SANTA MONICA—Actor Ryan O’Neal who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the drama “Love Story” passed away on Friday, December 8 at the age of 82. The actor previously battled prostate cancer in 2012. An official cause of death for the actor has not been disclosed to the public.
Ryan was born in Los Angeles in April 1941. He was a trained boxer before he transitioned into acting in the 1960s. He had a record of 12-4 as a boxer. His big role came in 1964 on the series “Peyton Place” where he portrayed Rodney Harrington. He parlayed that success into roles in the 1968 film “Rosemary’s Baby” alongside Mia Farrow and in 1967’s “Valley of the Dolls.” His stardom rose with the 1972 film “Love Story” alongside Ali MacGraw, where he earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance. He did win the Golden Globe Award that year for Best Actor.
He appeared in the 1973 drama “Paper Moon” alongside his daughter Tatum O’Neal who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie. Ryan was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his role in the film. Other notable film roles include “Barry Lyndon,” “A Bridge Too Far,” “The Driver,” “Partners” and “Fever Pitch.”
He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2021. He was married two times in his lifetime to Joanna Moore (1963-1967) and Leigh Taylor-Young (1967-1974). He later became involved with actress Farrah Fawcett, who he shared son Redmond O’Neal with. His other children include Tatum, Griffin and Patrick. Redmond and Ryan were arrested back in 2008 for drug possession in Malibu.
Ryan’s son, Patrick O’Neal posted the following message on Instagram:
“So this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to say but here we go. My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us. This is very difficult for my wife Summer and I, but I will share some feelings to give you an idea of how great a man he is. My father Ryan O’Neal has always been my hero. 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 9 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 1970’s, 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 three days a week (he starred in 500 shows over five 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).”