A Look Into Ryan O’Neal And Farrah Fawcett’s Relationship


Despite their enviable relationship, Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett never got married. Ryan proposed to Farrah twice— first in the early ’80s and lastly while Farrah was on her deathbed. The lovers stayed together on and off until Farrah’s death from anal cancer in 2009.

Ryan recently passed away “peacefully with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him,” at the age of 82 and is survived by four children from two marriages and his relationship with Farrah. Ryan and Farrrah’s son, Redmond, has long been in the news for substance abuse and legal problems.

Ups and downs

The Hollywood duo had their share of challenges, which led to them separating in 1998 after Farrah caught Ryan in bed with The General’s Daughter actress Leslie Ann Stefanson; however, he blamed it on life’s changes and his attitude. “I didn’t have a change of life. I was always a jerk. But they’re hard work, these divas— I was sick of it, and I was unappreciated,” he said. “I just don’t think she liked me very much. So I excused myself.”

They remained friends but got back as lovers in 2001 after Ryan was diagnosed with Leukemia with Farrah as his caretaker. Ryan got the chance to reciprocate as her caregiver in 2006 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She was candid about her experience and insisted that every aspect of her illness, including the ugly moments, be recorded.

Ryan O'Neal Farrah Fawcett's relationshipRyan O'Neal Farrah Fawcett's relationship
SMALL SACRIFICES, Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O’Neal, 1989, © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Farrah’s final moments

In Farrah’s last months, Ryan never left her side and planned to walk down the aisle with her, but she never got better. “I think they would’ve married if she had made it because he asked her to marry him in the hospital, and she said yes,” Farrah’s friend, Alana Stewart, said. “But she took a turn for the worse. The two of them had a deep bond and deep love. No matter what they went through, the ups and downs, he was the one she wanted by her side.”

Ryan O'Neal Farrah Fawcett's relationshipRyan O'Neal Farrah Fawcett's relationship
GOOD SPORTS, Ryan O’Neal, Farrah Fawcett, 1991. © Brillstein-Grey Entertainment / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Ryan admitted his regrets, wishing he was “kinder, more understanding, and more mature” to her. “I would have been much kinder, more understanding, more mature. I’d lose some of the savagery. I don’t know how she got cancer; maybe some of it was me,” he told People magazine. “There was never a day I didn’t love her.”


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