Claire Bloom on her marriage to legendary American novelist Philip Milton Roth

The former wife of Philip Milton Roth, actress Claire Bloom, has opened up about her disastrous marriage to the late legendary American novelist.

Bloom, 87, was propelled to stardom when she was just 21 after Charlie Chaplin chose her to be his leading lady. 

She went onto conquer the stage and screen, winning awards on both the West End and Broadway, and appearing in countless movies including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and more recently, The King's Speech.

Her love life was equally as glamorous, and Bloom counted Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, Yul Brynner and Anthony Quinn among her lovers.

The former wife of Philip Milton Roth, Hollywood actress Claire Bloom, (pictured with him in an undated photo) has opened up about her disastrous marriage to the late legendary American novelist.

The former wife of Philip Milton Roth, actress Claire Bloom, (pictured with him in an undated photo) has opened up about her disastrous marriage to the late legendary American novelist.

Bloom, 87, was propelled to stardom when she was just 21 after Charlie Chaplin chose her to be his leading lady

Bloom, 87, was propelled to stardom when she was just 21 after Charlie Chaplin chose her to be his leading lady

But her marriage to Roth, considered to be America's greatest living novelist, was an unmitigated disaster.

While she she said there was always a 'great love' between herself and the late writer - her third husband - their marriage ended in a bitter divorce which saw him maneuver his wife out of both marital homes and bombard her with menacing faxes. 

After their divorce, he exacted a final literary revenge by pillorying her as a manipulative cheating wife in a novel.

'My crime was that I blew the whistle on Philip Roth. I thought what I was doing was giving the world a truthful picture,' she told the Telegraph in 2008. 

The couple met after Bloom emigrated from England to New York.

Bloom's marriage to Roth, considered to be America's greatest living novelist, was an unmitigated disaster

Bloom's marriage to Roth, considered to be America's greatest living novelist, was an unmitigated disaster

Bloom said there was always a 'great love' between herself and the late writer - her third husband - their marriage ended in a bitter divorce

Bloom said there was always a 'great love' between herself and the late writer - her third husband - their marriage ended in a bitter divorce

She says there was an instant attraction.

'We liked many of the same things. We're both Jewish and bookish. I suppose, at one level, it was a kind of tribal connection that made us fall for each other,' she said.

But she said the relationship was made difficult by Roth's wariness of marriage, his first to Margaret Martinson Williams having ended in divorce, and desire to dominate every part of her life and career.

He even turned against her daughter Anna, from Bloom's first marriage to Oscar-winning star Rod Steiger, forcing her to make a heartbreaking decision.

When Anna, now a successful opera singer turned 18, he gave Bloom the ultimatum; it was him or her daughter. Bloom chose Roth and kicked Anna out their home.

It is a decision she still regrets.

'It was a terrible mistake, and she and I have resolved this question only after much difficulty,' she said, adding that Roth and Anna clashed because both were bog personalities. 

Bloom and Roth spent many years together, in a fractious relationship, which could swing from domestic bliss to outright hostility.

The couple's friend Gore Vidal once summed up Roth and Bloom's relationship difficulties as 'He's tense; she's tense', adding that Bloom was 'neurotic'.

Philip Roth, a prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, has died at 85

Philip Roth, a prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, has died at 85

Bloom has conquered the stage and screen, winning awards on both the West End and Broadway, and appearing in countless movies including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and more recently, The King's Speech (pictured)

Bloom has conquered the stage and screen, winning awards on both the West End and Broadway, and appearing in countless movies including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and more recently, The King's Speech (pictured)

Despite the challenges, after 17 years together, the couple decided to get married on 29 April 1990 - in a last ditch attempt to save their relationship.

'But our love was always doomed to fail. I see that now. Philip can't endure relationships that go on peacefully. He needs controversy and conflict and abrasion. We had many good times, but they were

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