Farrah Fawcett And Ryan O'Neal's Tragic Relationship History

Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal might both be gone now, but Hollywood will never forget their rollercoaster romance.

On December 8, 2023, O'Neal died at the age of 82. "So this is the toughest thing I've ever had to say but here we go," his son Patrick O'Neal revealed on Instagram. "My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving as he would us." As of this writing, his cause of death has yet to be revealed. While O'Neal made a name for himself as a leading man in films like "Love Story" and "Paper Moon," he also gained attention for his long-term relationship with "Charlie's Angels" star Farrah Fawcett.

The couple's love story first started in 1979, while "The Burning Bed" star was still married to Lee Majors, who was also O'Neal's close friend, per People. After "The Six Million Dollar Man" asked the "The Driver" star to take out Fawcett for dinner while he filmed "The Last Chase," the two began a torrid affair that would span decades. However, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for the complicated lovebirds.

Farrah Fawcet caught Ryan O'Neal cheating

After her marriage to Lee Majors crumbled in 1982, Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal became Hollywood's new "it couple" thanks to their stunning good looks, down-to-earth chemistry, and unconventional family dynamic at the time. "Ryan has always liked me independent. He's never said: 'Don't do it.' He is truly supportive. He is truly supportive, raises [our son] Redmond as much as I do, brings him to the set when I'm working, runs lines with me at home, doesn't view my acting as a threat," she gushed to the Sun Sentinel in 1989. Yet, while the pair seemed perfect on paper, the two made headlines in 1997 when Fawcett broke up with O'Neal after catching him in bed with actor Leslie Ann Stefanson. "No [Farrah wasn't angry], she was hurt. She was in shock," O'Neal revealed in 2013, per Page Six.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the "Paper Moon" star gave further insight into the breakdown of their relationship, citing his bad attitude and menopause as factors. "I believe Farrah was going through some kind of change. I didn't have a change of life; I was always a jerk," he told the publication. "But they're hard work, these divas; I was sick of it, and I was unappreciated. I just don't think she liked me very much. So I excused myself." He went on to say that his infidelity had a huge impact on Fawcett, adding, "I watched her life disintegrate."

Farrah Fawcett reunited with Ryan O'Neal after his leukemia diagnosis

While Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal went through a devastating breakup in 1998, the lovebirds reunited in 2001 after the former was diagnosed with leukemia. "We started over again, and this time we built it in a way that had foundation and trust," he told Vanity Fair. "Our son was happy. And Farrah was mature. She didn't get mad at me so easily." As the lovebirds began the process of rebuilding their love, they were hit with another tragedy when Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006. "I panicked. I didn't let her know, but I panicked. I've been living with cancer for eight years at this point, and I saw lots of what cancer could do," O'Neal told Barbara Walters, when reflecting on the "Charlie's Angels" star's diagnosis. "I just knew one thing, that Farrah Fawcett was hard to kill."

Like Fawcett did for him, O'Neal stayed by the beloved talent's side up until the very end and even proposed the idea of marriage. "He never left her side, especially those last few months," Fawcett's friend Alana Stewart told People in 2019. "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. But she took a turn for the worse." In the same interview, O'Neal revealed, "There was never a day I didn't love her."