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Old Hollywood Couples Torn Apart by Personal Tragedies

The Golden Age Of Hollywood was an era that is often remembered for showcasing the very epitome of sophistication and class. It produced some of the most legendary and memorable stars of all time.

Back in those days, beloved icons of the silver screen often had complicated love lives. Sure, there were plenty of stars that had care-free; short-lived flings and affairs with their fellow entertainers, but many of them were looking for something a little more substantial than just a quick roll in the hay.

Love was in the air, and celebrities were constantly falling head over heels for each other. A few actually seemed to find their elusive perfect matches and would ultimately spend the remainder of their lives together. Still, many star-studded relationships started off happily enough. only to deteriorate into misery after personal tragedies tore gaping holes through their romances.

Join Facts Verse as we take a closer look at a few Old Hollywood power couples and how their relationships ended up panning out.

Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall

Bogart and Bacall met and almost immediately fell in love while on the set of their 1944 film To Have and Have Not and one of the old hollywood couples. When they first became acquainted, Bogart was 44 while Bacall was just 19. The two quickly developed an intense emotional bond. And Humphrey, who was already a legend by that time, became Lauren’s mentor.

When they met, Bogart still married to his wife Mayo Methot, so to keep their affair under wraps, Bogart and Bacall exchanged passionate love letters. Just months after filming wrapped up on To Have and Have Not, Bogart and Bacall would reunite once again when they both cast in the film The Big Sleep.

For a while, Bogart very conflicted about what he should do. On the one hand, he felt a sense of duty towards his marriage. On the other, he had fallen so deeply in love with young Bacall. Ultimately, he filed for divorce from Methot in early 1945.

Bogart and Bacall then married in a somewhat private ceremony on the 21st of May, 1945. The couple would go on to appear in two more films together, 1947s Dark Passage and 1948s Key Largo. Besides just working well together onscreen, they also became known for having one of the most glamorous romances in Hollywood.

In 1949, Bacall gave birth to a son. Three years later, the couple welcomed a daughter into their lives. Sadly though, their marriage would come to an abrupt end when Bogart died of esophageal cancer at the age of 57 in 1957.

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Spencer Tracy & Katherine Hepburn

Theirs was one of the most beloved romances in show business. The old Hollywood couples, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn began the love affair of their lifetimes in 1941. At the time, however, their union proved to be quite controversial as Tracy still married to his wife Louise Tracy whom he had walked down the aisle with in 1923.

Spencer and Louise’s marriage started out happily enough but it was quickly marred by troubles and infidelity.

After Spencer fell in love with Hepburn while they both working on the set of the 1941 motion picture Woman of the Year. The two seasoned stars developed an intense relationship that would last until Spencer’s death 26 years later.

At first, Spencer tried his best to keep his relationship with Hepburn a secret. He didn’t want the public or especially his wife to find out about it. But it inevitably became one of those Hollywood open secrets that we often talk about.

Spencer nor his wife never attempted to get a divorce. Hepburn, too never fought for one and didn’t seem interested in getting married.

As Spencer’s health began to deteriorate, Katherine stood by his side. The two remained close and still deeply in love until Tracy’s death of a heart attack at the age of 67.

Marilyn Monroe & Joe DiMaggio

She was Hollywood’s most famous bombshell, and he was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. While Monroe certainly had her fair share of romances, arguably her most publicized one was with DiMaggio.

When the two first got together , the tabloids and newspapers had a field day documenting their very passionate – albeit often volatile – romance.

They started dating in ’52 after DiMaggio asked a friend of his to arrange a dinner date with the ‘Some like it Hot’ star. While they tried to keep their romance as low-profile as possible, the press wasn’t about to let that happen.

On the 14th of January, 1954, Monroe and DiMaggio exchanged marriage vows at the San Francisco City Hall. They then spent their honeymoon in Japan.

Their marriage was troubled by Jumpin’ Joe’s discomfort over Monroe’s status as a sex symbol. He wanted to settle down with her have children, but after Monroe famously filmed that scene in the film The Sever Year Itch – the one where she stood over a subway grate letting the air blow up her skirt – DiMaggio became enraged.

