Destroyed Marriage: Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller (1956-1961)
Marilyn Monroe and playwright Arthur Miller had been married four years when they united professionally on the set of The Misfits,but the movie’s pressures proved too much for the mismatched couple. Miller wrote the movie as a dramatic starring vehicle for Monroe, but annoyed her with his constant rewrites and blatant sexism. According to Monroe’s biography, The Passion and the Paradox, Monroe, who had dubbed Miller a “peacful monster” at the beginning of their marriage, claimed that the movie’s most interesting roles had gone to its male stars. Add to that the fact that the pair were confined to the Nevada desert for months and Monroe’s declining health, and it wasn’t long before the couple divorced.
The Misfits turned out to be the last movie that Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable ever filmed before their respective deaths. Gable died 12 days after filming completed; Monroe died one year after the film was released. Some critics say the actress’ performance in the film was her best.
Destroyed Marriage: Jennifer Garner and Scott Foley (2000-2004)
Destroyed Engagement: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (2002-2004)
When Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner began filming Daredevil in 2002, they were both in committed relationships. Affleck was one half of the mythic, doomed power couple Bennifer (with Jennifer Lopez), while Garner was married to Scott Foley. Despite neither party admitting to any actual on-set liaisons, Affleck did confirm that he and Garner fell in love while filming the superhero flick.
“That’s where I found my wife,” he said. “We met on Pearl Harbor, which people hate, but we fell in love on Daredevil.”
One year after Daredevil premiered in February 2003, Affleck ended his engagement to Lopez. Two months later, Garner divorced Foley. The two made their first public appearance at a Red Sox game in October 2004.
Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein
Destroyed Marriage: Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson (1989-1995)
While Kenneth Branagh directed and starred in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, he was one half of the reigning couple of early ’90s British cinema. Branagh had been married to Emma Thompson for five years before production started, but apparently couldn’t overcome his attraction to his Frankenstein costar Helena Bonham Carter. Thompson divorced Branagh shortly after news broke of his affair with Bonham Carter, and has since made peace with the actress:
“As Mike Nicholls [the film and theatre director] once said, and I’ve picked it up because I think it’s such a wonderful phrase – all blood under the bridge. You can’t hold on to anything like that. I just think… pfft… It’s pointless. I haven’t got the energy for it. Helena and I made our peace years and years ago.”