Tragic Hollywood Love Stories
8.3 01. Carole Lombard
... and Clark Gable.
Carole Lombard's relationship with Clark Gable began as an affair, Gable was married to another woman on the night of the Mayfair Ball when their relationship first turned romantic. When Gable was cast as the memorable Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind he was at first reluctant to take the role as a result of the possible publicity it could bring to his affair and the negative impact it might have on both their careers. MGM head Louis B. Mayer finally convinced Gable by sweetened the deal; providing him with the 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 were married. Their marriage was a happy one.
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, Lombard heard rumours of Gable entertaining another woman and in her haste to return sooner chose instead to travel on Transcontinental and Western Air Flight DC-3. At around 7:30 that evening 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, Lombard had asked him to sign-up several times since the on-set of WWII. Gable married twice more after her death but each marriage ended in disaster, his final wish was to be interred next to Lombard.
8.7 02. Humphrey Bogart
... and Lauren Bacall.
Unlike many leading Hollywood actors, Bogart had managed to stave 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' acting 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 to put her at ease and encourage her to steal scenes when they acted together. He called her "Baby" and was her mentor and protector, their budding romance did not go unnoticed by director Howard Hawks who had also begun developed feelings for Bacall.
Hawks was also married but attempted doggedly to destroy the relationship; telling Lauren that Bogie didn't care about her at all and that if the relationship continued Hawks would put an end to her career. Lauren tearfully ran to Bogie and for not the intervention of film executive Jack Warner the movie may never have been finished.
Their love affair continued after filming ended and they continued to star in several more films together, clearly Hollywood loved them as much as they loved each other. Bogie was still torn between his love for Lauren and the duty he felt to his current wife, in February of 1945 Bogie finally made his decision and divorced his wife before quickly remarrying Lauren on the 21st of May that same year.
Their marriage was a happy one, their tastes sometimes differed but it never effected the love they felt. In 1949 Lauren gave birth to their first child, a son Stephen Humphrey Bogart followed three years later by a daughter Leslie Howard Bogart.
During the mid-50's Bogie's health quickly began to decline. Having formed a new production company after the failure of his last one, Bogie had begun to plan a new film to star in with Bacall but his inability to eat and persistent cough made it impossible to execute and he was forced to drop the project. 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 a year later on the 14th of January 1957 soon after his 57th birthday. Their two children were only 8 and 4. 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.
Joe first laid his eyes upon Marilyn in 1951, a picture he had been handed showed the petite blond flanked on either side by two of his baseball rivals. Clearly unable to get her out of her mind, he requested a date with her the following year and though she did entertain his company for a while she admitted that she had already made up her mind that he was just another stereotypical jock.
Eloping in 1954, the honeymoon was when their relationship began to sour as DiMaggio was none 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 the break-down of her third marriage. Fearful and lonely, Marilyn turned to the one person she believed she could still count on and called DiMaggio who reportedly arrived and demanding to see his "wife". Marilyn was released that night. She decided to join 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. She had fallen in with some people who he considered detrimental to her well-being and he feared that her mental health might not recover if he didn't intercede soon. She died only four days later of a suspected suicide. Dimaggio claimed her body and arranged her funeral.
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 by his adoptive granddaughters in 2006, two letters from Marilyn and a picture with the inscription "I love you, Joe, Marilyn." were found amongst his possessions.
8 04. Buddy Holly
... and María Elena Holly.
It was June of 1958 and 22 year old María Elena Santiago was working as a receptionist for music executive Murray Deutch. To her surprise she was asked to an up-scale luncheon and there she was formerly introduced to Buddy Holly for the first time. Holly was already enamoured with Santiago and arranged for her to be invited that night in hopes that he could finally meet her.
He brazenly asked her on a date but María expressed that she'd never been on a date before so he'd first have to ask for her aunts permission. After securing that, Buddy took María on a date that very night and shocked her by handing her a rose and asking her to marry him. Not sure how to react to such a wedding proposal by a man she'd only known for the past few hours, María asked to be given the night to ponder it. The next morning when Buddy arrived for her answer, María ran to him and jumped into his arms.
Two months later, on the 15th of August 1958, María and Buddy were joined together in holy matrimony. María quit her job and began travelling with Buddy and his band "The Crickets", despite that many of his fans were unaware of her existence. María did all she could to make the lives of the band easier, from doing their laundry to equipment set up so that they wouldn't have to pay anyone else.
Holly's career took off after the band split and the couple moved to New York and in 1959 Buddy was offered a spot in the "Winter Dance Party". María was pregnant at the time and decided to remain at home because of the bitterly cold weather. On what is now known as "The Day the Music Died", the 3rd of February 1959, the small aircraft that Buddy was travelling in crashed killing everyone on board. María was informed of his death by the media, they had been married for only 6 months. A day after hearing the news of her husbands death, María suffered a miscarriage.
María refused to attend her husbands funeral and she has never visited his grave site, she has stated in interviews that she blames herself for his death as he would never have gotten on the plane if she'd been on tour with him.
María has dedicated her life to preserving her husbands legacy and though she remarried and had three children, she has made it her mission in life 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 a director made her redo the same scene eight times. He also starred in the movie, playing a love-interest to Tate's character. Their romance translated into reality as filming progressed and Sharon's acting improved, soon after filming ended Sharon moved into Roman's London apartment.
The two married on the 20th of January 1968, Sharon began to shy away from the film industry and concentrate more on the couples home life, Roman eventually rebuffed her by telling her that he had "married a hippie, not a housewife". They returned to Hollywood and in late 1968 Sharon discovered she was pregnant with their child.
They moved into their dream house, one that they had long admired: 10050 Cielo Drive. Both kept busy filming schedules but they were excited for the up-coming birth of their first child. Roman worried because he couldn't return to Los Angeles to be with Sharon until August, had asked two friends to remain at the house and tend to his wife’s needs.
On August 8th 1969, only 4 days before Roman was scheduled to return home and two weeks until the day 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; the two friends Roman had asked to keep Sharon company. Jay Sebring, Sharon's former-boyfriend and a close friend to the couple was discovered along with Sharon; the killers later stated he had tried to protect her. Sharon herself had begged for her babies life, pleading to at least be allowed to 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 the 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 Eliza Hutton.
It was by pure chance that Lee met Hutton, uninterested in dating after a string of bad relationships, on the day he walked into producer Renny Harlin's office he was far from on the look-out for love. Cupid must have had different plans though because Brandon was immediately love-struck by Renny's personal assistant, Eliza. She on the other hand saw his attempts to impress her as buffoonish and cocky.
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 Lisa hired on to many of his films as his personal assistant.
In 1992 in Venice, Italy; Brandon got down on one knee and asked Lisa to be his wife. The date was set, the love birds would marry on April 17th of the following year.
First Brandon would take on his most iconic film role as "The Crow", Lisa 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, two weeks before their marriage was scheduled to happen Brandon was mortally wounded when a prop .44 Magnum revolver misfired. Lisa 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. Lisa 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 Lisa. She married several years later.
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