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Classic Love Stories of The Old Hollywood Most Iconic Couples

Ian Smith

The old Hollywood surely knew how to make iconic movies, especially love stories which now represent a symbol of simple, sheer romance.Aside of building a foundation to a solid and quality movie epics,  Hollywood off-screen had got an ample of love stories that are more beautiful and deep than the best romantic move from nowadays.

Old Hollywood was filled with beautiful actresses and actors who till nowadays are symbols for sophisticated and elegant beauty.  Some of them  have portrayed unforgettable romances both On and Off screen and make a history in the classic Hollywood sea of love.

Here are the couple which stories were better than some of their romance movies.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard

The plot of their love story is ultimately romantic, thrilling and as every tremendous romance this one also ends tragically. Lombard and Gable first met during the shooting of No Man of Her Own in 1932, but their relationship was strictly professional and distant, since both of them was married at that time.

After a few years they met again but their relationship was no more as professional as it was. in 1940 Gable was in the middle of shooting the epic Gone with the Wind, by that time he had a passionate affair with Lombard. As soon as Gable had a day off from Gone with the Wind, he and Lombard eloped to Arizona Railroad town and get married by Gable’s movie agent in the back of a limo.

Lombard was tragically killed in 1942 in a plane crash along with her was her mother. It was very known fact that Gable was utterly crushed by her death and heartbroken join the army. Even though he was married twice, her requested to be buried next to Lomabrd t Forest Lawn cemetery.

Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford


He was the old Hollywood favorite clown and she was America’s sweetheart, together they were the classiest couple of the Silent Era.

Fairbanks fell in love during the Liberty Bond Tour in 1916 (they were together on the tour with Charlie Chaplin). They married in 1920 and were one of the first celebrity married couples, they hosted numerous glamorous parties at their mansion where all of the guest were creme de la creme of Hollywood.

They divorced in 1936 after 16 years of marriage, not a while after their divorce Fairbanks died of heart attack.

Greta Garbo and John Gilbert

Here is another iconic couple from the Silent Era. Greta Garbo and John Gilbert were simultaneously colleagues and lovers. They worked together as a leading heroes in three silent movies :Flesh And The Devil, Love and A Woman Of Affairs.

They met on the set on their first movie together Flesh and the Devil, Gilbert by then was immensely popular with an opulent movie showcase and Garbo was merely unknown and marked as  Moody Ice Queen. When Gilbert introduce himself to Garbo he refer to her by her first name (Hello Greta) on which she strictly reply: “It is Miss Garbo,” and Gilbert was immediately impressed.

They had a passionate and dynamic relationship but their love has never been officiated, since Gilbert forced marriage and Garbo wasn’t interested.

Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier
(stills 24028p) Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, 1938
Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, 1938

Their love affair was the steamiest and one of the first scandals in old Hollywood. Vivien feel in love with Laurence in 1936, they worked together in 1937 and started a passionate affair. By then they were both married and had to keep their relationship in secret. After the Vivien’s break through role of Scarlet O”Hara she and Olivier finally officiate their love in 1940.

Vivien Leigh was always outspoken about her deep affection for Olivier, they were married for 20 years and both had a successful career. However, Vivien Leigh had been struggling with manic depression and nervous breakdowns, which sadly lead to end of her marriage.

In his autobiography Olivier wrote “Throughout her possession by that uncannily evil monster, manic depression, with its deadly ever-tightening spirals, she retained her own individual canniness – an ability to disguise her true mental condition from almost all except me, for whom she could hardly be expected to take the trouble.”


Humphrey Bogart and Lauren  Bacall


Their relationship and love is known to be as one of the most sincere, beautiful and inspiring romance story ever told.

They met at the set for the To Have and Have Not in 1944 and immediately fell in love. Hombart was 26 years older than Bacall and three times married. If you have watched the movie you surely had noticed the extreme chemistry these two lovebirds had.

Regardless on the fact that Hombart was married, they start an affair that made history. After a while Boogie divorced his third wife to marry Lauicle or “Betty” (as he liked to call her). They had two children together and a happy marriage, until Bogart’s health become to fail.  He died in 1957 from cancer on the age of 57.

Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy

Their affair is as beautiful as it sad. They worked together for 25 years in 8 movies and were in clandestine relationship in the same time. Spancer Tracy was married and because of his Cahtolic upbringings he was never aloud to divorce his wife, so they were forced to love each other quietly.  Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner in 1967 was their last movie together, since Tracy died two weeks after finishing the movie.

Hepburn did not go to his funeral out of respect for his wife and family, she also had never watched the movie because it was his last.

Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward




Here is one love story that proved the “Happily ever after.” Newman met Wooward on the movie set of  “The Long Hot Summer” in 1953.  They married in 1957 and stay together in a blissful marriage of 50 years. They celebrated their Golden Anniversary Wedding just before Paul Newsman death in 2008.

They were always outspoken about their sincere love, true friendship and trustworthy relationship.

Joan Woward quoted” Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah that a really treat”  while Newman expresed his loyalty and love in rather tasty analogy  as he quoted ” I have a steak at home, why should go out for a hamburger.” well if that’s not real love what is.

Ian Smith

Ian Smith is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News