clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Old Hollywood Romances and the Houses Where They Happened

New, 5 comments

To celebrate the loviest, doviest holiday of the year, today we're taking a look back at old Hollywood romances—those stars of stage and screen whose relationships were ridden with the sort of passion and romance that only comes from people who act for a living. Today's Kardashian-Odom pairings just don't hold a candle to the Tinseltown romances that went down, more or less, during first half of the 20th century. Take Clark Gable and Carole Lombard (above), for instance. Several months after their marriage in 1939, the actors settled into a 20-acre ranch in Encino, Calif., where they enjoyed life among the citrus trees and wide open fields. Despite the fact he had been married once before, at one point Gable told Lombard that he had "always wanted a place like this. It will be the first home I’ve had...that I can really call my own.”



? When director Howard Hawks cast Humphrey Bogart for 1944 flick To Have or Have Not, he told Bogart that he was going to find "a girl as insolent as you are" as the female lead. Enter Lauren Bacall, and the two fell for each even though Bogart was, at that point, married to wife No. 2. ("Baby, I never believed that I could love anyone again,” he unabashedly admitted to Bacall in a letter.) In 1947, two years after marrying, the couple bought an eight-room house on six-and-a-half acres in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of L.A.. Bacall enlisted decorator Bill Yates to fill it Dutch, Early American and French Provincial pieces.


? Jimmy Stewart lived the first years of his acting career as one of Hollywood's most eligible bachelors, until the fateful night in 1949 when he met the lovely Gloria Hatrick McLean at one of Gary Cooper's dinner parties. They moved into a Tudor-style estate in Beverly Hills (above), where they raised a family and eventually retired. When Gloria died, in 1994, the two had been happily married for 45 years.


? The NYC townhouse that formerly belonged to Katharine Hepburn—and where she lived for 60 years—is on the rental market for $27.5K a month. With Hepburn's original mirrored dressing room, the place is perfect for the kind of folks who, much like the tumultuous relationship Hepburn endured with actor Spencer Tracy, can't make up their mind. The poster child for on-screen/off-screen romance (despite Tracy's open infidelity), the couple made nine movies together; the last, 1967's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, came out six month after Tracy's death. Hepburn had spent five years caring for him as his health diminished.


? The renowned rental Sinatra House, in Palm Springs, Calif., was built in 1947 for Ol' Blue Eyes and his first wife, Nancy Barbuto. However, it might accurately be described as Sinatra's home with actress Ava Gardner—the E. Stewart Williams-designed estate (with a piano-shaped pool) hid all matters of the couple's turbulent relationship and, eventually, their marriage. The midcentury modernist house made headlines when Sinatra famously dumped all of Gardner's belongings onto the driveway and threw a bottle at a sink in a fit of fury—the chip can still be seen today. Despite the ups and downs, at the time of her death, in 1990, Gardner said "she never loved another man as much as she loved Frank."

· Clark Gable and Carol Lombard [Arch Digest]
· Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall [Arch Digest]
· Katharine Hepburn's Turtle Bay House For Rent at $27.5K a Month [Curbed NY]
· Sinatra House [official site]
· Frank Sinatra & Ava Gardner [People]
· Biography [The Jimmy Stewart Museum]
· Jimmy Stewart's House (Former) [Virtual Globetrotting]