The Academy award-winning Mr Allen, 56, whose brand of neurotic humour so often centres on the anguish of human relationships, collaborated with Miss Farrow, 47, in more than a dozen films, including Hannah and Her Sisters, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, and Crimes and Misdemeanours.
But they never married and kept separate apartments on the opposite sides of Central Park in New York. After a 13-year relationship, Mr Allen has filed suit in a Manhattan court for custody of their four- year-old son, Satchel O'Sullivan Farrow, and their adopted children, Moses, 14, and seven-year-old Dylan, a daughter.
In 1966 Miss Farrow married Frank Sinatra, 30 years her senior, but the marriage was ill-matched and they divorced several years later.
Subsequently, she gave birth to twin boys. Six months later she married their father, the conductor Andre Previn, then Hollywood's blue-eyed boy. They divorced nine years later, in 1979. At around this time the actor Michael Caine introduced her to Woody Allen, who took a considerable interest in her acting career, then in the doldrums. By the time they met, she had seven children, including several adoptees.
Although perceived as happy, Woody Allen never attempted to deny their differences. He loved cities; she did not. She loved to eat at home early; he loved late-night restaurants. He once remarked that Mia Farrow had never owned a thermometer: 'I take my temperature every two hours.'
What will probably turn out to be their last joint project is scheduled for release next month. It is called Husbands and Wives.Reuse content