“If only those who dream about Hollywood knew how difficult it all is.”—Greta Garbo.
One price of celebrity is that issues which would normally be kept private are followed with great interest by thousands, even millions, of people. As a result, those petty squabbles that people get into all the time become blown out of proportion and turn into feuds that last years. Hollywood has always provided its share of these feuds and rivalries, much to the delight of those who adore a bit of gossip. They even made a tv series about the infamous feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. But what other feuds were there besides those two? Here, presented for your viewing pleasure, is a list of feuds, great and small, that have graced the world of Hollywood.
1. Is it Still a Good Thing?
When movie star Gwyneth Paltrow started Goop, her lifestyle business in 2014, it drew the ire of lifestyle figure Martha Stewart. The two took potshots at each other through their brands’ products, with Paltrow mocking Stewart’s prison time and Stewart making a jibe against Paltrow’ strange description of her divorce with Chris Martin.
2. Smell You Later
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air taught the world to love Will Smith… that is, everyone except for his fellow cast member, Janet Hubert-Whitten, who played Vivian Banks. Hubert-Whitten’s feud with Smith became so overbearing that she ended up leaving the show and was replaced by actress Daphne Maxwell Reid. In 2011, Hubert-Whitten was asked if she would ever reunite with her former castmates. She maintained that the hatchet was never going to be buried, but in November 2020, she and Smith were able to bury the hatchet for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 's reunion special .
3. The Money Wasn’t Good Enough, Apparently
In 2008, Oliver Stone released the film W., a tongue-in-cheek biopic of President George W. Bush. The film featured Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney, but it seemed that Dreyfuss had a pretty bad time on the film. He later disparaged the film, saying that he had only acted in it for the money. Not only that, Dreyfuss denounced Stone as a “fascist” in an interview on The View. They have yet to work together again.
4. A Breach in Friendship
There was a time when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were a pair of reality TV princesses with their show The Simple Life. However, their relationship allegedly became soured with Hilton’s fame eclipsing Richie’s. According to some sources, Richie held a party in 2005 to “celebrate” Hilton’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, which Richie hadn’t been invited to, and screened Hilton’s pornographic tape during the event. Hilton and Richie had a brief but bitter falling-out before reconciling long enough to film two more seasons of The Simple Life, much to the relief of… well, whoever actually watched that show, I guess.
5. A Chicken Brawl
Back in the 1970s, a young Sylvester Stallone and a young Richard Gere were cast in the film The Lords of Flatbush, but they instantly took a dislike to each other. Stallone disliked Gere’s posturing and his attitude on set, and when Gere boorishly spilled food on Stallone, the two men came to blows. Gere was subsequently replaced, and the two men continue to keep their distance from each other.
6. Ingrate or Innocent?
Despite the success of their film Precious, the aftermath led to a deep rift between director Lee Daniels and co-star Mo’Nique. Mo’Nique has gone on record accusing Daniels of sabotaging her career in reaction to her not thanking him during her Oscar acceptance speech. Daniels denies this, insisting that Mo’Nique’s issues are her own, dismissing her as exhibiting “disrespectful” behavior. Safe to say that they’re not going to work on a sequel to Precious any time soon.
7. Old Enemies
The fantasy drama Charmed starred Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano in the early 2000s, before Doherty left the show after the third season. The reported reasons for this departure was a combination of creative issues with the show’s direction and a feud with her co-star Milano. Thankfully, the two women would move on from their disagreements, to the point where Milano offered her support to Doherty when Doherty was diagnosed with mammary cancer in 2015.
8. Quite a Way to Quit
Katherine Heigl appeared on the Shonda Rhimes show Grey’s Anatomy for six seasons. In 2008, however, Heigl poured gasoline on that bridge and lit a metaphorical match when she withdrew her name from Emmy nominations, explaining that she didn’t think she “was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination.” Rhimes took issue with Heigl claiming to “maintain the integrity of the Academy organization” by preventing her show from being nominated, and Heigl promptly finished her run with the show.
