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Thu, Jun 20, 2019
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Happy Birthday, Ali MacGraw!

Happy Birthday, Ali MacGraw!

Charles Balintitt Jr.

If you were to ask most people in this country, and maybe in a number of other countries, I am sure that they would tell you that they had seen the movie “Love Story” or at least heard about it.  It was a motion picture from 1970 starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal.  It really doesn’t seem like it could have been that long ago.

I probably first saw the movie not too much after its original release and definitely agreed with a large percentage of the population that Ali MacGraw was indeed a very beautiful woman.  In fact 21 years after making this movie, she was named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” in the World.  She was also included in a 2008 special edition of GQ Magazine as one of the “Sexiest 25 Women in Film Ever”.

Somehow films can keep you young forever.  But time does seem to march on quite rapidly.  If I hadn’t looked her up recently, I would have never thought it was possible; but April 1st, 2019 is Ali MacGraw’s 80th birthday.  Even though the movie was so many years ago, it was still a little shocking to me that she is actually turning 80 this month!  But there was also another thing that I didn’t know.  I just found out recently that Ali MacGraw is actually half Hungarian.  Both her maternal grandparents were Hungarian Jews from Budapest.  I definitely didn’t know about this at the time I saw the movie the first time or even subsequent times.  It seems that Ali’s mother kept her background hidden from her husband because he was a little bigoted and she didn’t want to have trouble in her marriage.  So it may not have been public knowledge when her most famous film was released.  But today we know about her Hungarian background and realize once again that it is a small world.



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