Ryan O’Neal, Star of ‘Love Story,’ ‘What’s Up, Doc?’ and ‘Paper Moon,’ Dead at 82 | lovebscott.com

Ryan O’Neal, Star of ‘Love Story,’ ‘What’s Up, Doc?’ and ‘Paper Moon,’ Dead at 82

Ryan O’Neal, who kicked off an extraordinary 1970s run in Hollywood with his Oscar-nominated turn as Oliver in Love Story, has died.

via: Entertainment Tonight

O’Neal’s son, Patrick O’Neal, shared the news on his Instagram, writing heartfelt captions next to three posts, all featuring photos of a sunset.

“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,” he wrote. “This is very difficult for my wife Summer and I, but I will share some feelings to give you an idea of how great a man he is.”

“My father Ryan O’Neal has always been my hero. I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life,” he continued. “When I was born in 1967 my dad was already a TV star on Peyton Place. That’s where he met my mom Leigh Taylor-Young, and about 9 months later (give or take a date night or two) I was born. My dad became an international movie star with Love Story at the beginning of the 1970’s, 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,” O’Neal’s son added. “The growth spurt of the first name Ryan can be traced back to my dad. That’s a fact. He was Rodney Harrington on Peyton Place 3 days a week (he starred in 500 shows over 5 years) and then of course the name Ryan peaked after Love Story (the film that saved Paramount Studios and earned my dad a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame).”

“That’s just a touch of what RO accomplished as an actor. He was so skilled at his craft, worked so hard, and just loved acting plain and simple,” he continued, in part. “Highly intelligent and an avid reader and journal writer. He was adept at memorizing pages of dialogue in an hour. I hope he felt proud of his career but he was very humble. And boy did he love the crew on those shoots. He always treated everyone on the set so well. They loved him, I saw it first hand.”

“My dad was 82, and lived a kick ass life,” he wrote on the third post. “I hope the first thing he brags about in Heaven is how he sparred 2 rounds with Joe Frazier in 1966, on national TV, with Muhammad Ali doing the commentary, and went toe to toe with Smokin’ Joe. YouTube has it and trust me, it’s so awesome. Ryan by a majority decision. He loved boxing. And hitting the bag. My dad is a proud member of the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.”

“Ryan never bragged. But he has bragging rights in Heaven. Especially when it comes to Farrah. Everyone had the poster, he had the real McCoy,” O’Neal concluded. “And now they meet again. Farrah and Ryan. He has missed her terribly. What an embrace that must be. Together again. I’ll miss you dad. I love you. We love you.”

O’Neal’s last major role was as Max Keenan on the Fox series Bones, which he portrayed from 2006 until 2017. Although he had been largely out of the spotlight for more than a decade, O’Neal was once a tabloid fixture making headlines for his storied relationship with Farrah Fawcett, with whom he shared a son, Redmond, and troubles with his older children, Tatum, Griffin and Patrick.

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