9. Robot Rage
One of the iconic relationships of the Star Wars films is the constant bickering of R2-D2 and C-3PO, the robot friends who can never stay mad at each other for long. However, behind the metal facades lay a genuine feud between the robots’ actors, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker. The two of them hated each other so much that they refused to spend any more time together than was necessary. The general wisdom became that if you got one of them to show up at a Comic-Con event, you’d never get the other one there as well.
10. The Day the Johns Clashed
When people picture John Wayne, they usually imagine him in some kind of Old West town on horseback slinging his six-shooters. Wayne himself understood that, which made it confusing and infuriating for him when he acted as the lead character in John Huston’s The Barbarian and the Geisha. Wayne thought he was being made to look foolish in the film and was disconnected from the material, causing him to clash bitterly with Huston. For his part, Huston was struggling to make the film, writing new scenes overnight during production and clashing with what the studio demanded from the film. Ultimately, the film was a critical and commercial flop, with Wayne and Huston equally unsatisfied. The two men never worked together again.
11. Take a Swing!
Jamie Foxx and LL Cool J both co-starred in Oliver Stone’s NFL film Any Given Sunday, and they took their characters’ rivalry to a whole new level. While filming a scene inside Miami’s Pro Player Stadium, the two began throwing genuine punches at each other. Both were injured, yet they refused medical treatment and refused to press charges when the authorities became involved. They eventually put the incident behind them and appeared on each other’s songs.
12. The Claws Are Out!
After working together amicably on Live Free or Die Hard, Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis decided to work on a movie together called Cop Out. The film was not just a critical and commercial disappointment, but it was a bitter experience for both men. Willis derisively called Smith a “whiner,” while Smith declared that Willis was “the unhappiest, most bitter and meanest emo-[bleep] I ever met at any job I’ve held. And mind you, I worked at Domino’s.” Ouch…
13. From One Feud to Another
In 1991, Julia Roberts canceled her wedding to Kiefer Sutherland just four days before it was meant to happen and ran away to Ireland with Sutherland’s friend Jason Patric. Upon her return, she began filming for Steven Spielberg’s Hook, but was obviously going through a lot and in a terrible mindset—remember, she was just 24 years old at the time. Things got so bad that she earned the nickname “Tinkerhell” in mockery of the character she plays in the film. Even Spielberg, not known for being hard to work with, became fed up with Roberts’ behavior. On one occasion, Roberts arrived late to the set and declared that she was finally ready to work. Spielberg allegedly retorted “We’re ready when I say we’re ready, Julia.” After the film was finished, Spielberg appeared on 60 Minutes and was asked if he would ever work with Roberts again, to which he very clearly answered “no.”
14. Thank You for Being a Friend?
The Golden Girls was a huge hit and made stars out of the four leading ladies who starred on the show. However, things were not always easy between those ladies; Bea Arthur and Betty White were incredibly different women who approached their careers and lives in nearly opposite manners. According to Rue McClanahan, their co-star, White and Arthur wouldn’t talk to each other at all if they weren’t being filmed.
15. A Fan, not a Pal
Interestingly, despite their nonexistent speaking terms outside of work, Betty White expressed her admiration for Bea Arthur’s talent several times. She would even attend Arthur’s one-woman show multiple times, though she probably didn’t stick around to say hi after the show!
16. The Singer and the Director
During the production of Dancer in the Dark, reports circulated that lead actress Bjork was frequently clashing with the film’s director Lars Von Trier. However, according to Bjork, many of the stories—including one where she allegedly ate part of a blouse on the set—were made up by Von Trier to discredit her. She also alleged that she was harassed by a “Danish director” whom everyone has perceived to be von Trier. Her claims have been backed by her manager and countered by von Trier and the film’s producer Peter Jensen.
