When we hear "love affair" we still think of Elizabeth Taylor, but most of us have either been, or witnessed someone being the victim of a love affair, and suffered being dumped by someone who they are crazy in love with. It is probably the worst thing that all people go through in life.
In Hollywood these experiences are every bit as painful, and probably even more so, with the press constantly throwing photos and headlines around daily. The great stars in the golden age of Hollywood were not immune to the pain, and rejection that mere mortals experience in life. Natalie Wood, Eva Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, and Robert Taylor were all stepping out on Robert Wagner, Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher, and Barbara Stanwyck. Causing tremendous yet delicate egos to explode, and in some cases, crazy and desperate measures to bring their lover back.
Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett
Farrah & Ryan O'Neal
Farrah Fawcett, Lee Majors, Ryan O'Neal, and Greg Lott
In her high school years, Farrah Fawcett dated Greg Lott in her hometown of Texas. He was a football player and she was an aspiring model and actress. Farrah moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career and was quickly swept off her feet by Lee Majors, an actor with a bright future. In 1973 the couple married with Lee landing numerous bit parts until he got the lead in The Six Million Dollar Man, a hit TV show that half of the country was tuning into. Lee did not ignore his wife's ambitions and was regularly putting a word in for her, and it was not long before Farrah Fawcett Majors was a familiar face in commercials and walk on roles during prime time television.
Farrah was soon cast in Charlies Angels and became the number one pin up model of the mid 1970s, with just about every female in America copying her hairstyle. At this point Farrah began to lose interest in the quite, and traditional marriage that she and Lee had envisioned and when Lee began inviting his friend, Ryan O'Neal, into their lives the marriage was instantly over. O'Neal was a man of charisma and charm, and he easily swept Farrah off her feet. She left Lee Majors and moved into Ryan's crazy world with his wild children, physical roughhousing, and substance abuse.
The union was topsy turvy, but lasted seventeen years, ending with O'Neal falling into bed with another woman while Fawcett walked in on them. When Fawcett was diagnosed with terminal cancer, O'Neal returned to her life, only to discover after her death that she had reunited with Greg Lott, her lover from high school more than ten years before her death.
Robert Taylor & Barbara Stanwyck
Robert Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck & Lana Turner
Barbara Stanwyck was married in 1928 to Frank Fay an divorced in 1935, and in 1936 while making His Brother's Wife, Stanwyck met and fell in love with Robert Taylor, her co-star. Stanwyck was very much in love with Taylor, and enjoyed many romantic vacations with Robert while planning their life together. They were soon married and purchased a large ranch style property that they called the Taylor-Stanwyck Ranch.
Stanwyck was at an all time high point in her life and career when Hollywood playgirl Lana Turner made no effort to conceal her love affair with Robert Taylor. Stanwyck was so humiliated, and upset that she filed for divorce immediately. Once the ball was rolling there was no stopping it. Barbara did not really want the divorce, she was just hurt, and was actually hoping for Robert to comfort her, and arrange a make up in a grand way, but Taylor had other ideas. Stanwyck had always been more in love with him than he was with her, and besides, his career was taking off, and he no longer "needed" the publicity benefits of being married to a major celebrity.
After the divorce was final Stanwyck was forever trying to win Taylor back, and her close friends were often uncomfortable with her oozing, sweet talking attempts to get Robert Taylor to soften up to her again. As Ann Miller once recalled, "she was shameless in her obvious hinting, and enticing.
Cappucine & William Holden
Cappucine & Holden & Younger Men
William Holden was a "man's man" who had handsome, rugged good looks. He had been married since 1941 to Brenda Marshall when in 1952 he became Ronald Reagan's best man when he married Nancy. Holden was big stuff in the glory days of Hollywood!
Model / actress Cappucine had a two year affair with William Holden in the early 60's, Holden was still married and much older than Cappucine. After having her fling she decided that it was time to move on to a man more her own age. Holden went berserk. The camera men who worked with Holden recalled years later that they could still see William Holden crying like a baby, and pleading on the phone to Cappucine, "Please come back to me. I'll die without you."
