Ryan O’Neal, ‘Love Story’ actor who was longtime partner of Farrah Fawcett, dead at 82 



Ryan O’Neal, the prolific actor who made headlines for his troubled relationship with Farrah Fawcett and his estrangement from his children, has died. He was 82.

His son, 56-year-old actor Patrick O’Neal, confirmed the news on social media according to TMZ, “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.”

The news comes after a source told RadarOnline.com in February that O’Neal was desperate to reconnect with his incarcerated son, Redmond, whom he shared with Fawcett, who died in 2009. O’Neal didn’t “believe he has much time left” due to chronic leukemia, diabetes, and heart problems, the source reportedly insisted.

“Ryan has made a lot of mistakes in his life, but his greatest sorrow is not being able to honor his vow to Farrah,” the source said. A self-proclaimed “hopeless father,” O’Neal has also struggled to connect with his other children, actress Tatum, actor Griffin and sportscaster Patrick.

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

The Post has reached out to O’Neal’s rep for comment.

Born Charles Patrick Ryan O’Neal in LA on April 20, 1941, O’Neal was the son of actress Patricia Ruth Olga and novelist/screenwriter Charles O’Neal.

Before he got into acting, O’Neal trained to become a professional boxer, competing in two Golden Gloves championships in LA in the 1950s. His amateur fighting record is 18 wins to four losses, with 13 knockouts.

His family moved to Germany for his dad’s job when O’Neal was in high school. He struggled at his new Munich school, so he became an extra and stuntman on a local show, sparking his interest in acting.

O’Neal returned to the states to pursue performing and landed several roles on TV shows, including “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” “The Untouchables,” “Leave It To Beaver,” and “The Virginian.” He regularly appeared on NBC’s “Empire” from 1962 to 1963.

Ryan O’Neal got cozy with Barbra Streisand in the 1972 film “What’s Up, Doc?” Courtesy Everett Collection

His first big acting break came in 1964 as Rodney Harrington in the TV drama “Peyton Place.” That led to several movie credits, including his first leading film role in 1969’s “The Big Bounce.”

His other notable works include “Love Story,” “What’s Up, Doc?,” “Paper Moon,” “Barry Lyndon,” “A Bridge Too Far” and, “The Main Event.”

O’Neal’s final TV appearances came on 24 episodes of “Bones,” ending in 2017. He and Tatum also invited cameras to watch as they tried to repair their father/daughter relationship on “Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals” in 2011.

His final film, a horror movie titled “The Waste Lands,” is in development, according to IMDb.

Ryan O’Neal starred as Jack Ryan in 1969’s “The Big Bounce.” Courtesy Everett Collection

O’Neal was diagnosed with leukemia in 2001 and with prostate cancer in 2012. He initially stated it was Stage 4 cancer before later clarifying it was Stage 2. He underwent back surgery in 2017 and famously suffered from alcoholism and drug abuse over the years.

O’Neal was also well-known for his high-profile romances. He was married to Joanna Moore from 1963 to 1967. They had two children: Tatum and Griffin. He wed Leigh-Taylor Young in 1967, and they had a son, Patrick. The couple divorced in 1971.

He and Fawcett had a tumultuous on-and-off relationship, first from 1979 to 1997, and then from 2001 until her death in 2009. They had one son together, Redmond, now 35, in 1985. They never married.

The relationship between O’Neal and the “Charlie’s Angels” bombshell was reportedly ruined by his infidelity and hot temper. The couple called it quits the first time after Fawcett found O’Neal in bed with actress Leslie Stefanson.

Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal attend the New York Premiere of “Chances Are” circa 1989 in New York City. Getty Images

“I got married at 21, and I was not a real mature 21,” O’Neal told Vanity Fair in 2009 about his cheating ways. “My first child was born when I was 22. I was a man’s man; I didn’t discover women until I was married, and then it was too late.”

His drug abuse caused a rift from his three oldest kids for several years. Tatum and Griffin have spoken about how O’Neal’s struggles affected their family, and Griffin even claimed that his dad gave him cocaine when he was 11 and “insisted” he take it.

“He was a very abusive, narcissistic psychopath. He gets so mad he can’t control anything he’s doing,” Griffin added in Vanity Fair.

“I’m a hopeless father. I don’t know why,” O’Neal admitted to the mag in 2009. “I don’t think I was supposed to be a father. Just look around at my work — they’re either in jail or they should be.”

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“I have nice grandchildren, though,” he quipped.

O’Neal was arrested in 2007 for shooting at Griffin, which he claimed was self-defense. The charges were dropped, but O’Neal still refused to let Griffin attend Fawcett’s 2009 funeral.

“I came from a not-so-nice kind of a world,” Griffin said of Fawcett on “Larry King Live” that same year. “We were a kind of a battling and kind of crazy family. And she was so nice … And the crazy, sad part was that she stayed nice all the way to the end.”

“It broke my heart when I was not allowed in to say goodbye to her.”

O’Neal, however, famously hit on Tatum by accident at the funeral.

Everett Collection / Everett Collection

“I had just put the casket in the hearse and I was watching it drive away when a beautiful blonde woman comes up and embraces me … I said to her, ‘You have a drink on you? You have a car?’ She said ‘Daddy, it’s me—Tatum!’ I was just trying to be funny with a strange Swedish woman, and it’s my daughter. It’s so sick,” O’Neal recalled to Vanity Fair.

“That’s our relationship in a nutshell,” Tatum explained to the mag at the time. “You make of it what you will. It had been a few years since we’d seen each other and he was always a ladies’ man, a bon vivant.”

Griffin and Tatum both struggled with drug addiction but have since gotten their lives back on a healthy track. Tatum wrote in her 2001 memoir, “A Paper Life,” that the children’s troubled ways developed from their father’s mental and physical abuse in their youth.

“When your parents are off getting drunk or high, they are not watching what happens to their children. I suffered years of abuse, both emotional and sexual,” she said of O’Neal and Moore.

O’Neal and Redmond, meanwhile, were arrested for possession of what authorities believed to be methamphetamine at the actor’s Malibu home in 2008. They were held and released at a local sheriff’s station after each posting $10,000 bonds.

Ryan O’Neal showed off his movie star good looks in 1978’s “The Driver.” ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Redmond is in the Patton State Psychiatric Hospital in San Bernardino after a string of charges in Southern California in 2018, according to online court records.

In May 2018, he allegedly attacked and stabbed five men in unprovoked confrontations, leaving one in a pool of blood. Days later, he was arrested for attempted murder, robbery, assault, and drug possession, for allegedly robbing a 7-11 store at knifepoint.

He, too, blamed his parents for his troubles in a 2018 interview with RadarOnline from jail.

“It’s not the drugs that have been a problem, it’s the psychological trauma of my entire life — my whole life experiences have affected me the most,” he insisted.

“Fighting with my father, being kicked out and living on the streets, going to jail, being put in a psychiatric ward, being embarrassed all the time, just because of who my parents are.”

“The pressure that came with that set off a time-bomb in my head. I never asked for any of this, I never wanted any attention,” Redmond told the outlet.



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