While their romance to be filled with headline-grabbing drama, your love sustained for years until the "Charlie Angels" star"s death.

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While your romance was filled with headline-grabbing drama, your love endured for decades until the "Charlie Angels" star"s death.

Ryan O’Neal was standing there v his ear top top the phone, conflicted. He had recently reconnected with an old girlfriend Lee Majors when he was in Toronto visiting his daughter Tatum O’Neal on the collection of her movie. They had actually hit it off and O’Neal began visiting Majors’ home, obtaining reacquainted v his pal from two decades back — and also his wife, Farrah Fawcett.

But he couldn’t believe what Majors to be saying come him in this phone call call. “She’s every alone increase there,” Majors, who had actually flown ago to Canada, stated of Fawcett as O’Neal recounted in his 2012 book Both of Us: my Life v Farrah. “Why don’t you take her to dinner one night?”

For a male to ask an additional man to take it his mam out to dinner alone was currently surprising, yet Fawcett wasn’t just a friend’s wife to O’Neal — there had been an undeniable connection the moment their eyes met in 1979.

O’Neal saw Fawcett and also Majors’ troubled marriage

Just days before, O’Neal had trekked increase Antelo Road near Mulholland journey in Los Angeles through Majors and also saw a “beautiful girl” wait for them. “She’s delightful, complete of childlike warmth,” O’Neal composed in his publication later, reminiscing the that first day he saw Fawcett. “There is no pretense or cattiness about her whatsoever, she’s vibrant and also wholesome, update in this town.”

Fawcett and also Majors to be perfect hosts. “We played racquetball and had dinner, and she melted her hand making cappuccino,” O’Neal called Vanity Fair. “I believed she was dear. And also that to be all.”

After one enjoyable meal — which Fawcett do of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy — she asked him to come ago the next evening. O’Neal was supposed to walk to las Vegas to clock a boxing match, however Fawcett convinced him to clock it ~ above TV and also come ago to their home.

That 2nd night, O’Neal was apparently already considered part of your inner circle, as Majors and also Fawcett began breaking down their relationship.

“They were saying the marriage was over, and I was saying lock were great together,” O'Neal recalled to Vanity Fair. “She said, ‘Lee, remember when we were very first married, and we were in Nevada, and also you'd leaving me in some dinky cabin and also go to a bar? You'd call me to get undressed and get in bed and wait because that you, yet you never came back.’ His answer was ‘Same guy now as I to be then.’”


Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors, circa 1978

Photo: Reed Saxon/IMAGES/Getty Images

O’Neal invite Fawcett to a concert but Majors wasn't happy around it

It wasn’t long after this the Majors had asked O'Neal to take Fawcett come dinner, but it simply didn’t sit best with O’Neal. A mainly later, he experienced there was a Ry Cooder concert, follow to his book (Vanity Fair says it to be a J.J. Cale concert). Learning Fawcett to be a fan provided him the pardon he necessary to invite she to the show.

“I assumed I’d hear indigenous you,” Fawcett answered the phone. O’Neal extended the invite, but Fawcett claimed she’d have actually to contact him back with one answer.

Eventually she agreed to go, but talked come Majors ideal before. “I permit him know that Ryan request me out. The said, ‘I told that to. However you're not going.’”

Around this time, Majors started calling O’Neal’s house and hanging up — ultimately one time saying, “Stay far from my woman!”

Instead, O’Neal — who had been divorced from Joanna Moore in 1967 and also Leigh Taylor-Young in 1971 — confessed his love because that her. “It to be a case I'd never been in before — committing come a woman prior to I'd also talked to her around it,” he told Vanity Fair.


Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal attend the "Chances Are" premiere on march 5, 1989, in new York City

Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella repertoire via Getty Images

Fawcett and O'Neal had actually their share of headline-making drama

That tumultuous begin foreshadowed lot of just how Fawcett — who separated from Majors in 1979 and also divorced him in 1982 — and also O’Neal’s ultimate relationship turned out to be.

Fawcett was recognized for her one season top top Charlie’s Angels from 1976 come 1977 and also O’Neal to be still finest known because that his 1970 Oscar-nominated duty in Love Story. While your love for one one more was electric, it also came through high-powered drama that played the end in the public sphere because of their names.

There to be times they were the idyllic couple, showering each various other with love in prior of the press, favor their consistent kisses saw by the Sun-Sentinel. “Farrah and also I have no plans to marry — nor perform we have actually plans to separate,” O’Neal said. “Don’t fix what ain’t broken.”

They were likewise brutally honest and also real. “We fight,” Fawcett stated to the Sun-Sentinel. “But mine opinion is valid and I stand behind that now.” They had one kid together, Redmond O’Neal, born in 1985 and thought about having more. “Ryan desires another, however I have actually mixed feelings,” she unabashedly dished.

And when it came down to it, they were protective of one another. “When Ryan and I to be just beginning out and also we were in the elevation of passion, that had encouraged me not to wear assembly or worry about my hair — he claimed I to be beautiful without all that,” Fawcett told Vanity Fair. “And us ran right into Jay Bernstein, my former manager. Ryan said, ‘How walk she look?’ Jay said, ‘To tell you the truth, a tiny tired.’ I believed Ryan would certainly jump end the table and also strangle him.”

But climate there was the medicine abuse and family drama (like the time O’Neal apparently shot his son) — and also that infamous 1997 infidelity event when Fawcett walked in ~ above O’Neal and also The General’s Daughter actress Leslie Ann Stefanson — which he admitted to a Los Angeles court in 2013.

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That was the breaking point. Or so the seemed. After two years together, they separation in 1998. But O’Neal think it may have been various other things, including her menopause and his attitude.

“I believe Farrah to be going v some kind of life change,” he told the magazine. “I didn’t have actually a adjust of life. I was constantly a jerk. But they’re difficult work, this divas — i was ailing of it, and also I to be unappreciated. I simply don’t think she chosen me an extremely much. So ns excused myself.”


Farrah Fawcett and also Ryan O'Neal at the after ~ party for "Malibu's most Wanted" ~ above April 10, 2003, in Los Angeles, California

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

They reunited once O'Neal to be diagnosed with cancer

The break may have actually been what they necessary — due to the fact that it made every of them realize how important the other was in your lives. And also when O’Neal was diagnosed with leukemia in 2001, lock reunited.

After all, they establish the truth: “We traction apart, yet we never ever popped loose,” he said.

Fawcett take it on the function of caretaker and also O’Neal was soon in remission. As fate would have actually it, the tables turned: Fawcett was diagnosed through anal cancer in 2006 — and also O’Neal specialized himself to taking care of her.

“The hair is gone,” the told People if he to be watching over her. “Her well known hair. I have actually it at home. She didn’t care. Ns rub she head. It’s type of fun, actually, this great, tiny little head. How she carried all the hair I’ll never know. She doesn’t have a vanity about it.”

Even then, feather ahead, the wasn’t sure exactly how he’d cope. “It’s a love story. I simply don’t know exactly how to beat this one. Ns won’t know this civilization without her,” he said. “Cancer is an insidious enemy.”