Farrah Fawcett died of cancer in 2009. "Ryan was the love of her life."
The pain of losing the one person you've loved with all your heart and vowed to spend the rest of your life with is inexplicable. But that is what actor Ryan O’Neal experienced when he lost the love of his life, Farrah Fawcett. The actress died of cancer at the age of 62 on 25 June, 2009. Her death shattered O'Neal so much that her memories remained a part of his life for a long time.
According to People, even 10 years after her death, O'Neal could not move on from Fawcett. “There was never a day I didn’t love her,” he said.
Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006. The news that came unexpectedly altered their lives together forever. Though it caused them a lot of pain, O'Neal stood by Fawcett's side and made her smile through her agony.
“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. 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 to People at the time.
During her final days, the actor slept in a cot by her side at St. John’s Medical Center in Los Angeles and did everything he could to make her feel better.
Fawcett's friend Mela Murphy said that the couple would have married during the time if it was not for her immediate death. Though they shared a child together, O'Neal and Fawcett never considered marriage. However, during Fawcett's last days, O'Neal proposed to her.
Recalling the day before she died, Murphy said, "The night before she died, he was talking and talking, leading up to the story of when he first met Farrah. It was his way of telling her how much he loved her. She looked over at me and rolled her eyes, and then she smiled.”
“He never left her side, especially those last few months. 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. This was just a few weeks before the end, so perhaps it wasn’t realistic. 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," said Murphy.
When Fawcett took her final breath in 2009, O’Neal held her hand and bid farewell to her.
Recalling her death, O’Neal wrote, "The priest at St. John’s Hospital arrives to marry us — but administers the last rites instead," in his 2012 book Both of Us: My Life with Farrah, according to Hollywood Reporter.
Their love for each other was magical and passionate that others around them felt it. “Ryan was the love of her life, and she, his. Whether they had a fight or were back together, it was always Ryan. The father of your child. Connected forever," said Fawcett’s Charlie’s Angel’s costar and friend Jaclyn Smith.
Another close friend of Fawcett, Sylvia Dorsey also stated, "Ryan was the love of her life. I don’t think she was happy without him. They fought and loved with passion. It was never boring. They were electric together.”
O’Neal and Fawcett's story had its highs and lows. But at the end of it all, they were united in true love.