17. Acting Unprofessional
When it came to his film Wall Street, Oliver Stone cast Darryl Hannah as the materialistic love interest of Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), while Sean Young was cast as Kate Gekko, wife of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). The production became soured due to the actions of both women; Hannah became more and more disillusioned with the part she was playing, even as Young insisted that she was better for Hannah’s part. Stone became so infuriated at Young’s refusal to stop lobbying for the bigger part that he cut her role severely. It didn’t help that Young and Charlie Sheen feuded on the set as well. Stone eventually came to regret keeping Hannah in the role she obviously didn’t want, but the fact remains that he never worked with Young again after Wall Street.
18. Me Vs. the World
In the 1990s, Val Kilmer was at the height of his fame as a box office star, but that didn’t stop three different directors from publicly announcing that they were utterly sick of him. Richard Stanley was the original director on The Island of Dr. Moreau, but after three days of getting on Kilmer’s bad side, he was fired from the production. John Frankenheimer was brought in to replace Stanley, but the situation didn’t change; Frankenheimer publicly insulted Kilmer’s work ethic and personality, refusing to work with him ever again. Later, when Kilmer became Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever, he failed to make a good impression on director Joel Schumacher, who later expressed that he though Kilmer was “the most psychologically troubled human being I’ve ever worked with.” To be fair, this was before Schumacher worked with Kevin Spacey on House of Cards.
19. The Case of Carson’s Ego
Before her passing, Joan Rivers was one of the most famous talk show hosts and commenters in Hollywood. In the early stages of her career, however, Rivers was a guest-host with the late great Johnny Carson on his talk show. After three years, Rivers was offered her own show, which caused a permanent rift between her and Carson. Carson accused her of having accepted the deal without telling him, while Rivers claimed she called him to give the news, but he hung up on her and “never, ever spoke to [her] again.”
20. Happy Again?
It was one of the brutal stories behind one of the great movies of Old Hollywood. While filming Singin’ in the Rain, Gene Kelly was unbelievably hard on newcomer Debbie Reynolds, who had admitted to Kelly when they first met that she’d never danced before. Kelly was ruthless in making Reynolds practice for more than twelve hours straight. He didn’t even care when her feet bled, and he would often shout at her until she cried.
21. Yeah, That Went Too Far
Amazingly, Debbie Reynolds managed to forgive Gene Kelly for making her feet bleed and subjecting her to such horrid treatment. Reynolds claimed that she was grateful for Kelly’s cruel behavior as it gave her thicker skin and improved her performing ability. For his part, Kelly found it amazing that Reynolds even spoke to him again after how cruel he’d been to her. At least he was self-aware!
22. Sibling Trouble
Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland, despite their wildly different surnames, were sisters. However, things were complicated between them even from childhood, when they became bitter rivals from the start. Their mother made things worse by favoring de Havilland over Fontaine, which added further fuel to the fire.
23. It’s on Now
When they both became actresses, Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine began competing for roles against each other. Fontaine got one over de Havilland when she was cast in the Alfred Hitchcock films Rebecca and Suspicion, winning an Oscar for the latter. De Havilland never forgave her for having a thriving career, so that when she won an Oscar of her own in 1947, she refused to shake Fontaine’s hand while accepting it—Fontaine was hosting the Oscars that year.
24. See You Never
The final straw between Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine occurred when their mother passed on in 1975. According to Fontaine, de Havilland never invited Fontaine to the funeral, while de Havilland claimed that Fontaine had apparently had better things to do—given that this was the mother who openly picked favorites with her kids, we’re inclined to believe either story might be true. Either way, the sisters didn’t speak to each other again until Fontaine’s death more than 35 years later.
25. Poisoning the Star
Henri-Georges Clouzot was regarded as one of the most controversial figures in French cinema during his lifetime, and he made things worse by being outright abusive towards the women on his set—taking a leaf out of Alfred Hitchcock’s book, but more on him later. Clouzot worked with famous French beauty Brigitte Bardot on the Oscar-winning film La Vérité. At one point in the film, Bardot’s character overdoses on sleeping pills and Clouzot actually secretly gave Bardot real sleeping pills, claiming they were just painkillers. Clouzot also forced Bardot to consume alcohol in other scenes rather than just trust her acting ability.
