In studio-system Hollywood, movie stars were supposed to marry movie stars (think Bogart and Bacall, or Gable and Lombard). Proof that those airbrushed days were over came on Aug. 7, 1974, when glamorous actress Faye Dunaway married scruffy J. Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf in Beverly Hills.
The two had met in San Francisco in September of 1972, thanks to journalist Bryn Bryndenthal, a J. Geils fan who introduced them in Wolf’s hotel room before a concert. Dunaway, 33, was regrouping after an affair with Marcello Mastroianni, but, she said, she and Wolf, 28, immediately felt at ease. Almost two years later, after spending as much time together as their careers would allow, they decided to wed — the very next day.
But Dunaway was hot after her Best Actress Oscar for 1976’s Network, and the J. Geils Band was touring and making 1976’s Blow Your Face Out and 1977’s Monkey Island. ”Time, life, and the world kept wearing away at our relationship,” she wrote in her 1995 autobiography, Looking for Gatsby: My Life.
And so, in 1978, the couple split. Five years later, Dunaway married photographer Terry O’Neil. (The couple, later divorced, have a 17-year-old son, Liam.) Wolf remains single. But his marriage to Dunaway would set the mold for such future starlet/rocker unions as Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee and Valerie Bertinelli/Eddie Van Halen.
Aug. 7, 1974
SHARK FEVER STILL seizes the country as Peter Benchley’s beach read Jaws spends its 24th week lurking on The New York Times’ top 10 best-seller list. Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film version will be the definitive summer blockbuster. ROBERTA FLACK ATTACKS the music charts with her soulful No. 1 single ”Feel Like Makin’ Love.” Her previous No. 1 hit, 1973’s ”Killing Me Softly With His Song,” will enthrall listeners all over again in the form of the Fugees’ 1996 remake. FAMILY VALUES rule the tube, despite the sexual revolution: TV’s top three shows are CBS’ All in the Family and The Waltons and NBC’s Sanford and Son. Family and Sanford, producer Norman Lear’s first two TV smashes, rework British sitcoms. AND IN THE REAL WORLD, Commander-in-Chief Richard M. Nixon ponders his fate in the wake of the Watergate scandal; by week’s end, he will become the first American president to resign.