Detached close binary systems define the main sequence band satisfactorily, but very little is known about the masses of giants and supergiants. High dispersion international ultraviolet explorer satellite observations promise an improvement, since blue companions are now frequently found to late type supergiants. Mu Sagittaril and in particular Xi Aurigae are discussed in more detail. The barium star abundance anomaly appears to be due to mass transfer in interacting systems. The symbiotic stars are another type of binary systems containing late type giants; several possible models for the hotter star and for the type of interaction are discussed. The W Serpentis stars appear to be Algols in the rapid phase of mass transfer, but a possible link relating them to the symbiotics is also indicated. Evidence of hot circumstellar plasmas has now been found in several ordinary Algols; there may exist a smooth transition between very quiescent Algols and the W Serpentis stars. Beta Lyrae is discussed in the light of new spectrophotometric results.