Legends We Wish Were Friends
Uncategorized | June 3, 2015
The talent of these celebrities is undeniable. What makes great artists, actors/actresses, musicians is not just their ability to perform but also their ability to make an impact on society. These celebrities changed our culture for the better and started movements that will be remembered forever.
With talent often comes competition. We wish these rivalries never formed, but they did so let’s look at some of the best of this generation and past generations.
How it began: Paul Gauguin joined Vincent Van Gogh at his studio in Arles, France, in 1888, for what both hoped would be a creative community to live and work in. However, after two electrifying and inflammatory months that included intense debates about their vastly different aesthetics, Gauguin realized he could not live and work with Van Gogh anymore.
Peak feud moment: During a fight, Van Gogh allegedly threatened Gauguin with a knife before turning it on himself and cutting off his ear, which he then gifted to a prostitute. Some art historians have suggested that Gauguin may have actually cut off the ear instead.
Resolved? Yes. Despite their stressful parting, Van Gogh and Gauguin continued to exchange letters and sketches of their work until Van Gogh’s suicide less than two years later.
How it began: As two of the only female fashion designers in the 1930s, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli were avowed rivals. Schiaparelli’s granddaughter, supermodel Marisa Berenson, later wrote in V magazine that Coco “was jealous” of her famous grandmother.
Peak feud moment: According to former Vogue editor Bettina Ballard, once, at a costume ball, Chanel “steered” her rival into some candles, causing Schiaparelli to catch fire.
Resolved: No, but Schiaparelli was forced to close her design house in 1954 after going bankrupt, making the rivalry somewhat moot.
How it began: Hollywood’s most legendary feud started in 1935 when Joan Crawford, a noted silver-screen siren, took up with Franchot Tone, who was Bette Davis’ leading man in the movie Dangerous. Davis had a crush on Tone, but couldn’t hold a candle to Crawford, who married the actor after the movie wrapped. From that moment on, the women were in an all-out war for roles and prestige, making no secret of their distaste for one another.
Peak feud moment: Despite both turning in show-stopping performances in the 1962 thriller Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, only Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Crawford’s solution to this slight: she called the other nominees, offering to accept the award on their behalf should they win. As luck would have it, winner Anne Bancroft couldn’t make it, so Crawford accepted the award, much to Davis’ dismay.
Resolved: No. Upon hearing of Crawford’s death, Davis allegedly remarked, “You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good. Joan Crawford is dead. Good!”
Michelle Smith and Jeremy Smith
How it began: Michelle and Jeremy were bonded by blood but nothing else. Jeremy was an author with over 25 books under his belt. Michelle claims that one of Jeremy’s best selling nonfiction books was from an idea she shared with him
Peak feud moment: The feud reached all-time highs when Jeremy refused to give his sister any credit for his best selling novel or share any of his profits with her.
Resolved: Jeremy eventually gave his sister credit for his work and decided to share a portion of his profits with her. They are now on good terms
How it began: Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine’s feud was a classic case of sibling rivalry, amplified by their parallel careers in show business. The drama began in 1935, when de Havilland landed her first role in Hollywood; little sister Fontaine soon followed with her first silver screen role in 1937. The sisters competed for parts, lovers and awards for the rest of their lives.
Peak feud moment: Fontaine, who was forced to take her stepfather’s surname so there wouldn’t be a surplus of de Havillands in Hollywood, beat out her older sister for her first Academy Award in 1942. But in 1947, when de Havilland won her first of two Oscars, she famously snubbed her younger sister when Fontaine attempted to congratulate her—a moment that photographer Hymie Fink captured on camera.
Resolved: Maybe. In a 2013 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fontaine maintained that there was no feud, despite some snipes over the years. “Let me just say, Olivia and I have never had a quarrel,” she said. “We have never had any dissatisfaction. We have never had hard words. And all this is press.”a
How it began: After Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband, Mike Todd, died in a plane crash in 1958, the grieving widow found solace—and later, a new husband—in singer Eddie Fisher. The only catch? He was still married to her good friend Debbie Reynolds.
Peak feud moment: Fisher divorced Reynolds, leaving behind children Carrie and Todd, to marry Taylor in 1959.
Resolved: Yes. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Reynolds revealed that she and Taylor made up in 1966 when the two stars found themselves booked on the same floor of the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner on a trip to London. Reynolds sent a note to Taylor, who replied with a note of her own asking Reynolds and husband Richard Hamlett to have dinner with her and her husband at the time, Richard Burton. The two later starred in the film These Old Broads, which was written by Reynolds and Fisher’s daughter, Carrie Fisher.
