Anjelica Huston: Jack Nicholson laughed at the idea of marrying me

This is a photo of Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson in 1976. They dated for 17 years! It was an on-again, off-again thing, but still. That’s a long time to put up with one of Hollywood’s most notorious ladies’ men. Anjelica Huston is promoting a new memoir, Watch Me, which came out on Tuesday. People scored a bunch of exclusive quotes from the book. Most of them are about Anjelica’s horrible relationship with Jack. I assume it was mostly horrible because they kept breaking up, and the final split ended with Anjelica admittedly beating the crap out of Jack. She says he bought her a Mercedes-Benz, and she crashed it the first day. Oh, and he mocked the very idea of marrying her:

Jack shot down her proposal: “I [said], ‘If you had any balls, you’d marry me.’ And he said, ‘Marry you? Are you kidding?'” The 63-year-old actress goes on to say that she “sobbed for three days after that.”

Jack was “scary” to both Huston and Goop: Huston recalls meeting a young Gwyneth Paltrow at a fundraiser for a senator. The then 12-year-old Paltrow took one look at Nicholson and told Huston, “That man scares me.” “He scares me, too,” Huston answered.

Jack was possessive, but she liked it: After watching Nicholson flirt with a model at a restaurant, Huston tried to leave the table only to have the actor pull her back into her seat. “Don’t ever stand up like that to leave,” he reportedly said to her. “I enjoyed his brief flash of possessiveness,” she writes.

The final blowout: “I don’t think I kicked him, but I beat him savagely about the head and shoulders. He was ducking and bending, and I was going at him like a prizefighter, raining a vast array of direct punches.” But he was impressed with her display of passion. “Goddamn, Toots, you sure landed some blows on me. I’m bruised all over my body,” he reportedly told her on the phone days after the final confrontation. Huston replied, “You’re welcome, Jack, you deserved it.”

She wanted to have Jack’s baby: After actress Rebecca Broussard became pregnant with Nicholson’s baby, Huston felt “inadequate and bitter,” she writes. “I had endometriosis, and had probably had it since my teens. I had undergone a laparoscopy, followed by a hysteroscopy, but a child was not to be.”

[From People]

See, Anjelica was pretty naive to stay with Jack that long and think it would ever go anywhere. Why would she ever want to marry him or have kids with her when he flirted with other women? He did it in front of her, so you know he must have done worse when she wasn’t watching. Jack was married once for six years to Susan Knight. Once was more than enough for him. How do you feel about Anjelica’s admission of punching Jack “like a prizefighter“?

This photo of Jack at the 2013 Golden Globes always kills me. Leonardo DiCaprio, this is your future.

Jack Nicholson

Anjelica Huston

Photos courtesy of WENN

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80 Responses to “Anjelica Huston: Jack Nicholson laughed at the idea of marrying me”

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  1. minx says:

    Another one who has ruined her looks with plastic surgery.

    • Cupcake says:

      I disagree. You can still tell it’s her! The work doesn’t make her look like a different person, at least.

      I see some Gisele in younger pictures of Anjelica!!

      • minx says:

        It looks like a cartoonish version of her. In the large picture and the small one on the lower right–she’s wearing a green blouse–she looks so hard and strange. If she had never any work done I don’t know how she would look any worse.

    • MariPoodle says:

      Seriously? That’s what normal aging looks like. And she’s fab. She was fab on Smash.
      Sophia Loren, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sharon Stone, Cheryl Ladd, Jaclyn Smith et al are EXTREMLY assisted with nip/tucks.
      And I say this as I sit here recovering from my brow lift. Takes one to know one.

      • MariPoodle says:

        Apologies: in the white outfit photo she may have had a little botox/filler, but that’s still the same neck. In the red dress there’s no indication of anything.

  2. lower-case deb says:

    wow i thought she’s Anne Hathaway for a minute there, in the header picture. the body twist and the smile.
    she was so pretty.

  3. Mia V. says:

    Well, not all men are like Gomez. #TeamMorticia

    • Amy Tennant says:

      Me, too. That’s the romance I dream of. Tish, you spoke French.

