Barbra Streisand Pays Tribute to “What's Up, Doc?” Costar Ryan O'Neal: 'He Was Funny and Charming'

Streisand revealed in her new memoir that she and O'Neal dated briefly in 1970 before filming their movie

<p>Warner Brothers/Getty</p> Barbra Streisand and Ryan O

Warner Brothers/Getty

Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal in The Main Event in 1979.

Barbra Streisand is remembering her former costar and onetime beau Ryan O’Neal as “funny and charming” in the wake of his death.

The legendary star, 81, paid tribute to O’Neal, with whom she enjoyed a brief romance in 1970, on Instagram Friday, shortly after his son Patrick O'Neal announced that the actor had died at age 82.

“So sad to hear the news of Ryan O’Neal’s passing. �❤️,” Streisand wrote alongside a black-and-white still from What’s Up, Doc? “We made two films together, What’s Up, Doc? and The Main Event. He was funny and charming, and he will be remembered.”

What’s Up, Doc?, a screwball comedy released in 1972, was a critical and commercial success for the stars, and they reunited onscreen seven years later in the sports romantic comedy The Main Event.

Related: Ryan O'Neal, Academy Award-Nominated Love Story Star, Dead at 82

In her memoir My Name Is Barbra, Streisand reveals that she and O’Neal first met in 1970, at a dinner party hosted by a friend. He was the guest of legendary agent Sue Mengers, and Streisand writes that the actor, then fresh off the success of Love Story, “fancied me and asked for my number.”

“We started seeing each other, and it was kind of a new dynamic for me . . . easy and casual,” she writes in her book. “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.”

<p>Silver Screen Collection/Getty</p> Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand in What's Up, Doc? in 1972.

Silver Screen Collection/Getty

Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand in What's Up, Doc? in 1972.

When Streisand signed on to star in What’s Up, Doc?, she suggested O’Neal to appear opposite her due to his sense of humor. Though director Peter Bogdanovich initially felt O’Neal wasn’t right for the role, he was eventually charmed by the actor’s “self-deprecating” wit over lunch, she writes.

Streisand says her romance with O’Neal “fizzled” before they began shooting the film, as she was “too serious” for him, but they “remained on good terms.”

O’Neal’s son Patrick, whom he shared with Leigh Taylor-Young, announced the Oscar nominee’s death on Friday, writing on Instagram that he “passed away peacefully” earlier in the day.

While a cause of death remains unclear, O’Neal was diagnosed with chronic leukemia in 2001 and prostate cancer in 2012.

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