How it began: Boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier initially faced off at Madison Square Garden in 1971 in the first of what would be a three-fight trilogy—and an epic rivalry. The competition became a stand-in for the racial tensions of the time: Ali identified as a civil rights hero who stuck it to the establishment as a conscientious objector and a newly-converted Muslim, whereas Frazier, in Ali’s estimation, had “no cause” and was in the game “for the money alone.” Unlike Ali, Frazier wasn’t vocal about his politics (Frazier’s daughter Weatta Collins told The New York Timesthat her father was never political and he “didn’t care if people were Republican or Democrat.”) As a result, Frazier was framed as a “Great White Hope.”
Peak feud moment: For their third and final match-up, the “Thrilla in Manila,” Ali frequently used the racially charged term “gorilla” to refer to his opponent. With his win, Ali confirmed that he was indeed, as he proclaimed himself, “the Greatest.”
Resolved: No. In Frazier’s 1996 autobiography, Smokin’ Joe, the heavyweight champ still held a grudge against Ali, even though Ali’s luck had turned with the onset of Parkinson’s disease. “Truth is, I’d like to rumble with that sucker again—beat him up piece by piece and mail him back to Jesus,” Frazier wrote. “Now people ask me if I feel bad for him, now that things aren’t going so well for him. Nope. I don’t. Fact is, I don’t give a damn. They want me to love him, but I’ll open up the graveyard and bury his ass when the Lord chooses to take him.” In an interview with the New York Daily News in 2011, however, Frazier claimed to have moved on. “I forgave him for all the accusations he made over the years.”
How it began: Michael Jackson and Prince first faced off when their albums 1999 (Prince) and Thriller (Jackson) rivaled each other on the charts in 1982. From that point on, the King of Pop and the Purple One openly sparred for total domination of the music industry, dueling both on- and off-stage in what many deemed a competition between Jackson’s mainstream, mass appeal and Prince’s artistry. Whether it came in the form of subliminal lines in their songs or heated ping-pong battles, the two frequently found themselves in opposition.
Peak feud moment: Although many consider the feud’s apex to be the moment when Prince turned down Wesley Snipes’ role in Jackson’s 1987 “Bad” video, Prince showed just how petty he could be when he played his bass guitar directly in front of Jackson’s face during a concert, according to a story Will.i.am told on The Graham Norton Show.
Resolved: Maybe. According to biographer Tavis Smiley, after hearing that his longtime rival Jackson had passed away, Prince closed Paisley Park and locked himself in his bedroom for days, suggesting that beneath all the bitterness there was profound respect.
How it began: Even after marrying Diana in 1981, Charles maintained a warm relationship with his former flame, Camilla Parker-Bowles. Diana later claimed she discovered that Charles had rekindled his romance with Parker-Bowles in 1986. Meanwhile, the princess had infidelity rumors of her own to deal with, starting with “Squidgygate” in 1992, when The Sunrevealed that there were tapes of intimate conversations between her and a close friend, James Gilbey, who affectionately referred to Diana as “Squidgy” and “Squidge.”
Peak feud moment: When Princess Diana visited the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most romantic landmarks, alone during the royal couple’s 1992 tour of India, rumors of their rocky marriage proliferated. The heavy tabloid coverage of the couple put stress on an already strained union that was endlessly scrutinized by the public. A few days later, the world watched in fascination as Princess Di coolly rebuffed a kiss from her husband after a polo match, in full view of the media.
According to former Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter in his memoir On Duty With the Queen, after Diana turned away from Charles’ kiss, she told her protection officer Ken Wharfe that she was upset about Charles’ indiscretion about his more-than-friendship with Parker-Bowles. “If he wants to make a fool out of me with that woman, he deserves it,” she said. “But I am not about to make a fool of myself so that all his friends can laugh at me.” The couple formally announced their separation in December of 1992.
Resolved: No. Diana and Charles divorced in 1996. The following year, the princess died in a car crash in Paris. Charles notably participated in the public mourning of “the People’s Princess.” In 2005, he married Parker-Bowles.
How it began: After Johnny Carson retired from NBC’s Tonight Show, many assumed David Letterman, who already hosted Late Night with David Letterman on the same network, would take over. However, NBC installed Leno in the time slot instead, setting off what has since been called the “late-night wars.” These events were later immortalized in Bill Carter’s 1994 book The Late Shift and HBO’s subsequent film adaptation.
Peak feud moment: In 1993, Letterman received his own show, The Late Show with David Letterman, on CBS—airing at the same time as Leno’s The Tonight Show.
