Tragic Hollywood Love Stories
8.3 01. Carole Lombard
... and Clark Gable.
Carole Lombard's love with Clark Gable began as an affair, Gable was married to another woman on the night of the Mayfair Ball when their relationship turned romantic. When Gable was cast as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind he was at first reluctant to take the part as a result of the possible publicity it could bring to the affair. MGM head Louis B. Mayer sweetened the deal by giving him money to divorce his wife and marry Carole.
During a break in the production of Gone with the Wind the two drove to Kingman, Arizona along with his press agent Otto Winkler and married. By all accounts the marriage was happy.
In 1942, almost three years later Lombard hosted a war bond rally in Indiana and raised over $2 million over night in war bonds. Initially scheduled to return home to the ranch she shared with Gable in California by train but in her haste to return sooner chose instead to travel on Transcontinental and Western Air DC-3. At around 7:30pm the plane crashed into Double Up Peak on Potosi Mountain. She and everyone else on board; including her mother Bess Peters and Gable's press agent Otto Winkler were killed instantly.
Gable flew to Las Vegas to claim all three bodies and Lombard was interred beside her mother on January 21st 1942 under the name Carole Lombard Gable.
A devastated Gable joined the armed forces after her death because Lombard had asked him to several times after the on-set of WWII. Despite marrying twice more before his death in 1960 Gable asked to be interred next to Lombard.
8.7 02. Humphrey Bogart
... and Lauren Bacall.
Unlike many leading Hollywood actors, Bogart staved off the temptation of his leading ladies that was until he met Lauren Bacall. In 1944 Bacall had her break-out role as Marie "Slim" Browning in 'To Have and Have Not' alongside Bogart's Harry Morgan. He was immediately taken by the 19 year old blond beauty and despite their rather large age gap (him being 44 at the time) love soon blossomed.
Their early romance was very secretive as Humphrey was still unhappily married when they met, Lauren was very inexperienced in acting and Humphrey would often crack jokes and encourage her to steal scenes when they were together. He called her "Baby" and was her mentor and protector something which did not go unnoticed by director Howard Hawks who also had developed feelings for Bacall.
Hawks who was also married tried to destroy the relationship by telling Lauren that Bogie didn't care about her at all and that if the relationship continued he'd destroy her career. This angered Bogie and for not the intervention of film executive Jack Warner the movie may never have been finished.
Their love affair continued after filming and they starred in several more films together, Bogie still torn between his love for Lauren and the duty he felt to his first wife. In February 1945 Bogie finally made a choice and divorced his wife before quickly remarrying Lauren on the 21st of May of that same year.
Their marriage was a happy one though their tastes did not always match up, in 1949 Lauren gave birth to their son Stephen Humphrey Bogart and three years later their daughter Leslie Howard Bogart.
By the mid-50's Bogie's health began to decline, despite forming a new production company and planning a movie to star in with his wife his inability to eat and persistent cough caused him to eventually drop the project. It was later renamed as 'Top Secret Affair' and Kirk Douglas and Susan Hayward were cast instead. In January 1956 after visiting the doctor he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer too advanced to be halted by any treatment that could be offered at the time.
He died on the 14th of January 1957 soon after his 57th birthday. He was buried with a small, gold whistle that was part of a charm bracelet he gifted Lauren on their wedding day. It was inscribed with a quote from the movie that brought them together "If you want anything, just whistle."
8.2 03. Marilyn Monroe
... and Joe DiMaggio.
Marilyn and Joe met in 1952 after the New York Yankee's player saw a picture of Marilyn with two rival players. He requested a date with her but she feared a stereotypical jock so she did not really want to know him.
Eloping in 1954, the Honeymoon was when the relationship began to sour as DiMaggio was not too pleased with Marilyn's continued sexual image. Marilyn filed for divorce 9 months later but their story didn't end there.
In 1961 Marilyn was admitted to a mental ward after her third marriage had broken down. She called DiMaggio and he reportedly arrived and demanding to see his wife, Marilyn was released that night. She later joined him in Florida where he was serving as the batting couch for the New York Yankee's training camp.
In 1962 Joe quit his job in order to ask Marilyn to remarry him after she fell in with some people who he considered detrimental to her well-being. She died 4 days later of a suspected suicide. Dimaggio claimed her body and arranged her funeral.
Every day for 20 years he had a half-dozen red roses delivered to her crypt thrice a week. He never married again despite out-living her by 36 years and when his estate was sold off by his adopted granddaughters in 2006 two letters from Marilyn and a picture with the inscription "I love you, Joe, Marilyn." were found amongst his possessions.
8.1 04. Buddy Holly
... María Elena Holly.
It was June of 1958 and 22 year old María Elena Santiago was working as a receptionist for executive Murray Deutch at Peermusic. To her surprise she was asked to an upscale luncheon, and there she officially met Buddy Holly for the first time. Holly, who had obviously became enamored with Santiago from afar had orchastrated the events in hopes of meeting her that night.
