Husbands & Lovers


Olive Borden

Olive enjoyed many passionate love affairs during her life. Unfortunately none of these relationships lasted.


Olive Borden Paul Bern
Olive and Paul Bern

In 1924 Olive started dating director Paul Bern. At the time she was nearly broke and needed a job. Paul cast Olive in two of his films - The Dressmaker From Paris and Grounds For Divorce. They broke up in 1925 but remained close friends. He and Olive rekindled their romance in 1930 and dated for several months. Paul married actress Jean Harlow in 1932. Tragically he died on September 5, 1932 at the age of forty-two. His official cause of death was suicide but many people believe his first wife murdered him.


Olive Borden George O'BrienOlive Borden George O'Brien
Olive and George O'Brien

In the Fall of 1925 Olive met George O'Brien when they worked together in the western 3 Bad Men. The following year they costarred in the hit comedy Fig Leaves. Their real life romance lasted for four and a half years. The couple got engaged in 1929 and Olive said they were "looking for a house suitable for two". Sadly George decided he did not want to marry Olive and he broke up with her in early 1930. His conservative family did not approve of her drinking and lavish spending. There were also rumors that George was involved with his costar Sue Carol. George was the great love of Olive's life and she was heartbroken when the relationship ended. He married actress Marguerite Churchill in 1933 but the couple divorced. George died in 1985 at the age of eighty-six.

Olive Borden George O'BrienOlive Borden George O'Brien


Edward Stevenson
Edward Stevenson

In the Sping of 1930 Olive went out on a few dates with costume designer Edward Stevenson. They had worked together on the film Wedding Rings. Edward never married and died in 1968 at the age of sixty-two.


Olive Borden Teddy Spector
Olive, Teddy Spector, and Pearl Spector

On March 23, 1931 Olive married Theodore "Teddy" Spector, a thirty-one year old stockbroker. Teddy was born Isadore Spector in Poland and came to the United States when he was a toddler. He and Olive kept their marriage a secret for several weeks while they honeymooned on the West Coast. The couple moved into an apartment at 105 Graham Avenue (now Rosa Parks Boulevard) in Patterson, New Jersey. Teddy wanted her to give up her career but she refused. After just one year of marriage they separated in April of 1932. Olive said "Ted wanted me to quit the stage but I simply cannot do it. I have been in the profession quite a while and I love it. We could not agree on the subject, so we decided the only thing to do was separate." A month after she left Teddy he was accused of being a bigamist. His first wife, Pearl Haworth Spector, claimed he had never divorced her before marrying Olive. The story made headlines all over the country and Pearl Spector gave several interviews. She said that Teddy called her the day before he married Olive begging for a divorce. To make matters worse he said he was only marrying Olive because she threatened to throw herself off a ten story building. He was arrested for bigamy but the charges were eventually dropped. Olive filed for an annulment in September of 1932. In court she testified that she did not know Teddy already had a wife. Their marriage was annulled on November 21, 1932. Olive was humiliated by the scandal and the bad publicity didn't help her career. Teddy was arrested in 1934 for illegally selling securities. He died in 1961 at the age of sixty-one.

Olive Borden DivorceOlive Borden Teddy Spector


Marshall Neilan
     Marshall Neilan

In 1933 Olive met Marshall Neilan when he directed her in the drama Chloe Love Is Calling You. He had been married to actress Blanche Sweet. Olive and Marshall dated for several months. Unfortunately he was an alcoholic and her drinking got worse during their relationship. Marshall died in 1958 at the age of sixty-seven.


Enric Madrigueara
Enric Madrigueara

In early 1934 Olive had a relationship with violinist Enric Madrigueara. The couple met in New York City and dated for a few months. One reporter said the couple was "on fire". Enric died in 1973 at the age of sixty-nine.


Olive Borden Ralph Emerson
Olive and Ralph Emerson

Olive met actor Walter "Ralph" Emerson when they costarred in the 1928 film The Albany Night Boat. They worked together again in Dance Hall. Olive and Ralph became close friends and had a brief affair in 1934. During his divorce his wife Jane accused him of cheating with Olive and several other women. In a 1937 interview Ralph admitted that Jane divorced him because "she had found out about Olive Borden and me in New York and St. Louis." Ralph passed away in 1984 at the age of eighty-four.

Olive Boren Ralph Emerson Divorce


Olive Borden
Olive in the early 1930s

On November 2, 1934 Olive married John Moeller, a railroad electrician. He was born on April 20, 1908 in Richmond Hill, New York.The couple lived at 130-11 92nd Avenue on Long Island. They shared the three bedroom home with John's widowed father, William Moeller. Olive quit acting and got a job at Macy's department store. During the marriage she struggled with alcoholism and had to file for bankruptcy. The couple divorced in 1941 when John found out Olive was having an affair.


Arthur Benline
Arthur Benline

In 1940 Olive began having an affair with Arthur Benline. He had worked at RKO during the 1930s and became Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Construction Battalion. Their relationship ended her marriage to John Moeller. By 1943 they had broken up but Arthur continued to help Olive financially. He later became New York City's Commissioner of Air Pollution Control and married Ziegfeld Girl Peggy Cornell. Arthur died in 1995 at the age of ninety-two.