Oscar Nominee and ‘Love Story’ Star Ryan O’Neal Dies at Age 82

Renowned American actor Ryan O’Neal, celebrated for his Oscar-nominated performance in the 1970 romantic film “Love Story,” has passed away at the age of 82, as announced by his son.

The family did not disclose the cause of his death. O’Neal had been battling chronic leukemia since 2001 and prostate cancer since 2012.

He gained fame in the 1970s with roles in “What’s Up, Doc?”, “Paper Moon,” and “A Bridge Too Far.” His son described his father as “a Hollywood legend. Full stop.”

On Instagram, Patrick O’Neal shared, “My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him.” He added that his father was always his hero.

O’Neal rose to fame with his role in “Love Story,” playing a Harvard student who falls for a girl from a different social class, portrayed by Ali MacGraw.

The American Film Institute ranks “Love Story” as one of the top 10 most romantic films ever.

He starred in the 1972 comedy “What’s Up, Doc?” alongside Barbra Streisand and again in “The Main Event” in 1979.

Barbra Streisand, on social media, mourned O’Neal’s passing, praising his humour and charm.

In “Paper Moon” (1973), he played a conman alongside his daughter, Tatum O’Neal, who won an Oscar for her role.

O’Neal appeared in the 1977 war film “A Bridge Too Far” and in Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” (1975). His prominence waned in the late 1970s, with his personal life attracting media attention.

Born in Los Angeles in 1941, his parents were a stage actress and a novelist/screenwriter. He pursued boxing in school, later landing minor TV roles.

His breakout role was in “Peyton Place,” America’s pioneering prime-time soap opera, leading to his film career.

He was married first to Joanna Moore, with whom he had two children, including Tatum, and then to Emmy-winning actress Leigh Taylor-Young, mother of his son, Patrick.

O’Neal had a lengthy and intense relationship with actress Farrah Fawcett that spanned decades, ending with her death in 2009.

In a 2011 interview with Piers Morgan, O’Neal reflected on the emotional impact of “Love Story,” especially after losing Farrah Fawcett to cancer. “I lost Farrah to cancer, and I just wonder why that played out that way for me,” O’Neal said.

Patrick O’Neal paid tribute to his father, praising his dedication to acting and his generous, humorous nature.

“As a human being, my father was as generous as they come,” he added. “And the funniest person in any room. And the most handsome clearly, but also the most charming. Lethal combo.”

Patrick also honoured the memory of Fawcett, his father’s long-time partner. “Now they meet again. Farrah and Ryan. He has missed her terribly. What an embrace that must be. Together again.”