'Paper Moon' and 'Love Story' actor Ryan O'Neal dies at 82

"This is and will be a huge void in our lives," his son said on Instagram.

December 8, 2023, 6:30 PM

Ryan O'Neal, the actor known for films like "Paper Moon" and "Love Story" has died, his son Patrick O'Neal shared on Instagram on Friday. He was 82.

"This is just so hard for us," Patrick O'Neal said in the caption of an Instagram post. "Ryan made such an impact and this will be difficult without him. This is and will be a huge void in our lives."

Prior to acting, Ryan O'Neal was a professional boxer. Born Patrick Ryan O'Neal on April 20, 1941, in Los Angeles, to writer Charles O'Neal and actress Patricia O'Callaghan. He trained as a boxer and competed in two Golden Gloves championships before landing a role as a stuntman on a TV show called, "Tales of the Vikings," according to a biography about the actor on his website.

PHOTO: Ryan O'Neal poses during Fox Celebrates 'Bones' 200th Episode at the Fox Studio Lot, Nov. 14, 2014, in Century City, Calif.
Ryan O'Neal poses during Fox Celebrates 'Bones' 200th Episode at the Fox Studio Lot, Nov. 14, 2014, in Century City, Calif.
JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images

The role fueled his interest in acting and began landing several television appearances in shows like "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" in 1960 and "Leave it to Beaver" in 1961.

He landed his first major television role in the prime-time soap opera, "Peyton Place," in 1964, where he portrayed the character, Rodney Harrington.

In 1970 he took on the role of Oliver Barrett IV in the romance film, "Love Story," which he starred in alongside Ali MacGraw. The film follows Ryan O'Neal's character and MacGraw's, who fall in love regardless of their upbringing. Ryan O'Neal's performance in the movie earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.

Ryan O'Neal opened up about the film's impact in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2015.

"They say that they married when they saw that movie, when their first baby was named Jenny," he recalled.

The following year, he went on to star in "What's Up Doc" alongside Barbra Streisand.

Ryan O'Neal found success again in his career when he portrayed Moses Pray in the 1973 film, "Paper Moon," a comedy-drama film, which earned him another Golden Globe nomination for best actor. He starred in "Paper Moon" alongside his daughter, Tatum O'Neal, who won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her performance in the film.

The actor shared Tatum O'Neal with his first wife, actress Joanna Moore. The former couple were also parents to actor Griffin O'Neal. They were married for four years before divorcing in 1967.

He was married a second time to actress Leigh Taylor-Young. The couple had a son, Patrick O'Neal, and divorced in 1974.

He had a high profile relationship was with the late actress Farrah Fawcett. The couple were never married, but were together for almost 20 years.

PHOTO: Ryan O'Neal
Actors Ryan O'Neal, left, and Farrah Fawcett are shown at the premiere of the film. "Chances Are," March 5, 1989, in New York.
Ray Stubblebine/AP

In an interview with Ryan Tubridy on "The Late Late Show" in 2015, Ryan O'Neal recalled the first time he met Fawcett during a racquetball game at Lee Majors' house, who Fawcett was married to at the time.

"I knew who she was, she was a 'Charlie's Angels,' but I hadn't seen 'Charlie's Angels,' I didn't know the intensity of her popularity," he said. "So I went and I played and there she was in the driveway. My god, she was breathtaking."

Ryan O'Neal said three weeks after he first met Fawcett, he took her to a show.

"The rest is history," he added.

The couple had a son together named Redmond, and starred in the TV miniseries, "Small Sacrifices." They were together until Fawcett's death in 2009.

In 2021, Ryan O'Neal was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with MacGraw. His star is located next to Fawcett's.

"I grew up around Hollywood Boulevard," Ryan O'Neal said at the time. "I grew up on Holloway Drive in Hollywood and as a high school junior, I used to come to Hollywood Boulevard with my lads and look for fights and the girls. Who would have thought I would end up with a star on the Walk of Fame?"

"I'm very touched," he added. "(I'm) moved and happy."

The Hollywood Walk of Fame announced on Friday that flowers will be placed on Ryan O'Neal's Walk of Fame star.

In his Instagram post about his dad, Patrick O'Neal continued to say that his dad lived a "kick a*s life" and that he is together with Fawcett again.

"Ryan never bragged. But he has bragging rights in Heaven," Patrick O'Neal said. "Especially when it comes to Farrah. Everyone had the poster, he had the real McCoy. And now they meet again. Farrah and Ryan. He has missed her terribly. What an embrace that must be. Together again."

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