Hollywood star Ryan O’Neal will be reunited with Farrah Fawcett in heaven, his son has said, as the world remembers how one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories began.
The iconic star, who was both a matinee idol and an award-winning actor, died at the age of 82, his son Patrick confirmed via social media on Friday.
In a heartfelt tribute alongside a photograph of a sunset, he wrote: ‘So this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to say but here we go.
‘My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us. He is a Hollywood legend. Full stop’.
He also spoke of his father’s on-off relationship with Charlie’s Angels star Farrah Fawcett, who died in 2009 at the age of 62 from cancer.
‘Ryan never bragged’, he added. ‘But he has bragging rights in Heaven. Especially when it comes to Farrah. Everyone had the poster, he had the real McCoy. And now they meet again.
They were partners from 1979 to 1997 after he stole the bubbly blonde beauty away from her husband, Lee Majors of The Six Million Dollar Man fame
Together they had a son named Redmond, 38, who had trouble with the law, even serving time in jail
Their relationship was tumultuous due to Ryan’s infidelity, and their relationship ended when Ms Fawcett found him in bed with actress Leslie Stefanson
Ryan was also known for his high-profile relationship to Charlie’s Angels actress Farrah Fawcett which lasted decades; they never wed. The two were partners from 1979 to 1997. Seen in 2004
Hollywood actor Ryan O’Neal has died at the age of 82. His son Patrick shared the sad news on social media on Friday afternoon; seen in 2000
‘Farrah and Ryan. He has missed her terribly. What an embrace that must be. Together again.’
O’Neal was known for his high-profile relationship to Ms Fawcett which lasted decades; they never wed with O’Neal once saying: ‘Farrah and I have no plans to marry – nor do we have plans to separate. Don’t fix what ain’t broken’.
They were partners from 1979 to 1997 after he stole the bubbly blonde beauty away from her husband, Lee Majors of The Six Million Dollar Man fame.
Together they had a son named Redmond, 38, who had trouble with the law, even serving time in jail.
Their relationship was tumultuous due to Ryan’s infidelity, and their relationship ended when Ms Fawcett found him in bed with actress Leslie Stefanson.
But, they reunited in 2001 when O’Neal was diagnosed with leukaemia, with Ms Fawcett nursing O’Neal who soon went into remission.
But in 2006, the roles were reversed when Ms Fawcett herself was diagnosed with cancer, and O’Neal dedicated himself to taking care of her. The couple remained together until Ms Fawcett’s death in 2009.
Following her death, O’Neal described her as his ‘forever Valentine’ telling People: ‘I loved her with all my heart. I will miss her so very, very much’. He later said ‘there was never a day’ that he ‘didn’t love her’.
O’Neal was famed for his personal life as his films – romances with Barbra Streisand, Joan Collins, Diana Ross, Bianca Jagger, Angelica Houston, Ursula Andressalso dated Anjelica Huston. She would accuse him of abusing her in her tell-all book.
The pair met through O’Neal’s friend and Fawcett’s husband at the time Lee Majors. Fawcett was known for her time on Charlie’s Angels and O’Neal was still best known for his 1970s Oscar-nominated role in Love Story.
The pair began a relationship with Ms Fawcett when Majors suggested Ryan take her out for the evening while he was away from home.
Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O’Neil, Griffin O”Neal and Tatum O’Neal backstage at a Rolling Stones concert circa 1980 in Los Angeles
The pair reunited in 2001 when O’Neal was diagnosed with leukaemia, with Ms Fawcett nursing O’Neal who soon went into remission
Farrah Fawcett (right) with Ryan O’Neal (centre) and US singer and actress Liza Minnelli (left)
His son Patrick shared the sad news on social media on Friday afternoon. ‘So this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to say but here we go,’ he began. ‘My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us’
He had 70s hunk status in spades; O’Neal photographed in California in October 1974
O’Neal played Rodney Harrington on the 1964 series Peyton Place
O’Neal recounted the moment when Majors suggested the pair have dinner in his 2012 book, Both of Us: My Life with Farrah, writing that Majors had said: ‘Why don’t you take her to dinner one night?’
