Barbara Stanwyck's Love Life: A Guide To Her Husband & Boyfriend List

Barbara Stanwyck was a famous actress. Many people believe she is the best actress to have ever won an Oscar. She had two husbands, Robert Taylor and Frank Fay. 

Stanwyck starred in many movies during her career like "Double Indemnity," "Sorry, Wrong Number," and "Ball of Fire." Let's have a look at her love life.

Relationship Status At Death

Barbara Stanwyck wasn't in a relationship with anyone at the time of her death. She passed away on January 20, 1990, at the age of 82. She was in the Providence Saint John's Health Center - Santa Monica Emergency Room. 


Barbara Stanwyck in a Photoshoot SOURCE: Pinterest

The cause of Stanwyck's death was congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She left behind a legacy of incredible performances that continue to inspire people around the world. 

Past Marriages

Robert Taylor

Barbara and Robert Taylor were a famous couple in Hollywood. He was four years younger than her. But, their age difference didn't stop them from falling in love. They got married on May 14, 1939, in San Diego, California. 

For over a decade, Stanwyck and Taylor appeared to have a strong marriage, but unfortunately, things didn't last. On February 21, 1951, she made the difficult decision to divorce Robert. Their divorce was finalized a year later.

How Did Barbara And Robert Meet?

Stanwyck and Taylor first met in 1936. They were set up on a blind date. This date happened just before they started working together on the movie "His Brother's Wife." 


Barbara Stanwyck and her ex-husband, Robert Taylor SOURCE: Pinterest

It was during this time that the former husband and wife got to know each other better. Barbara played the role of Rita Wilson in the movie and Robert portrayed Chris Claybourne.

MGM's Involvement In The Relationship

MGM, the iconic media company, played a significant role in the relationship between Stanwyck and Taylor. At first, they didn't support him getting married. They had even stopped his engagement to Irene Hervey, showing they were against him settling down, as he was a new face for the company. 

However, in January of 1939, Photoplay magazine published an article about "Hollywood's unmarried couples." They included Taylor and Stanwyck. This seemed to change MGM's perspective, and suddenly they encouraged them to marry. 

The studio took charge of arranging the wedding, leaving the couple with little say in the matter. This shows the influence and control that studios often had over the personal lives of their stars during that time.

Extramarital Affairs Ended Barbara's Marriage

Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor's marriage faced challenges due to extramarital affairs. Within just two years of getting married, he had a fling with Lana Turner. While some stories suggest that the actress attempted suicide by slicing her wrists upon learning of the affair, she denied these claims, stating that the media exaggerated the situation. 


Lana Turner and Robert Taylor in Johnny Eager SOURCE: Pinterest

However, Robert continued to see other women throughout their marriage, including having affairs with Ava Gardner and Eleanor Parker. In 1950, while filing in Rome filming "Quo Vadis," he got involved with Lia de Leo. 

When Stanwyck flew to Rome to confront Robert and request a divorce, he accepted. After their divorce, a judge awarded the actress their Hollywood mansion and 15 percent of his earnings until she remarried.

Reuniting With Robert For A Film

Barbara and Robert Taylor, despite not remaining friends after their divorce, had a professional reunion. They came back together on screen for the 1964 film "The Night Walker." 

In the movie, Robert portrayed the character Barry Morland. And, Barbara took on the role of Irene Trent. Although their relationship may have been strained, their professionalism allowed them to work together once again.

Frank Fay

Stanwyck's first husband was Frank Fay, and their marriage lasted for seven years. Their relationship began in 1928, and after dating for seven months, they tied the knot on August 25, 1928, in St. Louis. 


Barbara Stanwyck and her first husband Frank Fay SOURCE: Pinterest

Fay was 36 years old when they got married, while the late actress was 21. Despite the age difference, they were drawn to each other and decided to start a life together. Their marriage lasted till December 30, 1935.

How Did Barbara Meet Her First Husband?

Barbara's introduction to Frank came during her Broadway days. After gaining success in "The Noose," she earned another role in the 1928 production of "Burlesque." 

It was during her time working on this show that Stanwyck crossed paths with Fay. Their meeting was facilitated by pianist and composer Oscar Levant, who introduced them to each other. 

What Ended The Marriage? (An Abusive Husband)

Stanwyck's marriage to Frank Fay was marred by his abusive behavior, as per The New York Times. Despite his initial fame, he descended into alcoholism and became physically and mentally abusive towards her.

Barbara endured his behavior for a while, holding onto the hope that he would change. However, the situation escalated to a point where Frank's actions became unbearable. There are reports that he even threw Dion, their adopted son, into the pool during a fit of rage. This is what led to the end of their marriage. 

Stanwyck's Dating History

Barbara Stanwyck's dating history spans across several years. She was romantically involved with actors such as Glenn Ford in 1955, Anthony Quinn in 1953, and Robert Wagner from 1952 to 1956. 

Other relationships include Cesar Romero in 1950, Henry Fonda in 1941, Gary Cooper from 1940 to 1941, and William Holden from 1939 to 1940. Additionally, Barbara was linked romantically to Frank Capra from 1930 to 1931, and Rex Cherryman from 1926 to 1928. 

Notable encounters include Farley Granger in 1953, Jean-Pierre Aumont in 1951, and Humphrey Bogart from 1947 to 1948. The late actress also had encounters with Edward G. Robinson in 1944, Charles Boyer in 1943, and Cary Grant in 1942. 


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