      I feel for her about the endometriosis thing. I had that too, and it was horrible. I ended up having a hysterectomy.

      I also feel bad for her for being in such an unhealthy relationship. I know what that’s like to have the wrong man in your system, too. 🙁

  4. Etheldreda says:

    I have very little sympathy for women who stick with men who repeatedly cheat on and belittle them, particularly when they don’t even have children together.

    • Janet Planet says:

      Why? Serial cheating is no different than other types of emotional abuse. The one who is cheated most certainly believes that they are partially responsible or that their mate will change if they have a baby/get married/move in together.

      It’s funny that you mention respect, cause I have very little sympathy for people who can not respect, empathise and support women who have temporarily lost the sense of their self-worth and need help to reclaim it.

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I’ve always liked her, but less so after this interview. I can’t throw stones about staying with a man who treats you badly, as I did so myself for far too long, but she didn’t seem to learn much from it. And, while I had many fantasies about beating the crap out of my ex, I’m proud to say I never did. It’s not “cute” when women do it any more than when men do. Jack sounds like a huge a$$hole.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      @GNAT – yes about Jack. I’ve never seen the attraction he holds for women, unless it’s that “bad boy” image.

      • Etheldreda says:

        Which might be fine for a fling, but she wanted to marry him and have his babies?

        No, don’t get it.

    • Shouldbeworking says:

      I agree. I heard her on NPR yesterday and DIane Rehm asked her about Warren Beatty hitting her and then about her hitting Jack and she just laughed and said it was not the same at all. I lost a lot of respect for her then.

      • Itsnotthatserious says:

        It was Ryan O’Neal not warren Betty

      • Shouldbeworking says:

        Oh you’re right, thanks, caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

      • homegrrrlll says:

        I know for a fact AH was an inappropriate beyoootch in the 70’s. My lil buddy at the time was an only kid at some celebrity shin dig in Aspen. This child (10) wanted to go home and complained to her mom. AH up and slapped my friend in the face for being “an obstinate brat”. This totally shamed my friend and her mom who were too star impressed to object. When I see AH I see that entitled witch. Ahhh, 1970’s parenting that spurned the permissive parenting of the next generation… but STILL. EEEESSSH. The celebs of yore acted like today’s People of Walmart.

    • Singer says:


      I think you are being unduly harsh. This sounds as if it was a domestic violence situation (especially considering comments below) and what she is demonstrating with her fists in this fight (unlike men, when we hit we rarely damage and bruising isn’t on par to the damage men can and do inflict) is she accepts that violence is ‘solution’ to a problem, which as you know, is common in domestic violence situations. That, in and of itself, is sad. What compounds the issue is she put up with his horrific treatment of her for 17 years. That’s even sadder.

      In the book and movie, ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ (fantastic book AND movie) the takeaway quote is: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” She is personifying that quite well don’t you think?

      • Amy Tennant says:

        And of course, she shouldn’t have hit him, even so. That’s a given.

        Anyone else amused at little Goop being scared of Jack? I bet it was the eyebrows. Or maybe she was just perceptive.

        I just want to hug her. From one person with low self-esteem to another.

      • LadySlippers says:

        •Amy Tennant•

        My point about the hitting is it SEEMS to be a normal response to intense emotions. If she did indeed, grow up in an abusive family, and continue the pattern of abusive relationships in her adulthood, then in her eyes it IS normal. I’m not saying it’s okay though. It just takes a lot to break the pattern of abuse.

        NOTE: My daughter was on CB and changed my name (so she could comment). I didn’t realise it until several comments were made.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Oh, I know. I can’t even toss a stone myself. I can’t say I’ve never hit a man in anger. I was in bad situations and relationships where we both got physical. I understand it and lived it. I was just acknowledging that it wasn’t right–for any of us to do. And it’s been decades since I did that. But I know I was wrong.

