O'Neal told Entertainment Tonight on the "Bones" set that Fawcett has been buoyed by a steady stream of support from fans and well-wishers around the world.
"She was stunned by the reaction, the positive feedback, the feelings that have manifested themselves," Ryan said. "She had no idea that anyone still remembered her like that."
O'Neal, whose television career hails back to the classic 1960s soap "Peyton Place," plays a priest who has a secret love child on the "Bones" episode that airs Wednesday.
He told ET he received some acting tips from episode director David Duchovny of "X-Files" fame.