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Ryan O'Neal, star of 'Peyton Place' and 'Love Story,' dies at 82

Ryan O'Neal arrives at the 8th Annual TV Land Awards at Sony Studios on in Culver City, Calif., in 2010. The actor died at age 82.
Alberto E. Rodriguez
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Ryan O'Neal arrives at the 8th Annual TV Land Awards at Sony Studios on in Culver City, Calif., in 2010. The actor died at age 82.

Ryan O'Neal, an Oscar-nominated actor who starred in the soap opera Peyton Place and the 1970s films Paper Moon and What's Up, Doc?, died on Friday. He was 82. His death was confirmed by his son in a post on social media.

"My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us," Patrick O'Neal wrote on Instagram. "My father Ryan O'Neal has always been my hero. I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life."

He did not list a cause of death.

Ryan O'Neal's star rose in 1964 after landing his breakout role as Rodney Harrington in the ABC nighttime soap Peyton Place. O'Neal was known as a heartthrob, especially from his turn in the 1970 box office hit Love Story, for which he earned his Oscar nod. In the 1973 hit Paper Moon, O'Neal played a Depression-era con artist alongside his real-life daughter Tatum O'Neal, a role that won her an Academy Award for best supporting actress at age 10. His other notable movie roles include Barry Lyndon, A Bridge Too Far and The Driver.

He was born into the business as the son of screenwriter Charles "Blackie" O'Neal and actress Patricia O'Callaghan, according to the biography page on his website.

Before turning to acting, the Los Angeles native trained to become a professional boxer. He competed in two Golden Gloves championships in 1956 and 1957. He parlayed his athleticism into a stuntman role on the TV series Tales of the Vikings, his first on-screen job.

"I like this business now," O'Neal told The New York Times in 1978. "There's a nice thing about going to work and working on something that may last a long time. But it's a little scary."

In the early '60s, O'Neal married his first wife, actress Joanna Moore. They had Tatum and son Griffin. He went on to wed actress Leigh Taylor‐Young with whom he had a son, Patrick. O'Neal also had a son, Redmond, with his love later in life, the late actor Farrah Fawcett.

As his acting roles grew sparser, his personal life made headlines. The actor, also known in Hollywood for his short fuse, drug abuse and problems with the law, went through rifts at times with three of his children. He allegedly assaulted his son Griffin in 2007, was arrested with his son Redmond on a drug charge a year later, and was estranged from Tatum for many years before reconciling in 2020.

"He meant the world to me," Tatum told People magazine in a statement following her dad's death. "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."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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