Bill Holden was a broken man. It took him years for him to get over the agony of being left for a younger man, and he finally divorced his wife in 1971.
Elizabeth Taylor & Eddie Fisher
Elizabeth Taylor , Eddie Fisher & Richard Burton
One of many love affairs for Elizabeth Taylor. Perhaps the most famous triangle in Hollywood history is the Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor, and Debbie Reynolds trio. Which soon morphed into the Elizabeth Taylor, Eddie Fisher and Richard Burton scandal. After Eddie dumped his wife, Debbie Reynolds, for Elizabeth, he believed that he had made a mammoth sacrifice for Liz. He had left his children, his wife, and his career with its spotless reputation. For in the early 1960s Hollywood still had moral standards. America was still a conservative place that did not readily accept lying, cheating and mistreatment of women. So, when Eddie Fisher acted like a cad, and dumped his family for a notorious playgirl like Liz Taylor, the public showed its feeling about Eddie's slimy ways by boycotting his shows, records and public appearances. The gossip columns were dragging his name through the mud, calling him a cold and irresponsible opportunist. The love struck Eddie was rationalizing that it was all worth it because he had Liz all to himself. Outwardly, Eddie was happy because he won Liz, the striking starlet who has recently lost her husband, Mike Todd, in a plane crash. Eddie had been good friends with Mike and always admired him for winning the beautiful and unpredictable star, and after Todd had suddenly died, that made it easy enough for Eddie to approach Liz as in a gesture of comfort; to his surprise, Liz was falling for his smooth talk. When Fisher made such a bold move to spend his life with Liz, his heart led the way but his head sensed the impending doom.
It was not long before Elizabeth Taylor spotted Richard Burton and began having an affair with him while Eddie Fisher fell apart. He felt betrayed and frightened with the added devastation of having wrecked his career and credibility with the Hollywood community and the entire public for her, and she tossed him out like an old shoe.
The public forgave Liz and Eddie's life was turned upside down indefinitely.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Frank Sinatra & Eva Gardner
Eva Gardner, Frank Sinatra & Other Men
Eddie Fisher recalled after his painful experience of being dumped by Elizabeth Taylor, the time he was standing in the wings and saw Frank Sinatra putting his arm around his shoulders and revealing thin cuts on his wrists that he had made while attempting suicide after his wife, Eva Gardner announced she was leaving him. She was the only woman he had ever been involved with who he could not control. After slitting his wrists and lying in the hospital, it was obvious that Eva was not going to show up, so Sinatra discharged himself and flew to see her, only to be rejected again.
Eva was a creature of whims, and she could easily become board. Not long after her marriage to Frank she was pursuing Luis Miguel Dominguin, a famous Matador who was four years younger than she. Sometime after that she was seen having a drink in public with Peter Lawford, who was Sinatra's friend. This episode led to Frank threatening Lawford with his mafia connections.
To his dying day Frank was lonely for Eva. She was his one true love, and while other women clung to him while he abused them, Eva gave Sinatra the same treatment, and his ego could not take it. Oh Karma!
Robert Wanger & Natalie Wood
Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood, and Warren Beatty
While Natalie Wood married to Robert Wagner and was filming Splendor In The Grass, she began a love affair with her co-star Warren Beatty. Robert Wagner, handsome, charming, with a successful career, was so devastated and confused on making the discovery. He was recalled to be inconsolable, bursting into Eddie Fisher's bungalow in hysterics. He was so in love with Natalie in such a desperate way that his heart was broken. The affair ended their marriage, and the couple eventually remarried.
But when Natalie Wood drowned in 1982 after "slipping" on the algae covered rocks, and falling into the water at night, the whole incident with Warren Beatty from their earlier marriage, and rumors of another affair with Christopher Walken have stirred the pot to a point of numerous people, including Natalie Wood's sister believe that Wagner is hiding something about what happened on board their yacht "Splendor." The most widely believed theory is that Wagner was in a jealous rage, just as he had been over the Warren Beatty affair decades earlier, and began a physical altercation with Natalie that resulted in her falling overboard.