26. Don’t Tread on Me!
Brigitte Bardot wasn’t a pushover, however; Henri-Georges Clouzot was used to hurling insults at his actresses until they cried, but Bardot would only laugh. On one occasion, Clouzot tried to hit her, only for him to be struck in return, and Bardot left the set until he apologized. On one incident, Clouzot told her he needed an “actress” instead of an “amateur,” Bardot retorted that she needed a “director” instead of a “psychopath.”
27. Don’t Anger America’s Sweetheart
I Love Trouble wasn’t a very well-known film; in fact, according to its star, Nick Nolte, it was the worst film he’d ever done. What might have inspired this attitude was his experience with Julia Roberts, his co-star. Both had an awful time working together, with Roberts claiming that Nolte was the worst actor she’d ever worked with and calling him “disgusting.” Nolte, for his part, accused her of being “not a nice person.” Safe to say that they’ve never worked together since.
28. Clash of Styles
Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe aren’t necessarily the first pairing you’d expect to make a movie together, but they did just that in the mid-1950s. By all accounts, the production behind The Prince and the Showgirl was a nightmare for nearly everyone involved thanks to Monroe and Olivier’s clashing. Monroe was famously committed to Method acting, which infuriated Olivier to the point that he fired her acting coach, Paula Strasberg. Monroe, already showing up late on most days, refused to work until Strasberg was restored to the production.
29. Ego Bruising
It wasn’t all Marilyn Monroe’s fault, though. Olivier was famous for his arrogant manner when discussing other professional actors like Marlon Brando and Kirk Douglas, and in Monroe’s case, he was especially vicious. According to one witness to the production, Olivier constantly called Monroe a b*tch and went out of his way to antagonize and humiliate Monroe. Either way, their feud was so storied that it was featured in a memoir (My Week with Marilyn) and its subsequent film adaptation, with Kenneth Branagh playing Olivier and Michelle Williams playing Monroe.
30. Father and Daughter
There was a time in the 1970s when Ryan O’Neal was one of the biggest stars in the world. He had a huge hit and an Oscar nomination with the tragic romance film Love Story. He also starred in Stanley Kubrick’s period film Barry Lyndon, the WWII epic A Bridge Too Far, and the dramatic comedy Paper Moon, which also starred his young daughter, Tatum O’Neal. Tatum earned an Oscar nomination herself at her young age, but, sadly, this time period was the high point of her relationship with her father.
31. Rocky Relationship
Both Ryan and Tatum O’Neal struggled with substance use and had a highly volatile relationship for more than 25 years. According to Tatum, Ryan subjected her to physical and emotional abuse due to his own addictions, and there was a report that Ryan even tried to strike her at the funeral of Farrah Fawcett, Tatum’s stepmother.
32. Unhappy Ending
Reconciling Ryan and Tatum O’Neal ended up being such a difficult task that Oprah Winfrey decided to step in. The ensuing efforts led to a reality TV show titled Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals that was released in 2011. However, according to Ryan, their reconciliation was short-lived, and their situation was even worse off than before the show, cynically thanking Oprah for her “lack of support.” Because really, let’s be honest, when does reality TV ever actually solve anything?
33. Despotic Director
Even before Roman Polanski’s reputation and name were forever stained by his trial over assault accusations, he proved rather tyrannical towards his actors. While filming what is arguably his best film, Chinatown, Polanski clashed viciously with his lead actress, Faye Dunaway. Both of them infuriated the other, to the point where Dunaway once demanded direction from him on how to play her character, and he reportedly screamed: “Say the [bleeping] words!”
34. In Your Face!
The clashes of Roman Polanski and Faye Dunaway on the set of Chinatown came to its peak when Dunaway asked for a bathroom break, only to be rudely refused by Polanski. That was the final straw for Dunaway; she allegedly peed into a cup on the spot and threw it in Polanski’s face! We’d be tempted to ask for Polanski’s comments on the incident, but the last time someone did, they found themselves facing a livid Polanski as he kicked them out of the interview.
