ENTERTAINMENT

Ryan O’Neal, star of ‘Love Story’ and ‘Peyton Place,’ dead

Dec 8, 2023, 4:11 PM

Ryan O'Neal
circa 1975: American actor Ryan O'Neal, star of the 1970 tearjerker 'Love Story'. (Phot...

Ryan O'Neal circa 1975: American actor Ryan O'Neal, star of the 1970 tearjerker 'Love Story'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O’Neal, star of several landmark films including “Love Story” and “Paper Moon,” has died, according to his son, Patrick, who posted the news to social media. He was reportedly 82.

“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 Friday.

He added: “My father Ryan O’Neal has always been my hero. I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life.”

CNN has reached out to a representative for Ryan O’Neal.

Ryan O’Neal’s breakout role came in 1964 on the nighttime soap opera “Peyton Place.”

After starring in several TV shows throughout the 1960s, O’Neal made an indelible mark on the movies in the 1970 adaptation of the Erich Segal novel “Love Story,” in which he starred opposite Ali MacGraw. The tearjerker film told the story of a wealthy Ivy Leaguer (Ryan O’Neal) who marries an outspoken and irreverent girl (MacGraw), only to watch her die of a terminal illness. Among other things, it popularized the line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

The film was a huge hit, providing a major boost to Paramount Pictures (which was being run by MacGraw’s then-husband, Robert Evans), and while it established Ryan O’Neal as a classic leading man – and earned him an Oscar nomination in the process – he also found success in comedy, playing opposite Barbra Streisand in “What’s Up, Doc?” and “The Main Event.”

Ryan O’Neal later starred in a “Love Story” sequel called “Oliver’s Story,” which flopped at the box office.

The actor’s eclectic resume included starring with his daughter, Tatum O’Neal, in “Paper Moon,” for which she won an Academy Award for best supporting actress; and the Stanley Kubrick-directed period piece “Barry Lyndon.”

Off screen, O’Neal had a long relationship with actress and pin-up model Farrah Fawcett, which provided endless fodder for the tabloids. The relationship followed earlier marriages to actresses Joanna Moore and Lee Taylor-Young.

Born in Los Angeles, O’Neal trained to become a professional boxer before he began to pursue acting, appearing in several TV westerns, and eventually landing his regular role on “Peyton Place.”

O’Neal’s more recent credits included recurring roles on the TV shows “Bones” and “Bull,” along with appearances on “Desperate Housewives” and the reboot “90210.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

CNN’s Brian Lowry contributed to this report.


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Ryan O’Neal, star of ‘Love Story’ and ‘Peyton Place,’ dead