Bryan Randall was Sandra Bullock’s “soulmate.”
In the wake of the photographer’s death over the weekend after a secret, three-year battle with ALS, we’ve been given a tiny glimpse into their love story, which they were very protective of and private about.
Octavia Spencer, Bullock’s longtime friend and co-star in 1996’s A Time to Kill and 2005’s Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, used social media to express her sympathy, writing, “My heart is broken for Sandy and Bryan. Sandy lost her soulmate and the world lost a talented, handsome, all around good guy!”
In the comments, makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff-Kendricks commented that Bullock “spoke of him so highly” while they were making the 2022 film The Lost City. “Prayers for her and his family.”
They join the tributes from Bullock’s sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado, who said the neurodegenerative disease was “cruel” to the guy she called “Bry,” who was 57. However, she took comfort knowing the former model had “the best of caretakers in my amazing sister and the band of nurses she assembled who helped her look after him in their home.”
Bullock, 59, reportedly put her career on pause for a year and kept her support group small to help keep Randall’s health battle private, according to Page Six. In that circle was Yellowstone actor Josh Holloway and his wife, Yessica. (“My friend, my brother, my fishing buddy,” Holloway wrote in his own social media tribute.) Also, Bullock’s The Proposal co-star, Ryan Reynolds, and The Lost City‘s Channing Tatum. (She’s also good friends with Jennifer Aniston.)
However, it’s clear others were completely in the dark. Mia St. John, who was friends with Randall, said he dropped out with communication over a year before his death. “Now it all makes sense,” she told the same outlet. And it seems Randall’s final arrangements have been kept top secret outside the inner circle as well. According to the tabloid The Sun, he was cremated through Hollywood Forever Cemetery earlier this week.
Daily Mail has surfaced video of Bullock and Randall, who got together in 2015, dancing together in the Bahamas in 2017. While the outlet spins a tale about the couple “exchanging vows” in a “non-legally binding ceremony they chose to do for her kids,” Louis, 13, and Laila, 10, what we know for sure is they shared a super sweet moment slow dancing to Ray LaMontagne’s “Shelter.”
Bullock wore a white patterned kaftan and flip-flops with her hair in two long braids while holding tight to Randall, who wore a white button-down shirt, pants, flip-flops and a baseball cap.
It’s a touching scene. And one we haven’t seen from the private pair. They were so good at ducking the paparazzi, the last photo of the couple together was in 2020. However, he’d mention her and post her photos on his private Instagram. (One time was that same year when they donated masks to a local hospital and he joked about the “freak” in the background of the photo, who was, of course, Bullock.)
Bullock herself has called Randall the “love of my life” — in a very candid December 2021 Red Table Talk interview.
“I found the love of my life,” she told Jada Pinkett Smith and company. “We share two beautiful children — three children [including] his older daughter [Skylar]. It’s the best thing ever.” She called him “a saint” and a “beautiful human” and said he’s “evolved on a level that’s not human.”
She said she didn’t need to be married again, after the fiasco with Jesse James, “to be a devoted partner. I don’t need to be told to be ever-present in the hardest of times. I don’t need to be told to weather a storm with a good man.”
Bullock also said Randall was “the example that I would want my children to have.” And while they looked at things in a “very different way” because he was “very Christian,” she said, even when they don’t agree, the kids learn from that, calling him “the exact right parent” balancing out her family.
In the statement from the family announcing Randall’s death, they asked for donations to the ALS Association and Massachusetts General Hospital in lieu of flowers. TMZ reports the former, which is the world’s largest private funder of ALS research, saw a funding spike in 24 hours after Randall’s death was announced. An ALS Association spokesperson said donations are up 500% over the same time period as last year.