35. Is There Anybody Out There?
In one of the great family feuds of Hollywood, Henry Fonda clashed frequently with his children. In between his frequent relationship changes, Fonda’s “emotionally distant” parenting style isolated his children from him, particularly his daughter Jane.
36. Art Resolving Life
After years of being on bad terms, Jane Fonda purchased the rights to the film On Golden Pond with the express purpose of casting herself and her father in the meta-roles of an elderly father and his adult daughter reconciling their differences at long last. The film was a big success and earned Henry Fonda his only Oscar. Jane accepted it on his behalf as he was too ill to attend the ceremony; Henry passed on soon after in 1982.
37. Teenage Romance?
In a rather great irony, the actors behind Romeo + Juliet weren’t very wild about each other for part of the production. Leonardo DiCaprio felt that Claire Danes was “way too uptight” while Danes fired back that DiCaprio was “immature.” Of course, the two of them did resolve their differences during the production and became much friendlier afterward. No word on if the romance of the film rubbed off on them, though.
38. What a Monster…
Some men don’t handle rejection well at all, and sometimes famous and rich men use their position to act as horribly as humanly possible to satisfy their own ego. Alfred Hitchcock was such a man, and while he was making The Birds, he developed an obsession with newcomer actress Tippi Hedren. Hedren, however, refused his advances, much to his fury. Not only did he subject her to harm by throwing live birds at her while the cameras were rolling, he would hire staff members to stalk her and report on her when she wasn’t on set. When Hedren demanded to be released from her contract, Hitchcock forced her to stay on her contract but refused to cast her in any films. By the time the contract expired and she was free to find other work, her career had been permanently damaged by Hitchcock.
39. Yeah, That’s Just Creepy
As if all that wasn’t bad enough, Alfred Hitchcock took his feud with Tippi Hedren beyond just her, but her family. While The Birds was in post-production, Hitchcock had brought Hedren in to have a mask made of her face. Hitchcock then shrunk her face down and created a doll which was an exact replica of Hedren. Hitchcock dressed the doll up like Hedren’s character in The Birds, put the doll in a little coffin, and sent it to Hedren’s six-year-old daughter for a “birthday gift.” The daughter in question was actress Melanie Griffith, who later declared of Hitchcock: “He was a [profanity beginning with mother], and you can quote me.”
40. Attention Seeker
The feud between Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield could be summed up in the famous picture where an annoyed Loren takes note of Mansfield’s revealing neckline. To provide more context, Loren was hosting a party in Beverly Hills as an attempt to get her name out there, but Mansfield proceeded to upstage her with her usual tricks of revealing clothes and “accidental” wardrobe malfunctions for extra publicity. According to Loren, one reason she had her eye on Mansfield’s bust was that she was expecting another one of Mansfield’s wardrobe malfunctions to happen at any moment. Despite her frustration and disdain, Loren would refuse to autograph any copy of that famous picture out of respect for Mansfield’s memory—she had perished tragically in a car accident in the 1960s.
41. So This is Why Bronn’s Never Around when Tyrion Needs Him Most!
With all the convincing hatred and bitterness between characters on Game of Thrones, you would think that at least some of it must be genuine. Well, it turns out that the real bitterness isn’t reflected in the show at all! This is because Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Jerome Flynn (Bronn) have made an explicit condition in their contracts that they are never to be in the same room as each other at any point in time! The specific reason remains unknown, but it’s been established that they were once a romantic couple of sorts.
42. Roberts vs. Roberts
Eric and Julia Roberts (yes, her again), both movie stars, albeit with very different career trajectories, first became estranged when Eric, struggling with substance dependencies, gained an unsavory reputation for domestic violence. His sister Julia understandably sided with Eric’s partner in the custody battle for their daughter Emma (yes, the Emma Roberts who is also an actress), which Eric took serious issue with. Things got so bad between them that Julia allegedly refused to have her brother’s name even mentioned around her. They did eventually reconcile, though.