Howard Hughes's Wives, Girlfriends & Romances

Famous people who have dated Howard Hughes, listed by most recent with photos when available. If you're wondering "Who has Howard Hughes dated?" then you've come to the right place. You might also be interested in these shocking facts about Howard Hughes' many obsessions. This list features Howard Hughes's ex-girlfriends along with additional information about them, such as when they were born and what their profession is. These women come in all shapes and sizes, but what they all have in common is that they're all women that Howard Hughes has either dated or canoodled with. It's not hard to get jealous of these women that Howard Hughes has gone out with, so try your hardest to contain your envy.

Howard Hughes' last wife, Jean Peters, was reported to be the only woman he had ever loved. Although they ended up getting divorced, Howard Hughes had his men follow Jean Peters everywhere to keep a close eye on her. 

People here include Howard Hughes' exes and women he married like Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Faith Domergue, and Ava Gardner. Despite multiple wives and a long list of exes and flings, Howard Hughes never had children.

This list answers the questions, "What are the names of Howard Hughes's ex-girlfriends?" and "Who has Howard Hughes linked up with?"

It's not certain whether the people on this list are women that Howard Hughes has been intimate with but it's safe to assume that when two adults are going out that some action will inevitably occur. Who has Howard Hughes slept with? We can't say for sure but it's most likely all the women on this list.

  • Jean Peters
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Howard Hughes and Jean Peters started their relationship in the early 1950s, although their introduction to one another dates back to the late 1940s. It is speculated that Hughes, an established Hollywood mogul, was captivated by Peters' beauty and talent after seeing her in a 20th Century Fox film. Over the course of nearly a decade, their relationship weathered several ups and downs, marked by Hughes' notoriously erratic behavior. Despite their tumultuous courtship, they finally tied the knot in 1957 and remained married for 14 years until their separation in 1971.

    • Age: Dec. at 73 (1926-2000)
    • Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, USA
  • Marlene Dietrich
    Photo: Twentieth Century Fox / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In the mid-1930s, Howard Hughes began a brief affair with German-American actress Marlene Dietrich. They supposedly met at a dinner party hosted by Cary Grant, a mutual friend. Hughes, being a wealthy aviation tycoon and film producer, was reportedly attracted to Dietrich's unique beauty and independent spirit. Although their relationship was relatively short-lived, it was indeed a passionate liaison that was intensely scrutinized by the media.

    • Age: Dec. at 90 (1901-1992)
    • Birthplace: Schöneberg, Germany
  • Faye Emerson
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    In the 1940s, Howard Hughes embarked on a romantic relationship with Faye Emerson, the celebrated film actress and budding television personality. They met during the production of one of Hughes' films, sparking a romance that would last for several years. Hughes, known for his affections for actresses, was particularly enamored with Emerson's charm and grace. Despite their endearing connection, the couple eventually drifted apart.

    • Age: Dec. at 65 (1917-1983)
    • Birthplace: Elizabeth, USA, Louisiana
  • Rita Hayworth
    Photo: Ned Scott / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Howard Hughes' association with Rita Hayworth began when he sought her out after being fascinated by her performance in one of her films. The year was 1946, during Hayworth's prime years in Hollywood. Hughes, never being one to shy away from his attraction to successful actresses, embarked on a passionate yet rocky affair with Hayworth. Their on-off relationship spanned almost three years, encompassing both cherished moments and fiery disputes before it ended.

    • Age: Dec. at 68 (1918-1987)
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
  • Virginia Mayo
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    When Howard Hughes met Virginia Mayo in the late 1940s, he was taken by her eye-catching beauty and on-screen talent. Hughes, who had a considerable impact on Hollywood at the time, was drawn to Mayo, an actress who was beginning to make her mark in the film industry. Their relationship continued for a few years, marked by Hughes' growing infatuation with Mayo. Despite their intense relationship, they eventually parted ways due to undisclosed circumstances.

    • Age: Dec. at 84 (1920-2005)
    • Birthplace: USA, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Linda Darnell was another actress who fell under Howard Hughes' wide-reaching spell. They crossed paths in the early 1940s, with Hughes being very captivated by Darnell's beauty and talent. The charm of this budding starlet made a considerable impression on Hughes, resulting in a relationship that navigated the choppy waters of Hollywood fame and fortune. However, their relationship eventually fizzled out after a few years.

    • Age: Dec. at 41 (1923-1965)
    • Birthplace: Texas, USA, Dallas