The Most Dramatic Feuds in Hollywood History
From Elizabeth v. Debbie to Taylor v. Kanye, these brutal conflicts went on for years.
Ever since there's been a Hollywood, there have been celebrity feuds. And it's only natural—with people being pitted against each other when it comes to roles, press, and awards, conflicts are going to arise. Sometimes that means a stage acting legend not getting along with one of the most popular women in the world. Sometimes that means you don't get to appear in the ninth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise.
The point is, while times have changed and the methods of dissing have changed, feuding is still alive and well. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine were known for their fierce rivalry, and Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds ended up in a love triangle that made headlines. In modern times, Kanye West and Taylor Swift's lengthy feud has moved from award shows to TV interviews to social media. Now that we have Twitter and Instagram, these Hollywood feuds have taken on a whole new way of existing.
Read on to find out more about 15 of the most infamous Hollywood feuds of all time, ranging from the 1930s to today. And for performers who didn't get along off-screen, check out 11 Beloved Movie Couples Who Clashed Behind the Scenes.
Taylor Swift and Kanye West
It all started with: "Taylor, I'm really happy for you. I'mma let you finish. But Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time." When Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, it kicked off a feud that would last way too long.
For years, both of them were asked about it in interviews, with West giving almost-apologies that he'd later walk back. And then in 2015, it seemed like things were actually cool between them. Swift even presented West with an award at that year's VMAs. But, the following year, things took a serious turn for the worse when West released his song "Famous," which mentions Swift by name and calls her an expletive. This led to a huge back-and-forth involving West's wife, Kim Kardashian, leaking a phone call between the rapper and singer, and Swift's famous "I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative" statement. Swift also referenced West on her 2017 album Reputation.
Maybe in 10 years they'll give us a VMAs reunion collaboration, but don't bet on it.
For more star falling outs, check out Former Celebrity Best Friends Who Barely Speak Anymore.
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford
This Old Hollywood feud was so dramatic that it was made into a TV show, Feud: Bette and Joan. According to Harper's Bazaar, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's rivalry supposedly kicked off in 1933, when Crawford's divorce was announced on the release day of Ex-Lady, which featured Davis' first starring role.
As the years went on, Davis and Crawford dealt with relationship drama (Crawford married the man Davis loved), Oscars drama (Davis turned down Mildred Pierce; Crawford took the role and won an Oscar), and casting drama (Davis played a very unfavorable version of Crawford in The Star).
In 1962, everything came to a head when the two actors starred in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? On the set, antics included Davis getting a Coke machine installed in her dressing room because Crawford was on the board of directors for Pepsi, and Crawford intentionally making herself heavy in a scene where Davis, who had back problems, had to drag her across a room.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Vin Diesel
A feud between Fast and the Furious stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Vin Diesel kicked off back in 2016 when Johnson posted an Instagram complaining of male costars from The Fate of the Furious who didn't "conduct themselves as stand-up men and true professionals." Soon, reports came out that Diesel showing up late to set upset Johnson and crew members.
The feud went on to involve some convoluted social media posts from Diesel, and plenty of commentary from their other costar Tyrese Gibson.
In 2018, Johnson told Rolling Stone (via Us Weekly) that while they were not in scenes together in The Fate of the Furious, they had an "important" conversation in his trailer. "What I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating. It took me some time, but I'm grateful for that clarity," Johnson said, adding, "I wish him all the best and I harbor no ill will there, just because of the clarity we have. Actually, you can erase that last part about 'no ill will.' We'll just keep it with the clarity."
While the feud seems to have settled down now—Johnson has since shared some more positive social media posts about Diesel—it's also been speculated that the beef could be part of the reason Johnson is not part of the upcoming ninth movie in the series.