John Derek Two Times Linda Evans with a Younger Version of Herself
John Derek was the ultimate good looking, irresponsible Hollywood stud. He had married Pati Behrs in 1951 and had two children, but the couple divorced in 1957 when John's career was skyrocketing and his ego began taking over. John knew that he could lead a more glamorous life with the prettiest women in the world, he was done with his wife Pati and his two children and headed to the alter the same year as his divorce with Ursula Andress, one of Hollywoods top beauties of the 1950s and 60s. She was the ultimate trophy with no children and a booming career in her future. Andress was a woman whos picture was plastered in men's magazines and whos image was seen in James Bond movies. Apparently John Derek enjoyed the publicity and envy bestowed upon him from men all over the world because when their relationship went sour, John wasted no time finding a woman who very closely resembled Ursula.
Just two years after his divorce from Ursula, John Derek had found himself Linda Evans, a blond beauty who shared many of Ursula's physical attributes.
For Linda John Derek was her first love. He was fourteen years her senior and she looked up to him. Linda was involved him movies due to her beauty but she was by no means the big star and sex symbol that Ursula Andress was. She wanted a simpler life, one with children and genuine stability. She encouraged John to introduce himself to his two children who he had left in 1957 and never seen since. John's two children would be forever grateful to Linda for bringing them back to their father.
Unfortunately for Linda, who was longing for motherhood, John began seeing a girl who was thirty years his junior in 1971. He met Mary Cathleen Collins (Bo Derek) when she was only 15 years old. John and Mary Cathleen moved to Germany in order to avoid statutory rape charges and did not return to the United States until Mary Cathleen was eighteen years old. While still a teenager, John cast his young wife in cheesy low budget movies, and exploited her in every way that he could, paying for her breast implants and extensive dental work to make his new bride as fit for Hollywood as possible.
Linda was as humiliated and devastated as can be, she was only 28 and seeing her husband leave her for a girl who looked like a carbon copy of herself at sixteen. Linda's career was dead in the mid 70s and she had only had a few parts in Frankie and Annette movies during the late 60s. She felt like a has been, but publicly went out looking and dressing much in the same clothes that John's new flame was seen wearing. Linda plucked her eyebrows like Bo and wore her hair in the same layered and choppy style. Its as though she were calling out to John, "look! Its the same thing."
Carole Landis Suicide
Rex and then Wife, Lilli Palmer
Carole Landis Commits Suicide Over Rex Harrison
Carole Landis was a go getter. She had an unhappy childhood and dropped out of high school to have a nose job and break into movies. She had a brief marriage while only 15 years old. This would prove to be the first of five marriages in her short life. She had her first divorce less than one year into her marriage due to an affair with Busby Berkeley. Carole was quickly getting bit parts in movies and posing for a series of cheesecake photos. It was not long before Carole Landis was engaged to her paramour, Busby Berkeley, but Berkeley called off the wedding due to rumors of Landis being too available to other men.
This was the first major setback that Landis faced in what seemed like a fairy tale career skyrocketing to the top of stardom. She was prone to depression, but since her plastic surgery and rise from bit part actress, to receiving bigger and better roles, she had lost the time to mope and wallow in sad thoughts. She would cast off one man and move onto the next.
She married Willis Hunt Jr, less than one year after breaking up with Berkeley, and was soon playing against major pin up girls such as Betty Grable in, I Wake Up Screaming. Carole was a full fledged Hollywood star. The marriage lasted a few years but ended due to Landis desperately wanting children and being unable to give birth due to endometriosis.
In 1945 she married a Broadway producer and entered an affair with Rex Harrison four years into her marriage. The affair with Rex was so intense, and Landis was so in love with him, that her marriage was falling apart. Rex was married to his first wife at the time and was content with the affair as it was, but when Carole pressured him to divorce his wife for her, he ened his relationship with Landis. Carole was so distraught that she gathered all of her memorabilia from her affair with Harrison, put it in a suitcase and left in in Harrison's driveway. Harrison quickly burned the evidence, and Landis was discovered dead the next day from an overdose of pills.
