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Ryan O’Neal, star of ‘Paper Moon’, longtime partner of Farrah Fawcett, dead at 82

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(NOTE LANGUAGE) Ryan O’Neal, star of dozens of movies, including Love Story and Paper Moon, has died at 82, according to a social media post from his sportscaster son, Patrick.

O’Neal had reportedly been in poor health of late; he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012 and a decade earlier had been diagnosed with chronic leukemia.

In a lengthy post, Patrick called his father “a very generous man who has always been there to help his loved ones for decade upon decade.”

Patrick also said, “This is just so hard for us. Ryan made such an impact and this will be difficult without him. This is and will be a huge void in our lives. And his dogs Mozart and Raven, who he loved dearly, are missing him very much. They were inseparable.”

The younger O’Neal, from Ryan’s second marriage, to Leigh Taylor-Young, also said, “My dad was 82 and lived a kick a** life.” He added, “I will share my father’s legacy forever.”

Ryan O’Neal was the son of Charles “Blackie” O’Neal and actress Patricia Callaghan, but eager to chart his own course, he trained as a boxer — with a lifetime record of 18 wins, 13 by knockout, and four losses.

His first role in front of the camera was as a stuntman on the series Tales of the Vikings, which aired in Germany, where his parents were living at the time.

Back in the States, O’Neal logged appearances in TV Westerns in the early ’60s, including Empire and The Virginian, and on dramas like Perry Mason before landing the role of Rodney Harrington on the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place in 1964.

Big-screen stardom followed, and in 1970, his role in Love Story opposite Ali MacGraw earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

He also appeared opposite Barbra Streisand in the comedy What’s Up, Doc? and with his young daughter Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon, in a performance that earned the 10-year-old the honor of being the youngest competitive Oscar winner in history. Tatum’s brother, Griffin, was also from Ryan’s first marriage to actress Joanna Moore.

O’Neal’s career made him a big-screen heartthrob, and he had a decades-long, on-and-off relationship with Farrah Fawcett, whom he first met through his friend and her then-husband, Lee Majors. O’Neal and Fawcett had a son, Redmond, in 1985.

Ryan and Tatum’s attempts to repair their relationship played out before the reality TV cameras in Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals; Ryan also had a recurring role in Bones, wrapping in 2017.

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