Both of Us: My Life with Farrah
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Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett. He was the handsome Academy Award–nominated star of Paper Moon and the classic romance Love Story. She was the beautiful, all-American Charlie’s Angel, whose poster adorned the bedroom walls of teenage boys everywhere. One of the most storied love affairs in Hollywood history, their romance has captivated fans and media alike for more than three decades. In a tragic turn, the world lost Farrah after a tragic battle with cancer in 2009, but in his intimate memoir Both of Us, Ryan brings their relationship to vivid life.
Fans of each other from afar, Ryan and Farrah met through her husband, Lee Majors, and fell passionately in love. Soon, however, reality threatened their happiness and they struggled with some serious matters, including the disintegration of Farrah’s marriage; Ryan’s troubled relationship with his daughter, Tatum, and son, Griffin; mismatched career trajectories; and raising their young son, Redmond—all leading Ryan and Farrah to an inevitable split in 1997.
Ryan fought to create a life on his own but never stopped longing for Farrah. Eventually he realized that he had lost his true soul mate. Older and wiser, he and Farrah found their way back to each other and were excited to start a new life together. But their bliss was cut short when Farrah was diagnosed with cancer and passed away just three years later.
Ryan’s deep love for Farrah and his devotion to preserving her memory are evident in Both of Us. Drawing on decades’ worth of personal records and keepsakes, he has included never-before-seen photographs, letters exchanged between him and Farrah, and his own diaries, making this a poignant and compelling memento for her fans. Written with candor and emotional honesty, it is a true Hollywood love story.
conduct unbecoming was more likely to ignite anger than bemusement, and in defending myself I didn’t see my behavior as aberrant. Most men of my generation would have reacted the same way. That doesn’t make it right. But there was so much not right during this period that how we fought was simply one more obstacle to finding our way back to each other. Another, which I’m only beginning to recognize now, is that Farrah and I took most everything too personally. We may have seemed as confident as
from society, so we finally decided to get hitched. Then the flat tire. I flagged down a car whose driver offered to take us on to Reno or back to Tahoe. He would have driven us to Cincinnati if I’d asked, but instead we chose the lake. We thought it was funny, even joked with each other that it had to be “a sign.” Looking back, I can’t help but wonder how my life with this rare woman might have been different if we had gone through with it that day. Why didn’t I just fix the damn tire and get
grab hold of it, he trips and tumbles backward. It was a cruel autumn. I trudged through the days, head down, trying not to lose my patience with family and friends who meant well but whose attempts to help often put me more on edge. It wasn’t that I didn’t need or want the support; I was desperate for it. But like the character Lon Chaney, Jr., played in The Werewolf, sometimes it was safer for everyone if I kept to myself. The Christmas holidays were overcast with the precariousness of our
house in Malibu early one morning as part of a court-mandated check on Redmond, who was on parole. Farrah was back home by then and was sleeping upstairs when they descended upon us. They ransacked the place, determined to unearth something, and they did. Before I went to bed the night before I had found a packet of crystal meth in Redmond’s room. He told me it wasn’t his, that he was holding it for a friend at Pepperdine, the college up the road. I know, a likely story, so I took it from him and
hid it in my shoe under my bed, thinking I’d dispose of it the next morning. The police came before I had a chance. It turned out that the crystal meth was a diversionary tactic. I’d assumed that’s all Red had. The police made no such assumption. They found his stash. We would both be booked and prosecuted. Two months later, to protect Redmond, I would plead guilty to possession of crystal meth and be sentenced to attend outpatient drug management sessions. I had asserted ownership of the meth