    • Kori says:

      I wonder if it has to do with her father? John Huston was a huge ladies man–very volatile and unfaithful. A drinker, a bit of an asshole but talented and passionate about life. He also had an unconventional look to him (rugged as opposed to good looking) that a lot of women found appealing. Maybe she was just replicating the pattern she’d seen in her life?

      • Singer says:


        You’ve described the classic terms that are associated with domestic abusers, so the most likely answer is, yes. Abuse often ‘runs’ in families and children often repeat those behaviours because they think it’s normal.


        A must read book for domestic abuse is: ‘Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men’ by Lundy Bancroft.

        This book saved my life. No joke. Even if you aren’t in an abusive relationship — someone you know and love probably is — read it for them. And then give the book to anyone in need of it (reading the book helps you identify abusers, good thing for teenage girls to read).

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        I remember reading excerpts from Angelica’s sister’s book in a newspaper (can’t remember her name but it was really well written, have always meant to get round to reading it) – anyway their domestic stuation was a mess, she was shipped off to live with Angelica I think. Huston was a domineering old boy type figure, I can see why Angelica gravitated towards Jack but it is hard to understand why she put up with his disrespect and general asshattery for so long. At least she is being honest about it in the book, though it sounds like she’s maybe still a bit hung up on it to not describe it as controlling and toxic the way he treated her. Maybe she goes more in depth into her mentality in the book. Because they were such an iconic dysfunctional couple I bet this will sell by the bucketload.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      I have also lost a lot of respect for her during this book promotion. I happened to catch her on the Today Show (or GMA–I can’t remember which) and out of one side of her mouth she talked about Ryan O’Neal and how she “thinks any man who is abusive should be outed.” Immediately after that she was asked about Roman Polanski and how she had actually met the girl he raped. She said out of the other side of her mouth that she wasn’t there when [the rape] “supposedly” happened so it’s not her place to judge. Um…what? So, Ryan O’Neal deserves to be vilified in a book and on tv for millions to hear, but Roman Polanski is still a “dear friend”? I don’t get it…

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        Ryan O’Neal hit on her baby sister when she was barely a teenager while he was w/Angelica if I remember correctly…. so she has a direct history there. Not excusing her attitude to Polanski at all, just shows how beyond messed up things were (are) in Hollywood. Maybe she can’t allow herself to think she could have done something to prevent the Polanski thing? I don’t know. The men in her circle were certainly not knights in shining armor, maybe she regrets it now, one would hope.

    • Janet Planet says:

      So no sympathy for women who suffer domestic abuse?

      WTF is wrong on this thread?

  6. Velvet Elvis says:

    Some women just can’t resist a bad boy.

  7. Louise says:

    She needs to have all that fat lipoed off her neck and lower jaw.

  8. PunkyMomma says:

    I’m just glad Angelica found happiness with Robert Graham. Jack has always seemed to have such a deep seated hatred for women.

    • Etheldreda says:

      I’m amazed when I hear women say they find him sexy.

      I’ve always found him repulsive, even when he was young. That’s not so much due to his looks but to the sleazy vibes he gives off.

    • Heather says:

      Totally agree PunkyMomma, any man who treats women like crap has a deep resentment towards women. It probably has something to do with their relationship with their own mother – they felt she did not give enough attention to them, perhaps she was not very nice, etc. Jack is a jerk!!

      • Bridget says:

        Nicholson does have deep seated issues with women – especially his mother. He was rocked to his core when he found out that the woman he thought was his mother was actually his grandmother, and that his older sister was actually biologically his mother. Apparently after that revelation his demeanor and attitude toward women changed into what we see today.

      • LadySlippers says:


        Actually the ‘deep seated issues with mothers/women’ is a myth of domestic violence. Domestic violence has to do with ownership, entitlement, and control. That’s not saying some don’t have a messed up backgrounds but most domestic abusers test normally and have normal backgrounds.

        See Lundy Bancroft’s book for a thorough explanation.

      • Bridget says:

        I just want to make it clear that I think that Jack Nicholson having serious issues with his mom and him being an a-hole are two mutually exclusive things. He may have issues, but its his own choice how he handled them.

  9. Lucy2 says:

    That sounds like a horribly dysfunctional relationship, from both sides.

