A Look Back At Ryan O'Neal's Romance With Barbra Streisand

"Peyton Place" star Ryan O'Neal sadly died at 82 years old in December 2023. Over the course of his lengthy career, the prolific actor was romantically linked to several fellow stars. However, O'Neal also enjoyed a short-lived romance with entertainment icon Barbra Streisand back in 1970, which she detailed in her bestselling memoir "My Name is Barbra."

Streisand confirmed that she met O'Neal at a dinner party and he "fancied me and asked for my number" (via People). She continued, "We started seeing each other, and it was kind of a new dynamic for me [...] easy and casual. I remember a moment early on when he told me, 'I love you,' and I said, 'What do you mean? You don't know me.' Trust me to be so literal."

Even though the duo broke up, they were on amicable terms until O'Neal's death. In fact, Streisand was actually the one who recommended O'Neal to be her co-star in the 1972 movie "What's Up, Doc?" A few years later, the former couple starred in another film together, "The Main Event," which highlighted O'Neal's real-life boxing prowess.

Streisand and O'Neal complimented each other during a reunion

Sadly, despite how good they were together both on and offscreen, Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand ultimately split because, as the legendary singer put it in her memoir, she was "too serious for him," (per People). In 2022 the former co-stars reunited alongside several other cast and crew members from "What's Up, Doc?" and were interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter to discuss the film's legacy and pay tribute to its legendary director, Peter Bogdanovich, who passed away a couple of months prior. 

Both lead actors had wonderful things to say about their co-stars and each other, with O'Neal gushing, "I learned more about comedy from [Barbra] than anyone. I only wish Peter was here to celebrate the 50th year with us. May he rest in peace." Although O'Neal's protagonist, Howard, was less of a cool, suave guy than the characters he usually played, Streisand felt he was ideal for the role. The singer and actor added, "Peter knew exactly what he wanted to do with the movie, and he put together a great cast." She also shared a sweet tribute to O'Neal after his own death. 

Both parties went on to other high-profile relationships

After Ryan O'Neal passed away, Barbra Streisand took to Instagram to share a tribute in his honor. She posted a black-and-white photo of the two of them from the '70s and captioned it, "So sad to hear the news of Ryan O'Neal's passing." Streisand added a heart emoji and continued, "We made two films together, 'What's Up, Doc?' and 'The Main Event.' He was funny and charming, and he will be remembered."

Both Streisand and O'Neal were involved in other high-profile romances besides their own. The truth about Streisand's relationship history is that she was married to fellow actor Elliott Gould for eight years, and linked with celebs such as Don Johnson and Andre Agassi, among others. Streisand married James Brolin in 1998. O'Neal's relationship history was similarly star-studded. 

He was married to Joanna Moore and Leigh Taylor-Young, and he also had a long-term, albeit highly tumultuous, relationship with "Charlie's Angels" star Farrah Fawcett with a couple of breaks over the course of 30 years. Due to some infidelity and illness, their love story is a heartbreaking one, but Fawcett and O'Neal reunited and remained quite close until she passed away in 2009.