Resolved: Yes. Letterman revealed to Oprah Winfrey on Oprah’s New Chapterin 2012 that Leno “is the funniest guy I’ve ever known.” Leno, for his part, moved onto another conflict, when he was reinstated as the host of The Tonight Show in 2010 after Conan O’Brien took the reins in 2009.
How it began: According to former Guns ‘N Roses manager Doug Goldstein, the beef allegedly began when Slash said he would be collaborating with Michael Jackson in 1991. Axl Rose—who has since spoken out about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child—apparently took issue with Slash working with a performer widely rumored to have inappropriate relationships with children. (Jackson was later charged with child sexual abuse, which he denied. He was found not guilty, though new allegations surfaced after his death in 2009.)
Peak feud moment: After continued conflicts with Rose, Slash left the band for good in 1996.
Resolved: Yes. During an interview with CBS in 2015, Slash revealed that he and Rose were on speaking terms again. “It’s very cool at this point,” said Slash. “You know, let some of that, sort of, negative…dispel some of that negative stuff that was going on for so long.” The two later shared the stage when Guns ‘N Roses headlined Coachella’s 2016 festival.
How it began: Hip hop’s most infamous rivalry began in 1994 when Tupac Shakur was robbed and shot five times in the lobby of a recording studio in New York City, an incident that Los Angeles Times reporter Chuck Philips alleges the Notorious B.I.G. knew about a week in advance. While law enforcement officials have never confirmed any connection between Biggie or his East Coast compadres over Tupac’s assault, things were already heating up between the rappers, starting the legendary East Coast/West Coast feud that would shape the culture of rap for years to come.
Peak feud moment: At the 1995 Source Awards, while no physical beefing happened between Tupac and Biggie, lines were drawn between both of their respective crews, showing just how deep-rooted the rivalry between the two rappers and what they represented was. The highlight of the night was Suge Knight’s now-notorious speech about Death Row Records (Tupac’s label) that seemingly shaded Diddy and Bad Boy Records (Biggie’s label.) At one point during the ceremony, Tupac’s friend Snoop Dogg called out the East Coast (“The East Coast ain’t got love for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg?”) while Diddy defended it (“I live in the East, and I’m gonna die in the East”).
Resolved? No. After the Source Awards, Biggie released “Who Shot Ya?” in 1995, which Tupac interpreted as a diss track referring to his robbery and shooting the previous year. In response, he made the song “Hit ‘Em Up,” the lyrics of which explicitly reference “Who Shot Ya?”: “Who shot me?/ But your punks didn’t finish./ Now you ’bout to feel the wrath of a menace.” Tupac was killed in 1996, while Biggie died the year afterwards, but the East Coast/West Coast rivalry survived both of their deaths.
How it began: It was an epic battle of the blondes when Courtney Love crashed Madonna’s interview during the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards. She made her entrance by throwing her compact and her shoe onto the stage, before joining Kurt Loder and an eye-rolling Madge for a rambling interview where she opined on Birkenstocks and Alanis Morissette.
Peak feud moment: During the interview, Madonna venomously noted that “Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now.”
Resolved? No. Memorably, Madonna slammed Love and her VMAs antics during a 1996 interview with Spin, noting that “every chance she gets, she slags me off in the press. Years ago, she probably admired me and looked up to me, and now I’m like a parent to her or something, and she wants to destroy me. So, that’s what I think about Courtney.”
How it began: The beef between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal took off in 2003 when O’Neal called the Lakers “his” team. Then, during an interview with ESPN and Jim Gray that was riddled with Shaq disses, Bryant implied that the Lakers’ big man was milking his toe injury. Following the interview, O’Neal let Bryant know his displeasure by dropping a heated threat. “If you ever say anything like what you said to Jim Gray ever again, I will kill you,” he said, as recounted in his memoir, Shaq Uncut: My Story.
Peak feud moment: After eight seasons with the Lakers, O’Neal left for the Miami Heat in 2004. The day after O’Neal was traded, Bryant re-signed with the Lakers for seven years and $136 million.
Resolved? Yes. The duo reconciled on a 2015 episode of Shaq’s The Big Podcast with Shaq, where Bryant told O’Neal that their feud was basically just a workplace disagreement. “I just want people to know I don’t hate you, I know you don’t hate me.”
How it began: Nas and Jay Z’s fight for the title of King of New York started in 1996. Nas released a single called “The Message,” where he took a subliminal shot at Jay Z with the line “Lex with TV sets the minimum.” In an interview with Complex, the Queens rapper explained that he “saw Jay Z driving a Lexus with the TVs in them. I got rid of my Lexus at that point and I was looking for the next best thing.” After the death of the Notorious B.I.G. in 1997, both Nas and Jay Z began vying for recognition as the heir to the East Coast rap dynasty.
