Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor: A Love Story

I hope you all enjoyed yesterday's spotlight on the incredibly talented Barbara Stanwyck and that you may have learned something new about her. One of the things about Stanwyck that always intrigued me was her romance and marriage to Robert Taylor. I love just about everything about Robert Taylor and yes I have a mad crush on  him hehe I even used his photo during a photo shoot once! 

With Taylor's dashing good looks and Stanwyck's urban spunk, I have wondered what their romance may have been like and what was life like being Mrs. Robert Taylor. Fortunately or unfortunately, both kept that part of their lives very private for the most part. And neither spoke ill of the other in public, privacy and respect is something rarely found in Hollywood, don't you think?
They were in many ways an odd couple. Stanwyck was four years older than Taylor, she was tough and streetwise; the Nebraska-bred Taylor gentlemanly and naive - but the romance endured. The couple made another film together, This Is My Affair (1937), and married in 1939. the first photo above was taken on their wedding day. Sweet isn't?

I love these two photos above. I love how she is tending to him and how he is showing his adoration for her...ahhh love.

Stanwyck and Taylor enjoyed time together outdoors during the early years of their marriage, and were the owners of acres of prime West Los Angeles property. Their large ranch and home in the Mandeville Canyon section of Brentwood, Los Angeles is still referred to by the locals as the old "Robert Taylor Ranch".
They often had publicity photos taken of them doing all sorts of things. I think photos like these are fun. I wonder what was going through their minds though-they seem so joyful to be in the presence of the other.
 Although many speculate that she was more in love with him than he was with her, I do believe he adored her and it seemed as though they did have a deep, mutual respect and appreciation for the other.

They were interviewed and asked what were the ten things that made their hearts beat faster. It was published in Good Housekeeping Magazine in May, 1956. I love Taylor's number nine and ten!

Unfortunately, they divorced eleven years later. Some say it was because of his infidelity, but we can never really know because neither spoke out publicly about it. When she had a house fire in the early 1980's it was said that she was devastated when we lost the love letters that Taylor has written her. I am a very sentimental person and I cherish the things the people I love have given me or left behind, I can only imagine how devastated she must have felt. To add to that tragedy, when she was robbed in her home in 1981, the thief stole a cigarette case that Taylor had given her with her name set in rubies (her birth name was Ruby).

They co-starred one more time, in The Night Walker (1964). This is a film I want to see badly!! Can you imagine the two of them on screen together after fourteen years apart??!! Taylor's wife was not pleased that he took that role and did not approve of it. I cannot help but wonder after all those years what their conversations with one another were like. Did they still love one another? Did they wish things would have ended differently? 

We will never know. When Taylor passed away in 1969, Stanwyck is said to have broken down at his funeral. She later said, "There will be no other man in my life."

One thing is true, two people from two very different worlds came together and fell in love. The rest we leave it all wondering....



  1. What I love most about these photos is how genuinely, deeply, madly in love they appear to be. It doesn't seem faked or contrived in anyway (as actors are sometimes known to do in "romantic" couple snaps), and I suspect that for most of their time together, they adored each other (and that she kept on loving him for all of time).

    Sweet Bunny, would it be ok with you if I were to use that clipping about "Ten Things that Make my heart beat faster" for a post of my own (I'm thinking around Valentine's Day?), crediting it back to you and your wonderful blog, of course.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Oh Jess take whatever you want mama hehehe My pleasure. Isn't so neat. I may has my hubby what his ten things are hehe xox

  2. Thank you Bunny. I really enjoyed this.
    After a long stressful day it was just what I needed, along with a sit-down, a nice cup of tea & a peanut butter cookie! Which reminds me I need to bake some more tomorrow ;0) x

  3. Wow!! They really did look so in love with each other. This is such a bittersweet story and thank you for sharing it with us. Until these posts I knew barely nothing about Barbara Stanwyck.

  4. Hi, Bunny! I'm so happy I arrived her, I'm loving your blog!
    I'm writing about this adorable couple for my blog, and I'd like to let you know that The Night Walker is complete on YouTube.

  5. I believe Barbara and Bob were passionaly in love with each other for most of their married life together. But it has been suggested that for a man going into his forties which he was in the early 1950's it is a dangerous time. That Barbara couldn't have children after a botched abortion when she was fifteen, didn't help either. Maybe children might have kept his eyes from roaming. While he was filming Quo Vardis in Rome he had an affair with a much younger voluptous Italian lady which Barbara found out about. After that and arguments and lots of talking she agreed to give him a divorce although she still loved him. Their love never stopped for each other but Barbara could be possessive, and I think that started to pall on Bob who had had more freedom when he did war service. That they remained friends for the rest of his life and still dated each other until his marriage in 1956 is testiment to this. I hope you don't mind me butting in, it's just I admire both Barbara and Bob and marvel that their marriage was an example to Hollywood.


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