Great Romances of the 20th Century | Season 2
From the screen stars who ended up in the White House, to the crippled diplomat and the prima ballerina, to the bank robbers who died in a blaze
of bullets, these are some of the greatest love stories ever told. Plundering a wealth of film archive, these programmes take viewers behind-the-scenes and unlock the secrets to the headline romances which captured the imagination of us all. It is the largest and most internationally based series on this subject ever produced.
1. Jean Harlow and William Powell
The Blonde Bombshell meets The Thin Man, a movie partnership that set the screen alight. But was Harlow's tragic
early death related to their romance?
2. Ronald and Nancy Reagan
From the B-hive to the White House. Behind Ronnie's easy charm lay Nancy's steely determination. It pushed the
future President every step of the way to the most important job in the world.
3. Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
Theirs was one of the greatest Hollywood romances, a remarkable meeting of opposites.The deep feeling Hepburn
and Tracy had for each other is preserved in a series of classic movies in which they co-starred, the first of which was
the 1941 hit, Woman of the Year.
4. Gloria Swanson and Joseph Kennedy
The clash of two huge personalities sent shockwaves through Wall Street and Hollywood.Their torrid romance led
to the filming of one of Hollywood's most extraordinary epics – Queen Kelly.
5. Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli
She was one of MGM's most luminous stars. He was one of its most brilliant directors.The union of two flamboyant
talents produced a third: Liza Minnelli.
6. Gloria and James Stewart
One of the legendary love matches in Hollywood history. Stewart was the all-American boy – movie star and war
hero – whose marriage reflected the title of one of his best-loved films, It's a Wonderful Life.
7. Cary Grant and Barbara Hutton
Beneath the suavely handsome exterior of one of Hollywood's most desirable leading men lay a deeply troubled soul.
The dark side of Cary Grant was to doom a marriage which seemed to have been made in heaven.
8. Pier Angeli and James Dean
James Dean lived fast and died young.The unhappy Pier Angeli was to live on, but she was never the same after her
romance with the Rebel Without a Cause.
9. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Amiable range warbler Roy Rogers always lived by the cowboy code: he never took advantage or slugged anyone
smaller than himself. Dale Evans was the B-movie consort who joined the noble steed Trigger to make a sagebrush trio.
10. Rudolph Valentino and Natasha Rambova
He was the Great Lover of the Silent Screen; she was the self-created exotic who fashioned his career. Neither
partner in this remarkable marriage was quite what he or she seemed.
11. George Burns and Gracie Allen
George and Gracie were two of America's best-loved vaudeville and movie stars who capped dazzling careers by
making it big in television. After Gracie's death, the laconic cigar-chomping George became an American showbiz
12. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz
Like Desi, all of America loved Lucy, the RKO contract player who eventually gained the TV clout to buy the studio
where she had started her movie career.
13. Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer
To his fans he was 'Sexy Rexy', the greatest high comedy actor of his generation.To his six wives, Rex Harrison cut a
more ambivalent figure, sometimes charming, sometimes despotic, frequently unfaithful. His second wife, Lilli Palmer,
matched him in talent, and stood by him during the greatest personal crisis in his career.
14. Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer
The gamine Hepburn was a bewitching elfin spirit in 1950s Hollywood. Ferrer was the handsome leading man she
married and with whom she co-starred in War and Peace.
15. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow
The Dust Bowl bandits whose blood-splattered folie à deux became a Depression legend and the basis for Arthur
Penn's Oscar-winning movie.They loved and died in a blaze of bullets.
16. Roberto Arias and Margo Fonteyn
He was the Panamanian diplomat crippled by a would-be assassin; she was the world's best-loved prima ballerina who
formed a legendary partnership with Rudolf Nureyev.
17. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
When the English princess married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, son of Prince Andrew of Greece and a great-greatgrandson
of Queen Victoria, at Westminster Abbey on 20 November1947, it was the beginning of one of the most
successful unions in the history of the Royal family. From the feted young couple of the 1940s to the guardians of
today's monarchy, Elizabeth and Philip have travelled a long road to which is by no means over.
18. King Hussein and Queen Noor Of Jordan
A marriage which survived the turbulent politics of the Middle East. Known to his people as Al-Malik Al-Insan (The
Humane King), King Hussein guided his country through strife and turmoil to become an oasis of peace, stability and
moderation in one of the world's most troubled regions.
19. Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni
The French 'ice maiden' and the Italian heart-throb had one of the most secret romances of the modern glitterati.
20. Howard Hawks and Slim Keith
One of the most glamorous couples of the Golden Era of Hollywood.The greatest of studio directors and his shrewd
fashion editor wife brought together Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.
21. Charles and Anne Lindberg
He was the most celebrated aviator of the age and she was the daughter of a wealthy diplomat.Their marriage saw
flying triumphs and personal tragedy when the kidnapping of their baby led to one of the most sensational murder
trails in American legal history.
22. John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich
One of Hollywood's unlikeliest star couples.The Ringo Kid and Lola had a passionate affair in the star-spangled Forties.
23. David O Selznick and Jennifer Jones
After the sensational triumph of Gone With the Wind, master-producer David O Selznick spent much of his latter days
in Hollywood promoting the career of his beautiful but neurotic wife.
24. Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor
Together they seemed one of Hollywood's Golden Couples. Barbara Stanwyck was one of its greatest leading ladies;
Robert Taylor was MGM's longest-serving leading man. But the truth was that theirs was a marriage made only in
Hollywood, not in heaven.
25. Richard and Pat Nixon
From the Chequers speech to Richard Nixon's traumatic resignation from the office of President, Pat travelled with
her husband every step of the way. Inevitably, there was a price to pay for such loyalty.
26. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
Reviled by many Americans when Jimmy stepped down from the Presidency, the Carters have become one of the
most affectionately regarded couples in American life.