Just days beforehand, he had seen Ms Fawcett after a trek up Antelo Road near Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles with Majors. He described her as ‘delightful’ and ‘full of childlike warmth’ in his book.
O’Neal stayed for lunch and Ms Fawcett asked him to come back that evening to watch a boxing match in their home.
‘They were saying the marriage was over, and I was saying they were terrific together,’ O’Neal later told Vanity Fair.
It wasn’t long after this that Majors had asked O’Neal to take Ms Fawcett to dinner.
Just a week later, he took her to a Ry Cooder concert, writing that Ms Fawcett eventually agreed to go with him, having talked it through with Majors beforehand.
‘I let him know that Ryan asked me out. He said, ‘I told him to. But you’re not going’, he wrote.
Majors and O’Neal’s relationship then began to break down, with Majors calling his house and hanging up, finally telling him to ‘stay away’ from his wife.
But, O’Neal, who was previously married to actress Joanne Moore and later Leigh Taylor-Young, had fallen for Ms Fawcett, telling Vanity Fair: ‘It was a situation I’d never been in before- committing to a woman before I’d even talked to her about it’.
Ms Fawcett and Majors went onto divorce in 1982.
Tributes have flooded in for O’Neal, who also had two children with his first wife.
On Friday, his daughter Tatum O’Neal shared a statement with People reacting to the news.
O’Neal and Fawcett struck up their whirlwind affair in 1979, when her marriage to the much older actor Lee Majors was on the rocks; O’Neal and Fawcett are pictured 1981
Following her death, O’Neal described her as his ‘forever Valentine’
Ms Fawcett and Lee Majors (pictured together in 1978) went onto divorce in 1982
In the 1973 film Paper Moon Ryan co-starred with his daughter Tatum O’Neal
The cover boy also romanced the Bond girl Ursula Andress; seen in 1977
O’Neal attends the Farrah Fawcett 5th Anniversary Reception at the Farrah Fawcett Foundation on June 25, 2014 in Beverly Hill
O’Neal, Moore and their two children in August 1965
Redmond O’Neal with his parents Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett in April 2003
Tatum O’Neal, left, and her father in March 2010
‘I feel great sorrow with my father’s passing,’ she shared. ‘He meant the world to me. I loved him very much and know he loved me too. I’ll miss him forever and I feel very lucky that we ended on such good terms.’
Barbra Streisand, who worked with O’Neal on What’s Up, Doc? and The Main Event, and Marisa Berenson on Barry Lyndon, shared a tribute to the late star on X, formerly known as Twitter, upon hearing the heartbreaking news of Ryan’s passing and shared a black and white image of the pair taken in the past.
The actress also typed, ‘So sad to hear the news of Ryan O’Neal’s passing. We made two films together, What’s Up, Doc? and The Main Event. He was funny and charming, and he will be remembered.’
Mia Farrow also uploaded a tribute by sharing various throwback images and penned, ‘Rest in peace dear Ryan.’
The two notably costarred in the series, Peyton Place.
Sharon Stone also paid tribute with a black-and-white photo of O’Neal from his later years.
‘It’s w deep sadness I post this. RIP Ryan O’Neal,’ she wrote, adding a heart emoji.
O’Neal was last seen being aided into his vehicle from a wheelchair by a helper in Brentwood, California on November 6, 2023. O’Neal was wheeled down the sidewalk and had two caretakers got him into the front seat of his car, lifting him from under his arm.
O’Neal was best known for his movies in the 1970s, which included Paper Moon, costarring his daughter Tatum.
The acclaimed film, which was directed by Ryan’s What’s Up, Doc? collaborator Peter Bogdanovich, earned the young girl the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress when she was just 10, making the budding star — who had turned nine during the production – the youngest person to ever win a competitive Oscar.
O’Neal is survived by four children: Tatum O’Neal and Griffin O’Neal with Joanna Moore, Patrick O’Neal with Leigh Taylor-Young, and Redmond James Fawcett O’Neal with Fawcett, and his five grandchildren.