July 1, 2009 / 12:55 AM / 10 years ago

O'Neal leads mourners at Farrah Fawcett funeral

Actor Ryan O'Neal (R) and other pallbearers carry the flower draped casket of late actress Farrah Fawcett after her funeral at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles June 30, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Ryan O’Neal led friends and family in a private funeral service on Tuesday for actress Farrah Fawcett, who died last week aged 62 after a long and public battle with cancer.

O’Neal, the long-time companion of the “Charlie’s Angels” star, was one of the pall-bearers and gave a reading at the service at Los Angeles Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Redmond O’Neal, the “Love Story” actor’s 24-year-old son with Fawcett, was allowed briefly out of jail where he is being held on drugs possession charges to attend the funeral service. Redmond also gave a bible reading, according to a program made available to the media.

Fellow “Charlie’s Angels” star Kate Jackson, former model Cheryl Tiegs and rocker Rod Stewart’s ex-wife Alana Stewart were also among the mourners. Fawcett’s Los Angeles cancer doctor, Dr. Lawrence Piro, delivered the eulogy with Stewart.

Fawcett’s coffin was taken into the church as a quartet of musicians played “Amazing Grace” and Irving Berlin love song “Always”, according to the program.

Outside the downtown Los Angeles church, a few dozen fans watched as Fawcett’s casket was taken inside, covered with sprays of bright yellow flowers that seemed to reflect the sunny smile and golden hair that made Fawcett a worldwide star 30 years ago.

Fawcett died in a Los Angeles hospital on Thursday with O’Neal and Stewart at her side after a long struggle to beat anal and then liver cancer. A personal video diary chronicling her cancer treatments was broadcast on U.S. television in May.

Watching from the street, Karla Dishon, 47, told Reuters outside the church she had come to pay tribute to Fawcett — a star whose hairstyle she had copied as a teenager like millions of others around the world.

“All the girls did — wavy, pretty, surfer, California girl hair,” Dishon said. “She is an icon and she is a very beautiful woman, and I think it’s too bad that we lost her so young.”

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