Cannes Is For Lovers: The Festival's Legendary Romances
Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd
Around The World In 80 Days launched its international release at Cannes in 1957 with a spectacular gala screening. Elizabeth Taylor (who wasn't in the film) and husband Mike Todd (who produced it) literally "owned the palace," as they say. Todd died in a plane crash in March of the following year.
Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher
Fisher comforted Taylor after Todd's shocking death, and the pair ultimately made worldwide headlines when the crooner left wife Debbie Reynolds for the superstar. The pair wed in May 1959, and made a splash when they sailed into the Cannes Film Festival onboard a honeymoon yacht.
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier
Fresh from winning an Oscar, Grace Kelly was heading to the 1955 festival when she encountered the honeymooning couple Olivia de Havilland and Pierre Galante onboard a Cannes-bound train. At Galante's urging, de Havilland suggested Grace meet Monaco's Prince Rainier (pictured here together stateside in 1956). The result, of course, is history.
Olivia de Havilland and Pierre Galante
In 1953, Olivia de Havilland accepted a festival invite and wound up marrying the first Frenchman she met: Paris Match editor Pierre Galante. As she recalls, Galante's beguiling pursuit at the festival went to almost inconceivable romantic extremes. "At great supper parties after every film, at no matter whose table I sat, oddly enough, always beside me in his unreserved seat was the same singular Frenchman," she recalled in her memoir, Every Frenchman Has One. Engaged a year later, they married in Paris in April 1955.
Kirk and Anne Douglas
In early 1953, Kirk Douglas was in France filming Act of Love, a somewhat forgettable film that was memorable for one romantic reason: It's where Douglas met Anne Buydens, a press agent for the film. After shooting wrapped, Douglas wrote in his autobiography that "Anne had to go to the South of France where she was in charge of protocol at the Cannes Film Festival." Douglas says he "tagged along."
"The only reason I was in Cannes was to pursue Anne," Douglas admitted. (The pair are pictured here at the 1966 festival.) After a few jealous moments between them, the couple eventually found themselves celebrating her birthday at the festival with a romantic supper at "the most beautiful little restaurant, candlelight, flowers." Married within a year, they're celebrating their 63rd anniversary later this month.
Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty
Natalie Wood divorced Robert Wagner just two weeks before the 1962 festival when she flew in as Warren Beatty's date. The media couldn't get enough of the pair as they walked the red carpet for All Fall Down, in which they costarred. “Together in public, they were something to behold: beautiful, exciting, sophisticated” the actress' sister, Lana Wood, wrote in her book, Natalie. The relationship was short-lived, however, and Wood eventually remarried Wagner ten years later, before her untimely death in 1981 at age 43.