October 16, 2021

Ryan O'Neal Once Made Anjelica Huston See 'Stars' Before She Left Him for Jack Nicholson

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Anjelica Huston and actor Ryan O'Neal were one of the stars whose romance seemed hopeful but turned out to be full of violence and abuse. Here's what happened between the actors.

In her memoir, "Watch Me," actress Anjelica Huston opened up on her life and relationship. Still, her story about the abuse she suffered at the hands of actor Ryan O'Neal was the emphasis of her story.

The duo dated in their younger days, but it was one of the relationships Huston would wish never happened. O'Neal had a reputation for his bad temper, which affected those closest to him.

Pictures of Jack Nicholson with Anjelica Huston and Ryan O'Neal | Photo: Getty Images



Although she was a popular movie star, all Huston ever hoped for was to find the perfect romance. She was a fulfilled actress who featured in films like "Gardens of Stone," "The Postman Always Rings Twice," and "The Royal Tenenbaums," but it was her personal life that was the most disastrous.

In her memoir, Huston recalled meeting O'Neal in 1975 while at Jackie Bisset's house party. Needing company, Huston decided to hang out with the "What's Up Doc?" actor, a decision she would go on to regret.

Ryan O'Neal attends the Farrah Fawcett Foundation 1st annual Tex-Mex Fiesta at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images


The duo smoked together and afterward attended a basketball game. Things got off to a fast start between both stars, and in her book, she remarked that their first kiss lasted for six hours.

At the time, Huston was in a relationship with Jack Nicholson, and after meeting O'Neal, she called off her relationship with Nicholson in favor of being with O'Neal, who she felt she loved.

The decision to switch to O'Neal came as a surprise to Nicholson, and according to Huston, there was no confrontation following their split; instead, he walked away, leaving her to her found love again.

Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston attend the premiere of "Terms Of Endearment" | Photo: Getty Images



Life with O'Neal was not as good as she had hoped. The new lovers had a habit of fighting often, which was caused by O'Neal's use of violence to demand attention.

Despite his many bad sides, Huston noted that O'Neal could be fun sometimes and would often take her out for a ride or something fun, but it was nothing compared to the abuse she suffered.

Ryan O'Neal arrives at the premiere of NBC Universal's "Farrah's Story" held at The Paley Center for Media on May 13, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images


Coupled with his violence, Huston remarked that O'Neal also cheated on her. She revealed that she once visited his home, and after being falsely told he was not around, she realized he was unfaithful to her with a minor.

Although life with Nicholson was on and off, Huston realized it was better than the abusive romance she was building with the "Peyton Place" actor. After a year together, Huston doubted her relationship with O'Neal.

Anjelica Huston on January 6, 2013 in Pasadena, California | Photo: Getty Images



Things reached a peak one night during a party they had both attended. Huston recalled leaving O'Neal to use the bathroom, but she noticed he had grown impatient and looked violent on her return.

O'Neal stormed out of the room in a rage, and Huston followed after him trying to appease him, but shockingly, he turned around and hit her on her forehead with the top of his head. 

Anjelica Huston at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images


Talking about the incident, Huston wrote, "I saw stars and reeled back. Half-blind I ran away from him, upstairs to a bathroom." Shortly after the incident, Huston ended the relationship and returned to her old love, Nicholson.

Meanwhile, O'Neal's violence would be extended to his children, and at some point, he was said to have gotten into a fight with his oldest son Griffin, in which he knocked out two of Griffin's teeth.

Ryan O'Neal poses during Fox Celebrates 'Bones' 200th Episode at the Fox Studio Lot | Photo: Getty Images



The "Addams Family" star lived on and off with Nicholson from 1973 to 1990. Their relationship was one of the talking points of their lives, and after 17 years together, Huston realized there was no future for them.

The relationship was as tumultuous as her affair with O'Neal. In her memoir, she recalled being attracted to the actor for his possessive nature, which was the main part of their relationship rather than his care.

Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston attend 38th Annual Director's Guild of America Awards | Photo: Getty Images


For almost two decades, Huston harbored false hopes that Nicholson would someday marry her. Huston remained with Nicholson, hoping for a change despite the many signs that pointed to the blank future between them.

Huston forged a successful career for herself, but her breakup with Nicholson left her broken. She would later marry sculptor Robert Graham in 1992, and their union lasted until he died in 2008.


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