Shirley MacLaine Explains Her 28-Year Open Marriage

PHOTO: Shirley MacLaine poses with her husband, producer Steve Parker, backstage at the Academy Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., April 13, 1964.PlayGene Lester/Getty Images
WATCH Shirley MacLaine on Her Open Marriage

Iconic actress Shirley MacLlaine, 81, was married for 28 years from 1954 to 1982 and she says an open marriage is the key to success.

"No one understood it, we did. He lived in Japan basically, I lived in America working, and this and that," she told People magazine of her time with producer Steve Parker before the two split in 1982.

He died in 2001. "We'd meet up, always great friends, traveled sometimes together," she said.

She added, "I guess you would say 'practiced an open marriage' in 1954, which was another lifetime."

MacLaine was adamant that being open is why her marriage lasted so long.

"I think that's the basis for a long-lasting marriage, if you really want to do such a thing," she said. "I would say better to stay friends and we don't have enough time to talk about the sexuality of all. I was very open about all of that and so was he."

The conversation about marriage and relationships took place during a Sirius XM town hall about MacLaine's latest book, "Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure," out now.

The memoir chronicles "New York Times bestselling author and Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine’s remarkable experiences filming 'Wild Oats' in the Canary Islands and the extraordinary memories her time there brought forth of a past life on the lost continent of Atlantis,” according to Simon and Schuster, the book's publisher.