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Steve Parker and Shirley MacLaine Marriage Details

Unconventional Shirley MacLaine Had an Unconventional Marriage

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Shirley MacLaine and Steve Parker

American actor Shirley MacLaine poses with her husband, producer Steve Parker, backstage at the Academy Awards, Santa Monica, California on April 13, 1964. MacLaine was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Irma la Douce.

Photo: Gene Lester / Getty Images

The unconventional, long-distance marriage of Steve Parker and Shirley MacLaine lasted for several decades. Here is information on how Steve and Shirley met, their marriage, divorce, and more.

Marriage Quick Facts - Steve and Shirley 
Met: Early 1950s
Married: September 17, 1954
Children: 1
Separated: Mid-1970s
Divorced: 1982

Did You Know?
Shirley shared she is "comfortable being alone."
 

Born:

Shirley MacLaine aka Shirley MacLean Beaty: April 24, 1934 in Richmond, Virginia.

Steve Parker aka William F. Parker: February 6, 1922 in Germany.

 

Died:

Steve Parker: On May 13, 2001 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Steve died from lung cancer at the age of 79.

How Shirley and Steve Met:

Steve and Shirley met in the early 1950s.

Shirley: "I was eighteen years old and working in the chorus of a Broadway musical when I met my husband, Steve Parker ... As soon as Steve walked in and sat down, I knew my life was to take a new course."
Source: Shirley MacLaine. My Lucky Stars: a Hollywood Memoir. 1996. pg. 17.

 

Wedding Date and Information:

Steve and Shirley were married on September 17, 1954 in New York City, New York. Steve and Shirley had an open marriage with one another. Steve lived most of their marriage in Japan.

Shirley: "I was married for 30 years, but he lived in Japan. I lived with many other men ... Men always wanted to get married, in my experience. So I stayed married to Steve so that I wouldn't marry them. I didn't like the idea of marriage. I find it too compromising, too confining. My parents had a 55-year bad marriage. I never knew anyone in a happy marriage."
Source: Sarah Hampson. "An Age of Enlightenment." TheGlobeandMail.com. 9/15/2008.

 

Children:

Shirley and Steve have one daughter and two grandchildren.

  • Sachi (Stephanie Sachiko) Parker: Born in 1956. After Sachi turned six, she lived in Japan with her father. Sachi is an actress, married to Frank Murray, an investment banker, since 1993, and is the mother of two children.

 

Occupations:

Shirley: Actress, author, producer, jewelry designer.

Steve: Producer, businessman, actor.

 

Residence:

Shirley lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with numerous dogs and horses. She also has a 8,000-acre ranch near Santa Fe and a home in Malibu, California.

In the 1980s Shirley lived in a beach-front Malibu apartment building she built, a home in Washington State with a view of Mount Rainier, and an apartment in Manhattan.

Shirley: "I walked into the house ... not intending to buy a house. I sensed that there was a dancer that died at the top of the stairway and that she now wanted me to have this house. So, I called the person I was dealing with and bought the house without even looking at the rest of it."
Source: "Hollywood Legend Shirley MacLaine." Oprah.com. 4/11/11.
Lynda Gorov: "An outspoken liberal, she lives off the electric grid in New Mexico, on 8,000 acres where she has her own wells for water and her own animals and gardens for food."
Source: Lynda Gorov. "The world according to Shirley MacLaine". Boston.com. 12/18/2005.

 

Divorce:

Shirley and Steve were divorced in 1982. Steve later married Miki Hasegawa.

 

Marjorie Rosen: "Although MacLaine's relationship with her husband had become increasingly remote—they were virtually separated by the mid-70s—she was stunned to hear from a channeler in the early 80s that Parker had bilked her of millions, systematically transferring her money to his girlfriend's account in Tokyo. MacLaine hired a private investigator, who confirmed the charges."
Source: Marjorie Rosen. "Darts and Flowers". People.com. 4/17/1995.

 

Quotes About the Marriage of Steve Parker and Shirley MacLaine:

Shirley: "I felt very comfortable being alone. That's why I live alone now. That's why I never had a conventional marriage. That's why I loved to travel [alone]."
Source: "Hollywood Legend Shirley MacLaine." Oprah.com. 4/11/2011.

Shirley about missing sexual intimacy: "I'm having a wonderful time in my life now with my platonic relationships with men and women, because when that sexual tension is off the requirement of the interplay, then you get to who the people really are, and to yourself ... I don't miss that [sexual intimacy] like I would have when I was younger. Oh no. Uh huh ... Because I am happy and content with myself. I cuddle with my dog."
Source: Sarah Hampson. "An Age of Enlightenment." TheGlobeandMail.com. 9/15/2008.

Shirley's answer to the question, "What do you consider the most overrated virtue?": "Monogamy."
Source: "Shirley MacLaine; At 21, Shirley MacLaine possessed enough poise and moxie to land a starring role in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry.(Interview)." Vanity Fair. 11/2007. pg. 366.

Shirley about love: "I've had many loving relationships, but don't think I've ever been in love -- this time round -- except maybe with my little dog. I've been too overachieving and goal-oriented. I hate to sound trite, but the more you learn to love who you are, the more you are capable of loving another person. I'm still trying to find out who I am. I don't know if I ever will, but the journey is the discovery."
Source: Andrew Duncan. "Shirley MacLaine". FortuneCity.com. 8/8/2000.

Shirley after their divorce: "Steve and I have never talked since. He and I both know in our own way what we meant to each other. We will meet again in some other time and place, of that I am sure. I wonder what we will remember? another thing I am sure of: we will recognize each other and there will be love there."
Source: Shirley MacLaine. My Lucky Stars: a Hollywood Memoir. 1996. pg. 373.

William Henry: "... and the marriage had troubles almost from the start. 'Shirley had this drive, this push,' Parker recalls. 'She didn't want to be surrounded by a white picket fence. I would be wanting to putter around in the kitchen, and she wanted to be at the studio.' Says MacLaine: 'Steve was very supportive, but he just didn't want to be known as Mr. MacLaine. From day one, he talked of going to Japan, where he had spent some time.' ... MacLaine 'gradually came to think of Steve as an old friend, not a husband.'"
Source: William A. Henry III; Elaine Dutka; Denise Worrell. "The Best Year of Her Lives". Time.com. 5/14/1984.

 

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