As an actress, Ali MacGraw is most famous for her leading role in Love Story, which made her a 1970s icon. But her own love stories have been equally epic

By Elizabeth Leonard
July 04, 2018 12:00 PM
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As an actress, Ali MacGraw is most famous for her leading role in Love Story, which made her a 1970s icon. But her own love stories have been equally epic—she was married first to her college sweetheart Robin Hoen, then Hollywood producer Robert Evans (with whom she had a son, Joshua), before leaving him for Steve McQueen, her costar in The Getaway, in 1971.

In this week’s of PEOPLE, MacGraw, 79, describes her chemistry with McQueen as “chemical.”

“This was a man who could walk into any room and man, woman, and child all would go, ‘Whoa, what’s that?’ And I was no exception,” she says.

For more about MacGraw, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now.

Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw
| Credit: Steve Schapiro/Corbis/Getty Images

“He was incredibly attractive most of the time but there was also danger, there was bad boy there,” she adds.

The couple split up in 1977 after five tumultuous years — three years before McQueen died of cancer.

“I wish we had both grown old sober,” she reflects. “There were wonderful days and dreadful days.”

“I’m not a victim in any way,” she stresses. “There were many times that were just wonderful and there were many times that were just ghastly.”

Ali MacGraw
| Credit: Edith Young/Ibu

Sober for 31 years after a struggle with alcoholism, she left Hollywood in 1994 for a quieter life in Santa Fe, N.M.

MacGraw is now collaborating on a clothing line with Ibu, a fashion collective that works with female artisans.

“I used to re-write the past, fantasize about the future,” she says. “But now, I believe in living fully to the very best of my ability. I feel very blessed.”