Truth is stranger than fiction.

The Warhol Portrait of Fawcett on display at the Blanton Museum at UT. Pic from the dailytexanonline.com

I read in Saturday’s paper (click here to read the article from the Dallas Morning News, in my paper, the Austin American-Statesman it is protected as premium content, so I’m giving you the freebie link) about a lawsuit between Ryan O’Neal and the University of Texas over bequeathed artwork.  Here is the story, which, sounds incredible.

Andy Warhol painted two almost identical portraits of Fawcett back in the day.  When Fawcett died in 2009 she left all of her artwork to the University of Texas, where she attended but did not graduate.  Apparently she got too busy being famous to finish her degree in art.  UT got one of the paintings (shown above), but O’Neal kept the other saying that it was his and not Farrah’s.

Enter the lawyers.  UT is suing O’Neal for the other painting, which, being a Warhol and of Fawcett they estimate is worth about 12 million dollars. (Aside–a few years ago Mrs. Greenbean and I viewed an exhibition of Warhol’s work in Victoria, B.C. and we were really not that impressed)  Here is where the whole thing gets really kinky, or at least, sudsy.  One of the witnesses UT is calling in the case is Greg Lott who played quarterback and wingback for the Longhorns in 1965-66.  Lott apparently was Fawcett’s boyfriend of 30 years, apparently even while she was married to the Bionic Man (Lee Majors) and while involved with O’Neal.  Lott now owns a car wash in Lubbock.  Since it’s in Lubbock it is probably really a truck wash.

She left Lott $100,000 in her will.  Apparently she loved UT more than Lott.

Anyway, O’Neal is attempting to have Lott’s testimony discredited because he has arrests for drug use in the early 80’s.

So that is the story.  Truth is stranger than fiction.

I think UT should let O’Neal have the painting.  I mean, really, it is possible that he actually wants it not for monetary reasons but for emotional ones–they did have a son together for-crying-out-loud.  Endowments and bequeaths are important to universities and UT is probably thinking of the legal precedent here and what future family members might do to prohibit assets legally willed to the University.  Yet, there has got to be a better way to settle this than court.  Airing your dirty laundry (car wash anyone?) in public never ends well for anyone.

However, that being said, I kind of think it would be interesting to sit through these court proceedings, right–I mean, it sounds like a pop popcorn and make the Kool-Aid kind of story.  Maybe even a movie of the week, huh?  Let’s see, who could play Farrah Fawcett . . .


  1. I think I must be a cultural barbarian. I don’t like Warhol. I am fascinated by Edward Hopper and the Wyeths. And worse, I never saw any of Farrah’s movies. At least I don’t think I did.

    • we didn’t like warhol much either. as to farrah fawcett, well, it is more pop culture than any particular film or work. she’ll always just be a charlie’s angel pin-up girl to most people but the love-triangle here that the artwork brings out is just fascinating.

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