Ryan O’Neal once shared a real-life tragic Love Story with the late Farrah Fawcett.
When O’Neal met the Charlie’s Angels star in the 1970s, she was married to his friend Lee Majors. Majors asked O’Neal to meet Fawcett for a drink one night. And unfortunately for him, that date turned into a decades-long romance.
However, the two had an on-again-off-again-relationship for many years before finally settling down for good in 2001. And during their breakups, both stars married other people.
Their first attempts at love lasted from 1979 to 1997. Through the hard times, the couple dealt with family drama, addiction, and illness. But in 1997, the relationship came to an abrupt, long-lasting stop when Fawcett walked in on O’Neal with another woman.
For four years, the couple remained at odds. But because they shared a son, Redmond O’Neal they stayed in touch. And they eventually reunited when doctors diagnosed Farrah Fawcett with chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Though the couple never married, they did remain together until Fawcett’s death.
“We started over again, and this time we built it in a way that had foundation and trust,” he told Vanity Fair in 2009. “Our son was happy. And Farrah was mature. She didn’t get mad at me so easily.”
The couple shared a beautiful relationship the second time around, and doctors were able to control Fawcett’s cancer for a few years. But in 2006, they diagnosed her with a second form of the disease. And it eventually spread to her liver. Farrah Fawcett died in 2009 at the age of 62.
Ryan O’Neal struggled to move forward after Fawcett’s passing and kept to himself for years while he grieved.
But in 2012, O’Neal found peace after he published Both of Us: My Life with Farrah. The memoir painted a “clearer picture” about the relationship “to everyone” including himself.
And in 2019, the actor once again admitted that Farrah Fawcett was his one true love.
“There was never a day I didn’t love her,” he told People in 2019.
‘Love Story’ Star Ali MacGraw is Surpised by Films Lasting Legacy
The classic—and heartbreaking—film Love Story is one of the most iconic romances of all time. But the movie’s leading lady Ali MacGraw is “shocked” by its lasting legacy.
The film, which follows the tragic romance of Oliver Barrett IV and Jenny Cavalleri, debuted in late 1970. The following year, it won one Oscar and was nominated for six more.
Ali MacGraw earned a nod for her portrayal of Jenny, and the movie was also a contender for Best Picture of the Year.
And though MacGraw was well aware that Love Story was a massive hit for its time, she expected it to fade over time.
“I am probably more shocked than anyone at the [lasting] response,” she told AARP. “I have traveled to all corners of the world, and it is something of an American classic by now.”