Faye Dunaway, the actress behind the assertive Bonnie in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde,” turns 82 today. She spent her life portraying willful and tough women and won several accolades for her performances, including an Oscar, an Emmy, and three Golden Globes.
The actress broke into film in 1967 with “The Happening,” the same year as when she played the sly criminal and coconspirator of the infamous Clyde. From here on out, Faye’s career kept skyrocketing, with notable roles in films such as “The Arrangement,” “Chinatown,” “Network,” and “The People Next Door.”
The entertainer became known for her strong, feminine characters, and she even appeared in a few TV shows. However, in real life, Faye is not as rigid and stolid as her on-screen personas suggest. Although she’s certainly a force to be reckoned with, she’s also a loving, empathetic mother.
Shortly after Peter and Faye broke things off, she started seeing Terry and admitted they had fallen in love quite soon.
Portrait of Faye Dunaway circa 1965 | Source: Getty Images
Faye admitted that the public often had a misperception of who she truly was. She said that the most significant blow to her public image most likely came after she portrayed Joan Crawford in the film “Dearest” and that the film gave the “wrong impressions” about her real personality.
Faye Is the Mother of One Son Who Was Suspected of Being Adopted
Despite the role of the cruel mother Faye portrayed in “Mommy Dearest,” she was, in actuality, an excellent caretaker for her son, Liam O’Neill. The actress had Liam with the photographer Terry O’Neill, whom she met during a photo shoot with her then-husband, Peter Wolf. At the time, Faye and Peter were on the verge of separation.
Faye also opened up about aging, which is apt, since she was lauded as a great beauty in her prime, although she never truly believed it herself.
Faye Dunaway and Liam O’Neil on May 1999 in Cannes, France | Sourcee: Getty Images
Shortly after Peter and Faye broke things off, she started seeing Terry and admitted they had fallen in love quite soon. However, Terry was going through his own divorce, and the situation became tricky to navigate. So, when Faye became pregnant, she and Terry decided to keep it a secret to avoid a media circus. She commented:
“I’ve always wanted children, but my relationships always seemed so complicated. As it happened I’m happy I did wait because I’m glad Terry’s the father.”
Faye gave birth to Liam without anyone finding out about the pregnancy beforehand, which led the public to believe Faye had adopted her son. Despite the rumors, Faye was happy to be a mother, and she decided to raise Liam in the Catholic tradition and hoped to shield him from the rigors of Hollywood life.
What Is Faye Dunaway’s Personal Life Like?
Despite being played by rumors and misconceptions, Faye made the best of her situation and nourished a tremendously successful career. After both Faye and Liam dismissed claims that he was adopted, the press started leaving the story alone, and the effects of “Mommy Dearest” also died down after a while.
Although the actress had married the father of her child, she and Terry sadly divorced. She spoke highly of her ex-husband, though, and credited him for helping her become the impeccable woman she is today. And Faye hasn’t stepped back from the film industry yet. The actress is still producing TV shows with no intention of stopping soon.
Faye Dunaway at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
Faye also opened up about aging, which is apt, since she was lauded as a great beauty in her prime, although she never truly believed it herself. Interestingly, the “3 Days of the Condor” star said growing older doesn’t bother her too much. She thinks age adds depth to her emotional expression, and mused:
“It is what it is. It’s not something to moan or complain about. I still have a lot of creativity and emotion and it almost gets deeper as you get older – the more you understand and absorb. It’s not age that makes a life. It’s what you do with it.”
Faye has made her son her top priority and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she can devote attention to her work while still being close to her beloved Liam. Faye also shared that she’s not seeing anyone. She has never had a problem with being alone but admits that having someone in her life could be pleasant.