Peak feud moment: After Jay Z released 2001’s “Takeover,” a blatant call-out to Nas, the latter released “Ether,” a blistering, incendiary song considered by many to be the ultimate diss track.
Resolved: Yes. The former rivals embraced onstage and performed together in 2005 at the “I Declare War” concert in Philadelphia. In 2006 they collaborated on the song “Black Republican” for Nas’ 2006 album, Hip Hop Is Dead.
How it began: It seems as if life on the 90210 set in the 1990s was just as dramatic off-screen as it was on-screen. While fans of the show eagerly watched as Shannen Doherty’s Brenda Walsh was pitted against Jennie Garth’s Kelly Taylor for the affections of Luke Perry’s Dylan McKay, in real life, the fictional rivals also squabbled before Doherty eventually left the show. Garth said in a 2014 interview with E! News about her time with Doherty on the show, “There were times when we wanted to claw each other’s eyes out.”
Resolved: Yes. In an emotional 2016 Instagram post dedicated to Doherty’s struggles with breast cancer, Garth wrote, “I used to be threatened by your spirit, now I’m in awe of it…I’m so grateful that young me got to be friends with you but especially ‘old’ me! The best is yet to come on this crazy journey! Love you!”
How it began: The now legendary feud between Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez began in 2001. J. Lo allegedly stole Carey’s idea to sample Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Firecracker,” which became a prominent part of Lopez’s hit “I’m Real.” To add insult to injury, Lopez was working with Mimi’s ex-husband Tommy Mottola at the time.
Peak feud moment: When asked during an interview in the early ’00s about whether or not she would collaborate with Jenny from the Block, the Elusive Chanteuse merely shook her head and uttered the now-infamous phrase, “I don’t know her.”
Resolved? No. Now, over a decade later, Carey would like you to know that she still doesn’t know her.
How it began: In 2005, Tom Cruise criticized Brooke Shields’ use of antidepressants, calling it “irresponsible” during an interview with Access Hollywood after Shields went public with her struggles with postpartum depression. The controversial comments gained extra momentum since Cruise is a devout Scientologist, a belief system that prohibits mind-altering prescription medications of any kind.
Peak feud moment: Shields responded to Cruise’s comments by suggesting that the action star “should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them.” The rift was so great that Shields eventually penned an op-ed that year about the stigma around postpartum depression and Cruise’s comments for the New York Times.
Resolved: Yes. Shields revealed during an appearance on Jay Leno that Cruise came over to her house and “gave me a heartfelt apology.” She later attended his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes, even providing the traditional “something old” for the bride.
How it began: Heather Locklear and Denise Richards became best friends after meeting in 2001 when Richards guest-starred on an episode of Spin City with Locklear and Charlie Sheen, her future husband. Locklear acted as a major support during Richards’ 2005 divorce from Sheen. But that all changed in 2006 when Richards cozied up to Locklear’s soon-to-be ex-husband, rocker Richie Sambora.
Peak feud moment: In an interview with Peoplein 2006, Richards said, “I wish Heather well. Unfortunately, our friendship had to dissolve and I’m sad about that. The last thing I would want to do is create a media frenzy like this, especially as I’m trying to get through a divorce.” Richards later told Oprah in 2010 that she didn’t violate girl code with Locklear by dating Sambora because “If Heather and I were friends, I absolutely never would have crossed that line with Richie, ever.”
Resolved: Yes. With Sambora and Locklear now on good terms as exes and Richards no longer romantically involved with Sambora, there doesn’t appear to be any animosity between the two.
How it began: After Heidi Montag started dating Spencer Pratt in 2007, her relationship with The Hills star Lauren Conrad became strained. Conrad and Pratt often disagreed, which led to the deterioration of her friendship with Montag.
Peak feud moment: After Conrad concluded that rumors of a fake sex tape—allegedly featuring Conrad and her then-boyfriend Jason Wahler—came from Pratt, she confronted the couple at The Hills’ popular haunt, Les Deux. This fight became the catalyst for most of the drama on the show—and introduced the infamous phrase, “You know what you did!”
Resolved? Yes—at least, in the world of reality television. LC attended Speidi’s wedding in 2009 in what would be her final appearance on The Hills. However, in an interview with Complexin 2015, both Montag and Pratt maintained that the video exists. While other reality TV feuds might have been splashier (see: Jersey Shore‘s Sammi Sweetheart vs. Ron or Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Kim Zolciak and Kenya Moore,) Conrad and Pratt’s conflict became a cultural touchstone in the history of feuding for reality ratings.