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Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine
Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine were not just feuding Hollywood stars, they were feuding sisters. And their tumultuous relationship started way back in childhood. The sisters were only 15 months apart in age, and as pointed out by Entertainment Weekly, there are numerous tales about them having it out, including a fight in a pool during which Fontaine fractured her collarbone, and Fontaine saying she wanted to kill her sister when she was only nine years old.
The drama continued into adulthood. There were snubs from each other as they won their Oscars—Fontaine won one, while de Havilland won two. Then, there was a big breaking point when their mother was dying and Fontaine wasn't invited to the memorial service.
Fontaine died in 2013 at age 96, and de Havilland in 2020 at age 104. Fontaine had previously told People magazine (via the Telegraph), "Olivia has always said I was first at everything—I got married first, got an Academy Award first, had a child first. If I die [first], she'll be furious, because again I'll have got there first!"
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall
Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall played best friends on Sex and the City, but their real-life relationship has been much more contentious. There were rumors that they started feuding during filming of the series due to salary issues, but both Parker and Cattrall have said that wasn't true.
Still, their actual issues with each other came out publicly long after the series wrapped. The feud is closely tied to the idea of there being a third Sex and the City movie. Cattrall has said repeatedly that she is not interested, and even that she and the other cast members were "never friends." Parker responded to this on Watch What Happens Live, saying that she was "heartbroken." Things took a particularly dark turn when Parker posted her condolences on the death of Cattrall's brother on Instagram. Cattrall responded in her own Instagram post, writing, "Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now. Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven't already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I'm writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona."
For star splits we can't get over, check out 15 Celebrity Couple Breakups You're Probably Still Mourning.
Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey
Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey's feud is remembered primarily via one famous line: "I don't know her." Carey said these words in a German interview in the early '00s, and they have haunted all of us ever since.
In her 2020 book, The Meaning of Mariah, Carey shed light on the feud and referenced her memorable quip once again. Carey claims that her ex-husband, Sony Music CEO Tommy Mottola, was set on ruining her movie Glitter and its lead single "Loverboy" in 2001. Lopez was working with Sony and, according to Carey, the label rushed to put out Lopez's song "I'm Real," which samples the same song as "Loverboy." "After hearing my new song, using the same sample I used, Sony rushed to make a single for another female entertainer on their label (whom I don't know)," Carey wrote (via the Mirror).
Carey reportedly said of Lopez in a 2002 interview with Larry King (via VH1), "I don't think she has anything to do with me. My whole thing is singing…It's a God-given talent that I'm grateful for. Her thing is something different."
As for Lopez, she once said on Watch What Happens Live, "I don't have a feud against her at all…I've read things that she's said about me that were not the best. But we've never met, we don't know each other. I think it's from word of mouth, things that have happened in the past that I'm not really aware of." She added that she's a big fan of Carey's and would love to actually know her someday.
Taylor Swift and Katy Perry
Taylor Swift makes her second appearance on this list thanks to her feud with Katy Perry.
The two pop stars once got along just fine, but that all changed thanks to a situation involving backup dancers. As Perry would go on to confirm in 2017, some backup dancers who had worked with Perry then went to work on Swift's Red tour, but, before that gig was over, they were back with Perry for her Prismatic tour.
In 2014, Swift spoke about her song "Bad Blood" with Rolling Stone and explained that it has to do with an unnamed person "who basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me." Soon after the interview was published, Perry tweeted, "Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing…" in a reference to Mean Girls.
There were years of back-and-forth after this, involving everything from Perry dancing to West's song "Famous" to Swift releasing her catalog on Spotify the same day one of Perry's albums debuted. Finally, in 2018, Perry sent Swift an actual olive branch, which Swift thanked her for. The next year, Swift sent Perry cookies with icing that read "Peace at last." Soon after, Perry appeared in Swift's music video for her song "You Need to Calm Down." They dressed as a burger and fries and hugged it out.
For more stars popular with the kids, This Was the Most Popular Teen Idol the Year You Graduated.
Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds
Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds were friends… until Taylor married Reynolds' husband. Taylor was married to Mike Todd and Reynolds to Eddie Fisher, and they were all very close. But, in 1958, Todd died, Fisher went to console Taylor, and a month later he separated from Reynolds to be with Taylor, according to Biography.
"You can't break up a happy marriage," Taylor reportedly told gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, according to The Sun. "I'm not taking anything away from Debbie Reynolds because she never really had it."
Taylor and Fisher were married for five years until she left him for Richard Burton. Years later, Reynolds and Taylor rekindled their friendship and went on to star in These Old Broads together in 2001. Unlike some of the other feuds on this list, it's clear that this one wasn't about any ongoing issue between the two women. "I never felt bitter about Elizabeth," Reynolds told People in 1983, according to Biography. "A man doesn't leave a woman for another woman unless he wants to go."
Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra
While some of the feuds here are very well-documented, when it comes to Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, we mostly just have rumors that are based around one particular movie. In 1955, Brando and Sinatra starred together in the film adaptation of the musical Guys and Dolls. According to What Culture, Sinatra thought he should have been cast in Brando's part, the romantic lead, and he also hated Brando's Method acting style and that he wasn't really a singer. Supposedly, this stemmed back to Sinatra thinking he should also have been cast in Brando's part in On the Waterfront, for which Brando won his first Oscar.
All of this led to the most memorable rumor, which is that in a scene where Sinatra had to eat cheesecake, Brando kept intentionally messing up his lines so that Sinatra, who hated cheesecake, would have to eat more.
Apparently at one point, Brando even said of Sinatra, "Frank's the kind of guy, when he dies, he's going to go to heaven and give God a bad time for making him bald."
For awards-caliber roles that are still worth watching, check out 13 Great Oscar-Winning Performances That Still Hold Up.
Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano
Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano played the Halliwell sisters on Charmed, along with Holly Marie Combs, starting in 1998. And it sounds like things went pretty smoothly at first. Combs and Doherty were even bridesmaids in Milano's wedding. But, eventually, drama on set became so intense that Doherty left the show.
As reported by E! News, it wasn't revealed right away that Doherty and Milano's relationship was the issue, but that became clear as time passed. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2001 following her departure, Doherty said, "I want to work with actors who really, really care and that want to be there every single day. I don't want to work with people who…complain about [their job] and say that they hate it or anything else."
Around the same time, Milano spoke about Doherty in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I think it's hard when you put…[long pause]…two very different people together. I'm very laid-back and passive. I have my Buddha. I come in [my trailer] and meditate," she said. "[Shannen's] got a lot of energy, she's very headstrong, she wants to get the job done…. I think it's unfortunate that she left, and that she needed to bad-mouth everyone involved and the audience. She sounds really angry. I just hope I didn't contribute to that anger."
Nowadays, the two actors seem to have put the past behind them. In 2017, Milano told Entertainment Tonight that she had been in regular touch with her former costar following Doherty's cancer diagnosis.
Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe
Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe's contentious relationship on the set of their 1957 movie The Prince and the Showgirl was made into a movie of its own. The 2011 film My Week with Marilyn depicts one week on the set with Michelle Williams as Monroe and Kenneth Branagh as Olivier. Apparently, the issues were that Monroe was often late to shoot and that she was interested in Method acting, while Olivier, who was also directing the movie, was not.
"My hatred for her was one of the strongest emotions I had ever felt," Olivier said in a recording that was released to a biographer, as reported by Express UK. The publication also reports that tapes of Olivier speaking confirm that he was highly critical of people, which is something other costars had said over the years.
In an interview Olivier did years after The Prince and the Showgirl, he spoke positively of Monroe in some aspects, including the way she can deliver a one-liner. But he also said that she was "a divided personality," "bad tempered," and "always late, sometimes four hours late."