He asked her on a date but María expressed that she'd never been on a date before so he'd have to ask for her Aunt's permission. After getting her aunts blessing Buddy took María on a date that very night and shocked her by handing her a rose and asking her to marry him. Having to think on it they departed from the restaurant that night and when the next day came Buddy arrived at her home only for María to run to him and jump into his arms.
Two months later on the 15th of August 1958 the two were joined in holy matrimony. María traveled with Buddy and his band "The Crickets" though many of his fans were unaware of their marriage, she often did everything from their laundry to equipment set up so that they wouldn't have to pay anyone else.
In 1959, while María was pregnant with their child Buddy departed to go on tour, on what is now known as "The Day the Music Died" the 3rd of February 1959 the small aircraft that he was traveling in crashed killing everyone on board, they had been married for only 6 months. As a result of her grief María miscarriage soon afterwards.
María didn't attend her husbands funeral and she has never visited his grave site, she has stated in interviews that she blames herself as she was ill the days before her husbands death so while she normally traveled with him on his tours she had remained home instead. She believes had she been present that Buddy never would have chartered the aircraft and would have instead continued on in the tour-buses despite the bitter coldness.
María has dedicated her life to preserving her husbands legacy and though she remarried and has three children with her now ex-husband, she has attempted to keep the memory of Buddy alive even now over 50 years later.
7.4 05. Sharon Tate
... and Roman Polanski.
It was 1964 when Tate met Polanski, their first meeting both later admitted left them with a bad impression of the other. At that time Polanski had been working on co-producing "The Fearless Vampire Killers" alongside Martin Ransohoff, Ransohoff convinced Polanski to cast Tate in the lead-role under the stipulation that Tate wear a red wig for the entirety of the movie.
Roman, who was a perfectionist, recalls being very impatient with the inexperienced Tate and as director made her redo the same scene eight times, he also played a character in the movie who struck up a romance with Sharon's character. Their romance translated into reality as filming progressed and Sharon's acting improved, soon they moved in together.
The two married on the 20th of January 1968, Sharon began to concentrate more on the home life of the couple until Roman bluntly told her that he had "married a hippie, not a housewife". They returned to Hollywood soon afterwards and in later 1968 Sharon discovered she was pregnant with their child.
Soon afterwards they moved into a house that they had long admired, 10050 Cielo Drive, though both kept busy filming schedules they were excited for the up-coming birth and though Roman couldn't return to Los Angeles to be with Sharon until August he asked two friends to remain at the house and tend to his wifes needs.
On August 8th 1969 only 4 days before Roman was scheduled to return, two weeks to the date that Sharon was to give birth she and other guests at their home were murdered by the Manson family.
The other victims included Roman's childhood friend Wojciech Frykowski and his girlfriend Abigail Folger who had been asked to keep Sharon company. Jay Sebring, Sharon's former-boyfriend and close friend to the couple was discovered along with Sharon; the killers later stated he had tried to protect her and Sharon herself had begged for her and her babies life, pleading to at least live long enough to bear her child. Another victim 18-year-old Steven Parent was on the property by pure chance.
Roman was informed soon after the discovery of their bodies the next morning and returned home, on the 13th of August he laid his wife and their baby son Paul Richard Polanski to rest. Paul was placed in Sharon's arms. Roman was desperate to find the killers and suspected many of their close friends until the Manson Family were finally brought to justice.
Roman would later state that Sharon's death irreparably changed him; where once he had seen himself as a "boundless, untroubled sea of expectation and optimism" after her murder he came to be the man he is today "an ingrained pessimist with eternal dissatisfaction in his life".
7.5 06. Brandon Lee
... and Dianne Eliza Hutton.
It was by pure chance that Lee met Hutton, uninterested in dating after a string of bad affairs on the day he walked into producer Renny Harlin's office he was far from on the look-out for love. Brandon was immediately struck by cupid, Eliza (Renny's personal assistant) took a little more time seeing her future love as a little cocky and conceited.
Winning her heart on their next meeting they soon entered a relationship, Brandon would write her love letters throughout their life together and she was the support system that helped him finally deal with the death of his father. Always together, it is said that Brandon got Eliza hired on to many of his films as his personal assistant.
In 1992 in Venice, Italy; Brandon got down on one knee and asked Eliza to be his wife. The date was set, the lovebirds would marry on April 17th of the following year.
First Brandon would take on his most iconic film role as "The Crow", Eliza once again became his assistant and the two anxiously awaited the day that they would be joined together only a week after filming was to end.
On the 31st of March 1993, only two weeks before their marriage was scheduled to happen Brandon was mortally wounded when a prop .44 Magnum revolver misfired. Eliza was in Los Angeles at the time and when mutual friend Jeff Imada called her to tell her of the accident she initially believed that Brandon was trying to pull a prank on her.
Being persuaded that it was not, she caught the first flight out to Wilmington and was there by his side when he died only 12 hours later. Eliza called for tighter gun restrictions on movie sets after his death and along with Brandon's sister Lisa fought for 'The Crow' to be released despite the tragedy. The film is dedicated to both Brandon and Eliza. She married several years later.
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