Sandra Bullock says it was ‘hard to say goodbye’ to Bryan Randall

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Their years together were too few, but Sandra Bullock remains grateful to have known and loved Bryan Randall. A model-turned-photographer, Bryan died August 5 after a very private three-year struggle with ALS. He was just 57.

In the aftermath of Bryan’s passing, Sandra’s first concern has been for her children, Louis, 13, and Laila, 11, who looked to her longtime companion as their dad. “He was a great father,” a friend tells Closer exclusively, who praises Bryan for his warmth, humor and “infectious laugh” around the children.

Bryan met Sandra, 59, when he was hired to photograph Louis’ 5th birthday, entering the Oscar-winner’s life when she was still recovering from a traumatic divorce. “Sandra truly thought she’d never trust a man again,” says the friend. “Bryan changed all that. He gave her purpose. He opened her heart and helped her heal.”

Like Sandra, Bryan had known some hard times. He lost his fiancée, the mother of his daughter, Skylar, to addiction, casting him in the role of a single parent when his daughter was 14. By the time Bryan met Sandra, he’d been sober for many years. Although he accompanied the actress to premieres and special events, Bryan never sought the limelight or spoke about their relationship publicly.

Sandra attempted to keep their relationship private too, although she couldn’t help gushing about Bryan in a 2021 interview. “I found the love of my life. We share two beautiful children — three children, [Bryan’s] older daughter. It’s the best thing ever,” Sandra enthused. She added that even when she and Bryan argued, they did so with respect. “I have a partner who’s very Christian,” Sandra confided. “I don’t always agree with him, and he doesn’t always agree with me. But he is a [good] example even when I don’t agree with him.”

The couple shared Bryan’s diagnosis with ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, with only a small handful of people. “Right now, work in front of the camera needs to take a pause,” Sandra said last June, explaining that she wanted to spend more time at home. As Bryan’s health grew more fragile, the family retreated to Malibu, where Sandra tended to Bryan’s needs along with a battalion of nurses sworn to secrecy.

In an earlier interview, the actress spoke of how she didn’t need a legal document to feel completely committed to Bryan. “I don’t need to be told to be ever-present in the hardest of times or to weather the storm with a good man,” she said.

Sandra proved her love and loyalty to the very end. “The last few years of seeing Bryan struggle were very difficult,” admits the friend. “But he was very spiritual, and he and Sandra talked openly about everything. It was very hard to say goodbye.”

Now, Sandra is mourning Bryan in private surrounded by her closest family and friends. “ALS is a cruel disease,” her sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado, noted in a post suggesting that well-wishers make a donation to the ALS Association in Bryan’s name. “I’m convinced that Bry has found the best fishing spot in heaven and is already casting his lure into rushing rivers teaming with salmon,” she wrote. “Rest in peace, Bryan.”

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