Actor Ryan O’Neal, famed for his Oscar-nominated role in the 1970 romance film Love Story, has died aged 82. O’Neal’s son, Patrick, announced the actor’s death in a moving Instagram post.
“My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us,” he said. “My father has always been my hero. I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life.”
While a cause of death has not been given at this time, O’Neal previously battled illness after being diagnosed with chronic leukemia in 2001 and prostate cancer in 2012.
The Los Angeles-born actor enjoyed great success in TV and film during the ’60s and ’70s. His lead turn as Oliver Barrett IV in the critically-acclaimed romance picture Love Story earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
O’Neal is also remembered for his starring role in the comedy drama Paper Moon (1973), in which he shared the screen with his real-life daughter, Tatum. O’Neal earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for his depiction of Moses Pray, with Tatum receiving wide praise for her portrayal of Addie Loggins, which won her the Best Supporting Actress title at the Oscars when she was just 10-years-old, making her the youngest recipient of the award.
Father-of-four O’Neal had a highly-publicized tumultuous relationship with his daughter Tatum. In her 2004 autobiography, A Paper Life, Tatum detailed her recollection of growing up with her dad, who she described as physically and emotionally abusive. She claimed her father’s drug abuse had impacted her gravely, and detailed her own descent into addiction. In interviews following the release of the book, O’Neal denied the claims.
O’Neal also had well-documented encounters with law enforcement. In 2007, he was arrested for shooting a gun during a heated row with his son, Griffin. The incident took place at a birthday party for actress Farrah Fawcett—O’Neal’s long-term on-off partner and the mother of his youngest child, Redmond. The charges were eventually dropped. A year later, O’Neal was arrested once more—alongside his and Fawcett’s son, Redmond—on account of police officers finding meth at their Malibu home.
After a long period of estrangement, O’Neal appeared to be on better terms with his daughter Tatum this year. Speaking about their fractured bond in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in July, Tatum said of her dad: “He loved me, but then hated me, because I won the Academy Award.” When asked if she had forgiven him, she said: “I don’t want him to die. I love him. I love my dad. I mean, I’ve had a hard life with my dad, but I still love him.” Some months prior to the interview, in April, Tatum shared a picture of herself with her father in celebration of him turning 82. “Happy birthday, dad. I love you,” she had captioned the post.
Tatum reacted to her father’s death in a statement shared with People magazine. “I feel great sorrow with my father’s passing. He meant the world to me. I loved him very much and know he loved me too,” she said. “I’ll miss him forever and I feel very lucky that we ended on such good terms.”
O’Neal has also been honored by his former co-stars and peers. In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Barbra Streisand, who shared a brief romance with the actor, wrote: “So sad to hear the news of Ryan O’Neal’s passing. We made two films together: What’s Up, Doc? and The Main Event. He was funny and charming, and he will be remembered.”
Star Trek actor William Shatner wrote: “Condolences to the family of Ryan O’Neal. A wonderfully talented actor and Twitter friend.”
Meanwhile, Mia Farrow, who shared the screen with O’Neal in the ’60s when they appeared in U.S. soap opera Peyton Place, also posted a tribute. “Rest in peace, dear Ryan,” she wrote on social media, alongside a series of pictures.
First appeared on time.com