fbpx Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O'Neal dies at 82
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Home / News / The Industry / Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O’Neal dies at 82

Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O’Neal dies at 82

by City News Service
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Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O’Neal, known for his pairings with Barbra Streisand in the films “What’s Up, Doc?” and “The Main Event,” and with his daughter Tatum in “Paper Moon,” died Friday at age 82.

His son, sportscaster Patrick O’Neal, announced his father’s death on social media, saying Ryan O’Neal died peacefully “with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us.”

“My father Ryan O’Neal has always been my hero,” Patrick O’Neal wrote. “I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life. When I was born in 1967 my dad was already a TV star on `Peyton Place.’ That’s where he met my mom Leigh Taylor-Young, and about nine months later, give or take a date night or two, I was born.

“My dad became an international movie star with `Love Story’ at the beginning of the 1970s, a decade he absolutely crushed by starring in movies like `What’s Up, Doc?,’ `Paper Moon,’ `Barry Lyndon,’ `A Bridge Too Far,’ `The Main Event,’ and `The Driver.’

“He is a Hollywood legend. Full stop. The growth spurt of the first name Ryan can be traced back to my dad. That’s a fact. He was Rodney Harrington on `Peyton Place’ 3 days a week (he starred in 500 shows over 5 years) and then of course the name Ryan peaked after `Love Story,’ the film that saved Paramount Studios and earned my dad a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

Ryan and his “Love Story” co-star Ali MacGraw received their stars on the Walk of Fame in a joint ceremony in 2021 — an event that was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a high school junior I used to come to Hollywood Boulevard with my lads and look for fights and the girls,” he said at the time. “And who would have thought I would end up with a star on the Walk of Fame? I thought I’d end up in jail, and look where I am.”

O’Neal was also known for his decades-long romance with Farrah Fawcett, who died in 2009 after a protracted battle with cancer. It was O’Neal himself who broke the news of Fawcett’s death as he tearfully left the Santa Monica hospital where she was being treated.

“Love Story” helped make O’Neal one of the biggest movie stars of the 1970s. He co-starred with Streisand in the 1972 screwball comedy “What’s Up Doc?”; with his then-9-year-old daughter Tatum in “Paper Moon,” which was released in 1973; the 1975 Stanley Kubrick period drama “Barry Lyndon”; the 1977 World War II drama “A Bridge Too Far”; the 1978 “Love Story” sequel “Oliver’s Story”; and re-teaming with Streisand for the 1979 boxing comedy “The Main Event.”

O’Neal’s 1980s film credits included the 1982 gay-themed buddy comedy “Partners”; the 1984 comedy-drama “Irreconcilable Differences”; the 1985 sports gambling drama “Fever Pitch”; and the 1987 crime mystery comedy-drama “Tough Guys Don’t Dance.”

O’Neal later turned to television, co-starring with Fawcett in the 1989 two-part ABC made-for-television movie “Small Sacrifices” and the short-lived 1991 CBS comedy “Good Sports.” He was also part of the cast of the 2003 NBC comedy-drama “Miss Match” and had a recurring role on “Bones.”

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