Entertainment & Arts

Farrah Fawcett portrait by Andy Warhol at center of legal battle

Farrah Fawcett portrait by Andy Warhol at center of legal battle
A detail of the Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett that is at the center of a legal dispute between actor Ryan O’Neal and the University of Texas at Austin.
(Blanton Museum of Art, the University of Texas at Austin)

A portrait of actress Farrah Fawcett created by Andy Warhol is at the center of a legal dispute that is scheduled to head to court on Wednesday. Ryan O’Neal, who had a long relationship with the late actress, is fighting the University of Texas at Austin over possession of the painting, which the university claims to own.

The parties are set to square off Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. At the time of her death in 2009, Fawcett bequeathed art that she owned to the University of Texas at Austin, which she attended before hitting it big in Hollywood. 


The university had reportedly received one Warhol portrait of Fawcett, but O’Neal is in possession of another that is virtually identical. The “Barry Lyndon” actor is claiming that the portrait he has is rightfully his and that Warhol gave it to him.

O’Neal and Fawcett never married but they were in a long-term, on-and-off relationship. They have a son, Redmond O’Neal. 


The University of Texas is claiming that Fawcett left all of her artwork to the university and that the portrait in O’Neal’s possession should be transferred to the school. O’Neal has countersued the university, saying that a sketch created by Warhol wrongly ended up at the Blanton Museum of Art on the Austin campus.

The court battle is expected to take two weeks, with O’Neal set to testify.


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