How it began: Beyoncé introduced Tina Turner as “the Queen” at the 2008 Grammys, which prompted Aretha Franklin to issue a statement: “I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyoncé,” it read. “However, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy.” In a USA Today interview that followed, Turner contended that “She’s the queen of soul, and I’m the queen of rock ‘n’ roll. There were so many kings and queens there that night. Her ego must be so big to think she was the only one. That’s how queens are!”
Peak feud moment: Franklin responded to Turner’s comment about ego with a USA Todayinterview of her own contending that Turner “clearly was talking about herself.” To further drive home her point about Turner having a bigger ego, Franklin insinuated that Turner was stoking the feud’s fire to boost her popularity. “I never figured her to resort to tacky press just to sell a few tickets,” Franklin said. “I really had put her in a different class—higher than that. No one has been more gracious to their peers than I have, and I am confident and secure enough to do so, unlike some others.”
Resolved? No. Although the two haven’t publicly sparred of late, Franklin’s stayed busy shading other musical artists into oblivion.
How it began: Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s beef began when he interrupted her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV VMAs to say that Beyoncé should have won the award for Best Female Video. But it reached epic proportions in 2016, when West name-checked Tay with a vulgar lyric on his song “Famous.” Swift cried foul, while West claimed she had given him the go-ahead to use the lyric.
Peak feud moment: Kim Kardashian West released a recording via Snapchat in 2016 that Taylor Swift did, indeed, appear to have an amicable phone call with Kanye about “Famous.”
Resolved? No, but Swift wrote on Instagram after the Snapchat reveal that she would “very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” We’ll have to wait to see how she really feels until she releases her next album, purportedly heading our way next winter.
How it began: Katy Perry and Taylor Swift used to have mad love for one another (just look at the receipts of their social media exchanges)— until Perry started dating Swift’s ex, John Mayer, in 2012. Adding fuel to this feud’s fire? In 2013, Perry approached her former dancers, who were then on Swift’s Red tour, to ask them to leave Swift’s show mid-tour and join her upcoming live show. They chose to join Perry, and it was all downhill from there.
Peak feud moment: In a candid interview with Rolling Stonein 2014, Swift revealed that her song “Bad Blood” was about a popular female artist. “She did something so horrible,” Swift said. “I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’ And it wasn’t even about a guy! It had to do with business…She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me.” The day after Swift’s Rolling Stone interview was released, Perry wrote a cryptic tweet, warning her followers to “watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing”—a reference to Mean Girls‘ meanest bully. While neither singer has explicitly called out the other by name, it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to put two and two together.
Resolved? No. In October 2016, Perry took a Snapchat of herself dancing to Kanye West’s “Famous” during a concert on his Saint Pablo tour; when his lyrics referencing Swift came up, Perry made a face that indicates that this feud is far from over.
How it began: Domestic goddess Martha Stewart called out Gwyneth Paltrow in 2014 during an interview with Porter Magazine, offering a candid critique of Paltrow’s foray into the lifestyle space with Goop. “She just needs to be quiet,” Stewart said. “She’s a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart.” A few weeks later, Paltrow responded to Stewart’s diss in an interview at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit with sarcasm: “No one has ever said anything bad about me before, so I’m shocked and devastated. I’ll try to recover.” She also reacted gleefully to the idea that Stewart saw Goop as “competition.”
Peak feud moment: In an issue of Martha Stewart Living, an editorial about pies was titled “Conscious Coupling,” a tongue-in-cheek dig at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s divorce announcement, which declared their decision to “consciously uncouple.” Less than a month later, Paltrow’s Goop website posted a recipe for “Jailbird cake,” a seeming jab at Martha Stewart’s stint in the slammer.
Resolved? No. The battle of the lifestyle doyennes rages on.
How it began: In 2015, Atlanta Magazinereported that chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain had called restaurateur and TV host Guy Fieri a “douche” during a live show on his standup tour. Fieri, in turn, told GQthat same year that Bourdain must have “issues, ‘cos the average person doesn’t behave that way.” Bourdain’s pedigree as a respected tastemaker pitted against Fieri’s unabashedly indulgent approach to everyday fare were the perfect ingredients for a simmering feud.
Peak feud moment: In 2016, Bourdain appeared to call for a truce by saying he had “no hate” for Fieri during an interview with the New York Daily News, but less than three weeks later, he told Adweek that he believed Fieri was “worthy of a solid and maybe relentless mocking.”
Resolved? No. The two culinary figures probably won’t be sharing a kitchen anytime soon.