Moving Pictures: An Autobiography by Ali MacGraw

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Ali MacGraw
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Book review

This is the autobiography of a former photographer's stylist who became an international film celebrity and married two of Hollywood's biggest names, but then seemed to throw it all away. The role of Jenny in "Love Story" brought Ali MacGraw stardom. She married producer Bob Evans and bore him a son, but after two years she left Evans for Steve McQueen. McQueen was a troubled man who longed to live simply, almost reclusively, with his wife barefoot and pregnant. At his insistence MacGraw gave up acting at the peak of her fame, making a decision from which her career never recovered. When the tumultuous marriage ended after six years she was not much in demand, and what acting she did, for example in television's "Dynasty", was ridiculed - justly, she felt. A lifelong pattern of destructive love affairs continued and her depression was abetted by unacknowledged alcoholism. When a friend persuaded her in 1986 to go to the Betty Ford Clinic, MacGraw felt she needed only a "tune-up". What she found instead was life-saving help. Now Ali MacGraw takes stock of her life, revising the mythical childhood she once invented for a "Time" cover story and describing the heady early years in New York, her attempted transformation by the Hollywood machine and the realities she faces today as a woman who hopes her greatest adventures are yet to come.


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