In 2000, Gloria Steinem surprised the public by getting married, a decision she herself hadn’t anticipated despite her long-standing work towards marital equality. She tied the knot with David Bale, an activist born in South Africa and the father of renowned actor Christian Bale. This union was particularly unexpected given Steinem’s renowned feminist stance.
After the marriage, Christian Bale expressed his surprise at his father’s unexpected plunge into matrimony. He mentioned that his father, like Steinem, had led a single life, and he looked forward to seeing him in a partnership.
Steinem, in a conversation with Barbara Walters, explained her change of heart, highlighting how David defied conventional gender stereotypes and emphasizing their shared values. Unfortunately, their marriage was cut short as David fell terminally ill, passing away from brain lymphoma in late 2003.
In her tribute to her late husband, Steinem praised David’s empathetic nature and deep connection with living beings, particularly animals. She noted his ritual of paying respects to roadside casualties, showing his compassionate spirit.
Reflecting on their late-in-life marriage, Steinem emphasized how their individual journeys had uniquely prepared them for this union, defying societal norms. Christian also paid tribute to his father’s vibrant approach to life, cherishing his motto that “being boring is a sin.”
Christian Bale’s remarkable physical transformations for his roles in “The Machinist” (2004) and “Batman Begins” (2005) raised concerns for Steinem due to the strain they put on his heart. She praised his ability to fully embody his characters, particularly as Batman, acknowledging his exceptional talent.
Steinem’s influence on Christian’s career extended beyond the personal sphere. According to Guinevere Turner, co-writer of “American Psycho,” Steinem played a pivotal role in steering Leonardo DiCaprio away from the role of Patrick Bateman in the late ’90s, ensuring Christian ultimately secured the part. This decision significantly contributed to Christian’s rise to stardom.