Ryan O’Neal dead: Paper Moon & Love Story star passes away aged 82
Ryan O’Neal, best known for playing Oliver in the romantic 1971 film Love Story, has died “peacefully” at the age of 82, his family confirmed. The Hollywood star rose to fame as part of ABC's soap Peyton Place before gaining international acclaim for his Oscar-nominated role in Love Story, opposite Ali MacGraw.
O Neal's son Patrick confirmed the news on Instagram. He said: “My dad passed away peacefully today, 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," he 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."
O’Neal starred in more than 500 episodes of Peyton Place, playing Rodney Harrington on the primetime hit drama. “That’s where he met my mum Leigh Taylor-Young, and about nine months later (give or take a date night or two) I was born," he added.
“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.” During his career, O'Neal frequently collaborated with director Peter Bogdanovich and starred as Barry Lyndon in Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 film. He worked opposite Barbra Streisand in the 1972 rom-com, What's Up, Doc? and again, in 1979's The Main Event.
Streisand took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to pay tribute to the actor: “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.”
In Paper Moon, O'Neal acted opposite his daughter Tatum, who won an Academy Award at the age of 10 for her performance. In an exclusive statement about her father's passing, Tatum told PEOPLE: "I feel great sorrow."
She added: "He meant the world to me. I loved him very much and know he loved me too. I'll miss him forever and I feel very lucky that we ended on such good terms."
US actors’ union Sag-Aftra said it was “saddened” to hear of O’Neal’s death, who had been a union member since 1959. “A revered performer, he kicked off his career on Peyton Place, then found success in film with movies such as Love Story and What’s Up Doc?” a statement said.