It was ultimately jealousy and strong differences in opinion that led to the couple filing for divorce of old hollywood couples in October of 1954; not even a year after they had tied the knot. It’s said that they reconciled 8 years later in 1962 and were close to remarrying. But sadly Monore died of a suspected drug overdose that same year.

For the next two decades, Dimaggio sent roses to Monroe’s grave several times a week. When he passed away in 1999; reportedly the last thing he said with his dying breath was that he would finally get his chance to see Marilyn again.

Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles

Rita was one of the most glamorous stars in Hollywood in the 1940s.

Orson Welles was just 22 years old when he and his business associate John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre stage company. When he was 24, he signed a rather lucrative deal to write, direct and produce two motion pictures and act in another two for RKO.

These two films ended up being The Magnificent Ambersons and Citizen Kane – both of which would become known as being two of the greatest films in the history of cinema.

Despite his accomplishments, Welles was still considered to be a bit of an outcast in Tinsel Town. People found him to be hard to work with and too demanding, but perhaps that’s also what made him one of the greats.

While filming The Magnificent Ambersons, Welles stumbled upon a photo of Rita Hayworth in a magazine. At the time, she was one of the most famed pinup girls during the Second World War. She was also a promising up-and-coming actress.

Hayworth ended up turning down Welles multiple times when he called her up to ask her out. She was going through a divorce from her much older and intensely controlling first husband, so perhaps she was just trying to take things easy until the dust settled from that fiasco.

Eventually, however, she agreed to a dinner date with Welles. Right off the bat, the two just clicked. Hayworth appreciated that Welles had experienced a challenging upbringing as she did. She also felt heard and understood by Orson, who took the time to really listen to her.

The old hollywood couples eloped in Vegas in September 1943 while Hayworth was filming Cover Girl. While Hayworth’s studio head was furious that she had gotten married, the press loved every bit of it.

Hayworth gave birth to a daughter the following December, but unfortunately, their marriage quickly fell apart when Welles started sleeping around. It didn’t make things any easier either how he devoted practically all of his time to work.

On top of that, both stars started experiencing severe money issues. Even though she had already left him, Hayworth agreed to star in Welle’s movie The Lady from Shanghai. She initially didn’t want to do it, but she desperately needed the money.

After doing that film with him, Hayworth moved back in with Welles, but their reconciliation proved to be short-lived. The two divorced in November of 1947.

Both stars had pretty rough lives after their divorce, but Hayworth’s was far more troubled. She married several more times, but each marriage ended in divorce. She also battled alcoholism and mental illness before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1981.

Not long after her diagnosis, Orson approached Hayworth at a party. It took her several minutes to realize who he was despite the fact that she had once considered him to be the ‘great love’ of her life.

Hayworth passed away in 1985. Two years later, Welles died as well.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

These two Hollywood legends met while filming Too Many Girls in 1940. They fell deeply in love immediately and eloped that same year. In 1944, they separated briefly due to Arnaz’s infidelity and drinking problem. Lucy considered divorcing him at the time, but she decided to give him another chance.

In 1951, Ball and Arnaz created what would become one of the most-watched and influential TV sitcoms of all time, I Love Lucy. Later that year, Ball gave birth to a daughter whom she named Lucie Arnaz. Two years later, the couple had a baby boy named Desi Arnaz Jr.

While I Love Lucy was a huge success and spawned a couple of popular spin-offs, in the end it proved to be the undoing of Ball and Arnaz’s marriage.

At their divorce proceedings years later, Arnaz would say that he felt like he and his wife never had any time for themselves. They spent all day working together and then had to come home and live with each other. Beyond that, he had became insecure about being married to such a huge star.

For all of these reasons, Arnaz leaned heavily on the bottle. In time, he stopped coming home on the weekends and was often seen with other women. In 1960, Ball decided that enough was enough and sued him for divorce.

Even though their marriage had come to an end, Desi and Lucille would remain close friends for the remainder of their lives.

Well, that about wraps up this video, but we’d love to here from you. Which Old Hollywood couples romances stand out the most to you? And do you think that stars today have an easier or harder time finding love? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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As always, thanks for watching. We’ll see you soon with more videos covering some of your favorite old Hollywood couples, stars, films, and television shows.

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