  10. SkinnyFatHunnam says:

    What happened to her face?

    • mkyarwood says:

      I think she got fillers, but because of her square lines it went horribly awry! She’s my hero, and my forever style Icon, tho. She’s approaching mid 60’s, so, it doesn’t bother me. Her hands show signs of heavy living, for sure.

    • Darlene says:

      She aged 40 years?

  11. Itsnotthatserious says:

    I read some of the excerpts yesterday, but there is an interview that Jack did about three years ago saying he was emotionally annihilated when Angelica left him and that it was the most painful thing that ever happened to him. Makes you wonder why he didn’t treat her better.

    She also had an affair with Ryan O’neal who beat the crap out of her.
    I so much prefer old Hollywood gossip.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      I love vintage gossip too

    • Hiddlesgirl85 says:

      Jack’s comments sort of confirm to me that he was abusing Anjelica in their relationship. From her accounts, he was treating her terribly, but he was “emotionally annihilated” when she left him? The issue for him seems not to have been that he loved her; rather, that he could no longer control her.

  12. mkyarwood says:

    It’s never ‘okay’ for physical violence in any relationship, but if I was in a relationship with Jack Nicholson, I bet I’d have hit him a few times. He is Leo’s grandpappy, remember

  13. Artemis says:

    She should of called her book ‘I don’t love myself’.

    Jack and Anjelica are both assholes. They used to hang with Polanski. Anjelica did nothing to help that girl, she was underage and had no business being alone with Polanski for a shoot. As a grown woman, her actions were negligent with devastating results.

    As for Jack, he’s vile and I don’t believe men like Polanksi and Jack would be friends without some common ‘interests’. For the life of me I don’t understand why people fawn over him. The fact that it happened at Jack’s house raises enough questions.

    Anjelica knew all of this for sure, she absolutely knew Hollywood and she didn’t bat an eye when she met Polanski’s victim. This after being preyed on by older men herself when she was a teenager. She stayed wilfully ignorant so she could keep her man. If she had any ‘balls’ she would have left his ugly ass.

    Lol at Goop. If a 12 year-old has better instant judgement, you know it’s time to pack your bags tbh.

    Maybe I’m being too harsh because Huston has been through things but if the incident with Polanski didn’t shock her enough to walk away, then I cant feel much empathy for her situation. She is Mama June levels of delusional, maybe even more because she was at the door and she still turned her back and left a child alone.

    • I understand where your harsh comment comes from. I can logic it out that it was the 70s and the laws were not as stringent as they are now and that Anjelica had her own issues but you know what you’re right. Jack and Roman Polanski are sexual deviants for sure. Anjelica…well her father is John Huston for starters (probably groomed Polanski and Nicholson), she probably began having sex at the same age as the victim and likely saw nothing wrong with what was happening. Still she should have made sure she was alright.

      • LAK says:

        60s/70s hollywood was something and that isn’t a compliment.

        Tatum ONEAL has spoken about her childhood around her father, Ryan, who apparently had a very lazzaire fare attitude to children and didn’t shield their poor behaviour from them and in most cases invited them to join in eg Melanie Griffith being allowed to live with Don Johnson when she was 14yrs old, and later or simultaneously dated Ryan.

        Given their attitude, it’s not shocking that AH didn’t help that poor child when every child of that age, including herself and her friends were having sex and being passed around. It’s probably why they still don’t see anything wrong with what Polanski did and continue to say that his conviction was unjust.

    • rosie says:

      @Artemis — +1

      I met Anjelica back in the day, in NYC. It was when she was with Nicholson. She was old friends with a woman I new that had modeled with her. Thinking she was a victim to Jack’s sleaze is kinda nonsense. Both of them were whacked, and to say she was somehow better than him, or had a more upright moral posture, or was truly victimized is just plain silly. She was no angel. I still remember her picking up young boys; she was in her thirties and these guys couldn’t have been more than their late teens, and that was while Jack and her were still together.