Bea Arthur and Betty White
It's hard to imagine that it wasn't all smooth sailing on the Golden Girls set, but there was some drama between Bea Arthur, who played Dorothy, and Betty White, who played Rose. Apparently, it had to do with White being too positive of a person.
"She was not that fond of me," White said at a Times Talk in 2011, as reported by the Village Voice. "She found me a pain in the neck sometimes. It was my positive attitude—and that made Bea mad sometimes. Sometimes if I was happy, she'd be furious!"
Arthur's son, Matthew Saks, spoke about his mom and White's relationship with Closer in 2017. "It would make my mom unhappy that in-between takes Betty would go and talk to the audience. It wasn't jealousy. It was a focus thing." Saks said. He added, "My mom unknowingly carried the attitude that it was fun to have somebody to be angry at. It was almost like Betty became her nemesis, someone she could always roll her eyes about at work."
As reported by Country Living, Rue McClanahan, who played Blanche, wrote in her memoir that the issue stemmed from White winning an Emmy before Arthur.
Whatever the problem was, White is still a fan of Arthur's. "I don't know what I ever did, but she was not that thrilled with me," White told Joy Behar in an interview. "But I loved Bea and I admired her."
Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj
Like Swift and West before them, Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj's feud is another one that was centered around the MTV VMAs. As reported by Billboard, when Minaj wasn't nominated for Video of the Year for her song "Anaconda" in 2015, she wrote on Twitter, "When the 'other' girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination." She also tweeted,"If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year." Swift wrote back that Minaj was "pit[ting] women against each other."
How does Cyrus fit in? The singer was hosting the VMAs that year and was asked about Minaj and Swift's exchange in a New York Times interview. Cyrus said that if Minaj was trying to make a point about race or body representation, she didn't do it well. "What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind," she said. "It's not very polite."
This led to the biggest moment from this feud: After Minaj won the award for Best Hip Hop Video at the awards show, she said to Cyrus, "Back to this b**** that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press. Miley, what's good?"
It seemed like that was the end of it… until 2019. Cyrus referenced Minaj's beef with rapper Cardi B in her song "Cattitude," singing, "I love you Nicki, but I listen to Cardi." In response, Minaj called Cyrus a "Perdue chicken." Yeah, this one doesn't seem quite over yet.
Chloë Grace Moretz and Kim Kardashian
This might seem like an odd match-up, but actor Chloe Grace Moretz and reality star Kim Kardashian really did feud.
When Kardashian posted a revealing photo of herself on social media in 2016, Moretz wrote on Twitter, "I truly hope you realize how important setting goals are for young women, teaching them we have so much more to offer than just our bodies." Kardashian responded, "Let's all welcome @ChloeGMoretz to twitter, since no one knows who she is. your nylon cover is cute boo." Moretz had recently appeared on the cover of Nylon magazine seemingly only wearing a cardigan over her shoulder.
The exchange made headlines again in 2018 when Kardashian shared lists of who she was sending her new perfume to and Moretz was in a section filled with people Kardashian has had conflicts with. Moretz said on Watch What Happens Live that she didn't end up opening the perfume. "My publicist just took it," the If I Stay actor said. "I never saw it. I literally got a video of it from my publicist and they were like, 'They sent this so we just kept it.'"
Mariah Carey and Eminem
Lastly, we have Mariah Carey's second appearance on the list. The singer has been feuding with rapper Eminem ever since the early '00s. According to him, they dated back then. According to her, they didn't. That disagreement has been the force behind multiple song lyrics from both of them and a 20-year feud. Most famously, there's Carey's single "Obsessed" in which she sings, "Finally found a girl that you couldn't impress/Last man on the Earth, still couldn't get this." The video for the song features Carey dressed as a man, who is clearly supposed to look like Eminem, and shows "him" getting hit by a bus.
In 2019, Eminem and Carey's ex-husband Nick Cannon began feuding too, primarily via diss tracks. This year, Carey released her memoir. Guess what? No mention of Eminem.