Ryan O’Neal Dies: ‘Love Story’ & ‘Bones’ Actor Was 82

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Ryan O’Neal, the actor known for his Oscar-nominated role in the tearjerker film Love Story, has died. He was 82 years old.

According to O’Neal’s son, Patrick, the actor died Friday, December 8. No cause of death has been revealed, but the actor had previously been diagnosed with chronic leukemia in 2001 and battled prostate cancer in 2012. In a sweet tribute, Patrick wrote on Instagram, “Ryan was a very generous man who has always been there to help his loved ones for decade upon decade. Those same people are heartbroken today and will be for a long time.”

Patrick went on to thank members of O’Neal’s team, adding, “I will share my father’s legacy forever. I will not be deterred from outside voices that say negative things. If you choose to talk sh*t about my dad, even though you have no clue what you are talking about, you will get called out. If you go that route, I recommend you take a good look in the mirror first.”

Ryan and Tatum O'Neal in 'Paper Moon'

Ryan and Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon (Credit: Everett Collection)

O’Neal’s son even makes mention of the actor’s relationship with Charlie’s Angels star Farrah Fawcett, with whom he spent decades (until she died in 2009), and shared a son, Redmond. “Ryan never bragged,” Patrick went on. “But he has bragging rights in Heaven. Especially when it comes to Farrah. Everyone had the poster, he had the real McCoy. 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 was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Love Story, in which he starred alongside Ali MacGraw as Oliver. He’s also famous for starring alongside his daughter, actress Tatum O’Neal, in the film Paper Moon, for which she made history as the youngest Oscar winner in a competitive category.

Among O’Neal’s other known works are the films What’s Up, Doc?, The Driver, The Main Event, Barry Lyndon, and Nickelodeon. On the television side of things, O’Neal featured in several episodes of Fox‘s former drama Bones, which is his most recent scripted credit, as well as alongside Fawcett in Good Sports. He also starred in hundreds of episodes of Peyton Place and featured in the ’60s series Empire.

He also appeared in shows such as Perry Mason, The Untouchables, Westinghouse Playhouse, Leave It to Beaver, and The Virginian.

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