      Neither of them had much of a moral compass. That’s just how people like them live. I certainly wouldn’t thumb my nose at one of them over the other.

  14. Jessica says:

    Interesting. Jack always said he would have married her, but she wouldn’t because he didn’t want children with her. I believe she used to say the same.

  15. Triple Cardinal says:

    She grew up in the household of John Huston, where women were routinely treated badly. She adored her dad, but his treatment of her could be harsh, too. Let’s just say he loved her in his own way. A background like that–years of living like that–can sabotage even the most liberated or enlightened thinking.

    BTW, I understand she now lives on a ranch chockfull of animals needing care. That may account for her hands looking rough.

  16. scout says:

    She was absolutely gorgeous back then!

  17. Talie says:

    I’m reading the book now — it’s not super juicy, but some good parts. She kind of cops out on the Roman Polankski scandal — I’ve read many reports stating what she really thought, but she doesn’t go there.

  18. cubfan34 says:

    I’ve never thought she was attractive. Now she looks scary.

  19. I always forget how absolutely gorgeous Anjelica was when she was younger. She looks good for her age, she hasn’t overdone it with the plastic surgery which is a plus. To me, Jack Nicholson is the singular representation of misogyny in Hollywood.

  20. Jess says:

    I instantly thought of Leo in that picture of Jack and Angelica, definitely his future here.

  21. FingerBinger says:

    I know Anjelica is a critically acclaimed actress ,but I’ll always remember her from the kid’s movie Witches. As for her relationship with Jack ,it doesn’t sound like she’s bitter or angry about it. I’ve always gotten the impression that she’s still very fond of him.

  22. kitty says:

    could be Gisele’s twin sister.

  23. Lisa says:

    Jack’s comment toward Huston immediately made me think of a relationship I had with an ex. One day I accused him of being hung up on someone from his past who he did not even date. I told him that he would probably dump me if he ever had the opportunity to date her and his response was, “Of course I would!” And he literally laughed in my face. Spoiled lawyer with a whopping case of NPD. Anyway, I think this was a far more abusive relationship than either of them let on.

  24. Murphy says:

    It’s uncanny how much Leo really is turning into Jack.

  25. Penelope says:

    Agree with all who note that her father had a lot to do with her relationship with Jack.

    On a lighter note, she would look much better now with a more stylish and age-appropriate haircut.

  26. Tig says:

    I enjoyed her first book, and will prob read this one as well. I hope she spends time talking about her relationship with her late husband- at least she got one hopefully normal relationship!

  27. Allons-y alonso says:

    I grew up in the Addams Family so I love Angelica. I just need a Gomez to my Morticia

  28. Josefa says:

    It’s a real shame he’s such an awful douchebag. He’s really talented.

    I wonder if any supermodels will release a memoir decades from now about their flings with Leo. By the looks of it, he’s heading straight into this direction.

  29. MAC says:

    1. It is 2014
    2. Get off your cross

    I feel for her about not being able to have children. I held out as long as I could and just had a hysterectomy. I am devastated and so far have not been able to get over it.

  30. Batt says:

    She was great in Ever After (which was a limp movie otherwise). They belong to another age when actors had more mystique and they loved hellraising men, tortured romances, etc. What actress would admit they did this kind of masochistic relationship to themselves today?

  31. moot says:

    “Leonardo DiCaprio, this is your future.”

    Nailed it.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t understand the appeal of Nicholson, but then, I never understood the appeal of DiCaprio either. Yuck to both.

    As for all the couch analysis (judginess) 40 years after the fact, just think about this. #BeenRapedNeverReported has been trending for over a week on Twitter for a reason. Women, even in this day, don’t have a lot of power in situations where abuse is occurring, either to themselves or to other women/girls. Everyone above who is criticising AH for what she didn’t do in the Polanski situation or in her own has really got to remember 1) it ain’t easy to stop an abuser today, 2) that happened 40 years ago and things were worse then. Nevermind the continuing lack of “feminist” teaching for our girl and boy children all around. You want to blame AH? I prefer to blame all of humanity that doesn’t stand up for girls and women who are victimized, period.