Ryan O’Neal has died at the age of 82.
The actor, best known for his roles in hits such as Love Story and Paper Moon, passed away “peacefully” on Friday, his son Patrick has announced.
He wrote on Instagram: “So this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to say but here we go. My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us. This is very difficult for my wife Summer and I, but I will share some feelings to give you an idea of how great a man he is.
”My father Ryan O’Neal has always been my hero. I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life.”
The sportscaster - whose mother is actress Leigh Taylor-Young - went on to reflect that his dad was already a star on US soap opera Peyton Place by the time he was born, but that he “absolutely crushed” the following decade by becoming a big name in Hollywood in a string of cinematic hits.
He added: “When I was born in 1967 my dad was already a TV star on Peyton Place. That’s where he met my mom Leigh Taylor-Young, and about 9 months later (give or take a date night or two) I was born. My dad became an international movie star with Love Story at the beginning of the 1970s, a decade he absolutely crushed by starring in movies like What’s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, Barry Lyndon, A Bridge Too Far, The Main Event, and The Driver.
”He is a Hollywood legend. Full stop. The growth spurt of the first name Ryan can be traced back to my dad. That’s a fact. He was Rodney Harrington on Peyton Place 3 days a week (he starred in 500 shows over 5 years) and then of course the name Ryan peaked after Love Story (the film that saved Paramount Studios and earned my dad a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame).”
Ryan is also survived by actress daughter Tatum, 60, and son Griffin, 59, from his first marriage to the late Joanna Moore, as well as his youngest son Redmond, 38, whom he had with late Hollywood icon Farrah Fawcett.
Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett. Photo / Getty Images
Patrick O’Neal did not reveal a specific cause of death for his father, but the Hollywood star was first diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia in 2001 then with stage two prostate cancer in 2012.
At that time, O’Neal told Reuters: “Although I was shocked and stunned by the news, I feel fortunate that it was detected early and according to my extraordinary team of doctors the prognosis is positive for a full recovery.
“I am deeply grateful for the support of my friends and family during this time, and I urge everyone to get regular check-ups, as early detection is the best defence against this horrible disease that has afflicted so many.”
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