Christian Bale Has A Little-Known Connection To Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem surprised the public in 2000 when she decided to get married. "Though I've worked many years to make marriage more equal, I never expected to take advantage of it myself," the well-known feminist writer said at the time, according to ABC News. What made the union even more surprising was that she tied the knot with David Bale, a South African-born activist who also happened to be the father of Christian Bale.

In 2001, after his father's marriage to Steinem, the "American Psycho" star spoke about how he never expected to see his dad take the proverbial plunge. "Talking of unexpected things, I don't think my father thought that anything like this would happen to him at this point in his life," Christian told Interview at the time. The actor also discussed how his dad had lived a single life similar to Steinem's, but he believed marriage would have a positive impact on the older Bale. "Now I'm looking forward to seeing him with a partner," he said about his father.

In that year, Steinem discussed with Barbara Walters her decision to marry despite previously expressing opposition to the idea. "[M]any things in his life have made him somebody who totally defies the idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus," Steinem said about her husband during the ABC News chat. Unfortunately, the couple would only be married for a few years as David became terminally ill.

Christian Bale's father died

In late 2003, David Bale — the husband of Gloria Steinem and the father of four children, including Christian Bale — died from a brain lymphoma. Steinem had kind words for her deceased husband after his passing. "David went through the world with few possessions and great empathy for all living things," she said in a statement released in January 2004, according to the Hartford Courant. "He had the greatest heart of anyone I've ever known," the writer added.

A few months after David's death, Steinem spoke about how caring her late husband could be. "He always stopped for an animal that was hit by the roadside. If it was dead, he said a few words over it in respect, or if it was alive, he rescued it," she said in March 2004, which was one of her first public appearances following his death, The Ledger noted. The Ms. Magazine co-founder also discussed why getting married later in life was beneficial to the couple. "Both of us had lived long lives," Steinem said. "I had done what women are not supposed to do, and that couldn't have happened without the lives we'd lived," she added.

Later, Christian would also share glowing words about his late father and how David impacted the actor's life and career. "His motto was: being boring is a sin," the "VICE" actor said on an episode of "The Talks." Christian and Steinem shared another unlikely connection that pre-dated her relationship with his father. 

How Gloria Steinem may have influenced Christian Bale's career

To prepare for his role in 2004's "The Machinist," Christian Bale lost a considerable amount of weight. He followed that up by packing on the pounds and muscle for "Batman Begins," which came out the following year. Gloria Steinem spoke about how her stepson's body transformation caused her to worry. "That's a huge strain on the heart, perhaps even more when re-gaining than when losing," she told Female First in 2005 (via "It's not mine to decide, but I hope and believe he won't do it again." Steinem was also effusive when she spoke about the actor's on-screen talent. "Christian has a rare gift for becoming each of his roles, from the inside out, and he did this with Batman," she said.

Before tying the knot with David Bale, Steinem reportedly had a major impact on Christian's career. According to Guinevere Turner, who co-wrote "American Psycho," the iconic role of Patrick Bateman almost went to Leonardo DiCaprio. Turner, in a 2020 oral history of the movie for Vice, said that it was Steinem who talked DiCaprio out of taking the role. "Please don't do this movie. Coming off of Titanic, there is an entire planet full of 13-year-old girls waiting to see what you do next," is what Turner said Steinem told DiCaprio in the late '90s. Thanks in part to Steinem, Christian nabbed the role, which helped propel him to stardom.