Harrison hid a mountain of facts from the police and even destroyed a suicide note that Carole sent him. We will never now exactly what Carole wrote to the last man to see her alive. She was 29 years old.
Classic Hollywood Articles
- The Affair of Joe Kennedy and Gloria Swanson
Joe Kennedy and Gloria Swanson and their glorious Hollywood affair.. Joe Kennedy had been a bootlegger and bought movie palaces across the country, and was ready to produce movies. He and Gloria Swanson began to embark in a partnership in many ways.
- Jean Harlow, Hollywood Goddess
harlow jean were adopted from Jean Harlow's mother. Before that she was Harlean Carpentier. She became the blond bombshell, the platinum blond, and skyrocketed to fame. Her marriage to Paul Bern ended in scandal. Her early death at 26 from kidney inf
- Greta Garbo Style
Greta Garbo was one of the most stunning, photogenic women the movies has ever seen. She was mysterious and intriguing. Even the great actor, John Gilbert could not get Garbo to marry him. She became a recluse in later years, and Garbo sightings were
Movie Fan on January 07, 2018:
Hollywood history is fascinating, you just need to hone up on your spelling and grammar!!
marlene mannon on May 29, 2017:
I can't believe you called Ava Gardner (Eva) Gardner.
Putrie on February 17, 2015:
Hey there, I just hopped over to your wesitbe thru StumbleUpon. Not something I might usually browse, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thank you for creating something worthy of reading through.
Skarlet (author) from California on June 25, 2012:
@ WillStarr. Haha- well you ought to be ashamed! :)
@MizBejabbers- Yes, Debbie had her troubles with Edddie, but I did not know that Carrie did not like him.
Well, I guess Liz did them a big favor.
Richard Burton did cause trouble for Liz too. It always comes full circle.
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 25, 2012:
It is kind of funny how some of these turned out, though. You said it "instant Karma." A couple of years ago I saw one of Eddie and Debbie's kids on a TV talk show discussing her parent's divorce. I think it was Carrie. She said that later on, Debbie and Liz became good friends. She also made the statement that they had Liz to thank because she "got that man out of our house". So apparently there wasn't much marriage to break up, and his kids didn't even like him. I think Liz got her comuppance through Richard Burton, though. She couldn't control him.
WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on June 24, 2012:
I confess to having affairs with all those Hollywood women, and then dumping them.
I'm so ashamed.
Skarlet (author) from California on June 24, 2012:
@ Angela- Thank you so much for your very kind comment Sis. I appreciate if very much.
@fpherj48- Haha. I see what you mean. The pain of being scrutinized in public would be terrible, but it is their choice.
Having plastic surgery and taking a trip around the world to visit the spas could easily help mend a broken heart.
Suzie from Carson City on June 24, 2012:
For the regular everyday people, Hollywood seems a fantasy and a mystery. While I'm not a "celebrity news "fan......their lives and everything about them is pretty hard to ignore. It's everywhere we turn.
How much of it is publicity? lies? gossip? real? Who knows?
Being a person who dearly treasures her privacy and peace.....I often wonder how celebs deal with their every move being watched, discussed and scrutinized. Can it be worth the fame and fortune?
Obviously, for them, it is. At least, shall we admit, it would see a certain luxury to nurse a broken heart in Hawaii, being pampered at a spa, spending millions and having fun?............your everyday chic who has just had her heart ripped out, doesn't have this option.
Hard to feel sorry for Hollywood......and quite honestly, I don't.
Great hub....hope you are nearing # 200!.......Brave girl!
Angela Blair from Central Texas on June 24, 2012:
Ah, the golden years of Hollywood! Of course, as we know, back then the big studios tried to keep the indescretions of their big stars a secret -- which rarely worked. The general public, believing themselves to have a "less liberal" moral code than movie stars -- ate the gossip up and lived vicariously through their favorites. Excellent and interesting Hub -- tremendously enjoyable read. Best/Sis