"There was never a day I didn’t love her," Ryan O'Neal said about his partner. He also stated he regretted not being "much kinder, more understanding" while she was around.
Fate always surprises people in the most unexpected ways. Before Actress Farrah Fawcett and actor Ryan O’Neal's future could unite in marriage, Fawcett passed away, leaving O’Neal in deep despair.
According to Vanity Fair, O’Neal met the beautiful actress when she was still married to actor Lee Majors. During their initial meeting, O’Neal was invited to the couple's house by Majors. On spending some time with the couple, he realized they were not happy together. Moreover, they had already decided to part ways.
Later, Majors told O’Neal that he should take Fawcett out to dinner. However, the actor declined. But things changed quickly. O’Neal then invited the actress to a Ry Cooder concert after learning how much she loved the artist.
Fawcett who was still legally married to Majors told her husband about O’Neal's invite. However, Majors was not too happy about it. He warned her against going but the Charlie's Angels' star decided to go anyway.
Despite their marriage hitting rock bottom, Majors was jealous of Fawcett hanging out with O’Neal. So, the actor called O’Neal and said, "Stay away from my woman!”
But that did not change O’Neal's feelings for Fawcett. He mustered the courage to confess his love for her. “It was a situation I'd never been in before — committing to a woman before I'd even talked to her about it," said the actor.
Soon after, Fawcett separated from Majors. And thus, the love story of Fawcett and O’Neal began. The couple were smitten and madly in love with each other. O'Neal appreciated his woman and always made her feel special.
“When Ryan and I were just starting out... he had convinced me not to wear makeup or worry about my hair — he said I was beautiful without all that," Fawcett had told Vanity Fair.
Even after the love they shared, their relationship hit a slippery slope in 1997. The actress caught her lover in bed with General’s Daughter actress Leslie Ann Stefanson and that marked an end of their relationship.
“We pulled apart, but we never popped loose," said O’Neal, according to People. But in a twist of events, they rekindled their relationship. O'Neal was diagnosed with leukemia in 2001 and Fawcett wanted to be by his side. She cared for him but their lives altered once again. She was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006.
“The hair is gone. Her famous hair... How she carried all that hair I’ll never know. She doesn’t have a vanity about it," said O'Neal to People in 2009. Fawcett's illness took a toll on the actor. He was worried and felt helpless. “It’s a love story. I just don’t know how to play this one. I won’t know this world without her. Cancer is an insidious enemy," said the actor.
The actor sat by Fawcett's side. Her friend Alana Stewart shared, "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,” as per People.
The couple had never considered marriage despite having a son together. But when Fawcett fell ill, O'Neal changed his mind. He got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Fawcett could not be happier and readily accepted the proposal.
However, they could not seal the deal. Just a few weeks before they could tie the knot, Fawcett passed away on 25 June 2009, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In his 2012 book Both of Us: My Life with Farrah, the actor wrote, "The priest at St. John’s Hospital arrives to marry us — but administers the last rites instead." He also stated he regretted not being "much kinder, more understanding" while she was around.
However, he affirmed, "There was never a day I didn’t love her," according to People.