Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ryan O’Neal Dead at 82, Jumped from “Peyton Place” to Fame with “Love Story,” Long Relationship with Farrah Fawcett


Ryan O’Neal is dead at age 82.

He burst onto the scene with TV’s “Peyton Place” opposite Mia Farrow in the mid 60s. In 1970, he and Ali McGraw became the It couple in the nuge hit, “Love Story.”

Over the years, O’Neal was in the tabloids as much as he was on the screen. His movies included “Paper Moon,””The Main Event,” “Chances Are,” and others.

But his real fame came when he married “Charlie’s Angels” star Farrah Fawcett. This was after a tempestuous relationship with Anjelica Huston. Her sister wrote in a memoir that they had to call Jack Nicholson to save them from a bad situation.

O’Neal and Fawcett fought like cats and dogs until they were broke up. He had trouble with alcohol and other demons. His daughter, Tatum, from his first marriage, who co-starred with him in “Paper Moon,” won an Oscar for that film. He raised her as if she were an adult, exposing her to sex and drugs and rock and roll.

O’Neal had other tragedies. His son Griffin had a boating accident in 1986 with GianCarlo Coppola, son of director Francis, resulting in Coppola’s death. Alcoholism and substance abuse have been a theme in the O’Neal family since the 60s.

When you look at Ryan O’Neal in a movie like “What’s Up Doc?” you see all the potential recognized by director Peter Bogdanovich. He was an immediate hit and held on for more than a decade. But the drugs, Studio 54, escapades with various women, wrecked him.

O’Neal’s son, Patrick, posted this to Instagram. It’s pugilistic, just like Ryan.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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