Actor Ryan O’Neal, known for his role in Love Story, dies at 82
The prominent American actor Ryan O’Neal passed away on Friday at the age of 82, as reported by his son Patrick O’Neal. O’Neal, who appeared in over 40 films and television shows, is best known for his role as Oliver Barrett in the critically acclaimed romantic film Love Story, for which he received an Oscar nomination in 1970.
His family did not disclose the cause of death, but O’Neal had been diagnosed with chronic leukemia in 2001 and prostate cancer in 2012. His son shared the news of his passing on Instagram, calling his father “a Hollywood legend.”
O’Neal made a name for himself internationally in the early 70s with roles in films such as What’s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, Barry Lyndon, A Bridge Too Far, The Main Event, and The Driver.
Born in Los Angeles, O’Neal began his career with small roles on television before breaking out in Love Story, where he played an upper-class Harvard student who falls in love with a working-class student, Jennifer “Jenny” Cavilleri, portrayed by Ali MacGraw.
He went on to become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after heartthrobs, starring alongside Barbra Streisand in the comedy What’s Up, Doc? and the comedy-drama Paper Moon, where he acted alongside his daughter, Tatum O’Neal. He was also known for his role in the war epic A Bridge Too Far.
O’Neal was married twice, first to actress Joanna Moore, with whom he had two children, and then to actress Leigh Taylor-Young, with whom he had a son. He also had a high-profile relationship with actress Farrah Fawcett, with whom he had four children and remained until her death in 2009.
His son expressed that O’Neal “never bragged,” but that he now has “bragging rights in heaven,” especially when it comes to Farrah. His son also commented that his father had missed Fawcett tremendously and that they must be giving each other a long-awaited embrace.
O’Neal’s legacy as a talented and charming actor will be remembered by many, and his impact on Hollywood cinema will continue to be celebrated.