’ve been close to Steve as well.

MacGraw currently resides alone in a big house in Santa Fe, where she is often visited by friends and family.

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