5 Interesting Facts About Actor Ryan O’Neal Plus Rare Photos

American actor Ryan O'Neal, UK, 28th November 1973.
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Ryan O’Neal was a beloved actor who sadly passed away on December 8, 2023, leaving behind daughter Tatum O’Neal, and 3 sons Griffin O’Neal, Patrick O’Neal and Redmond O’Neal, two of whom brought his name into the tabloids during the mid-2000s for a variety of arrests. Do you know these other facts about the late actor?

Unspecified - 1964: (L-R) Kevin O'Neal, Ryan O'Neal at home boxing, behind the scenes during the making of the ABC tv series 'Peyton Place'.

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Ryan O’Neal trained as an amateur boxer before turning to acting in 1960. He once boxed an amateur named Joe Frazier who eventually became a Heavyweight World Champion. Pictured above with brother Kevin O’Neal, sparring on the set of the ABC TV series Peyton Place in 1964.


Peyton Place, Lana Wood, Barbara Parkins, Ryan O'Neal, Pat Morrow, Chris Connelly, 1964-1969.

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In 1964, he landed the role of Rodney Harrington on the primetime soap opera Peyton Place starring alongside Barbara Parkins, and was in over 500 episodes.


Ryan O'Neal and Tatum O'Neal

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The ’70s were his sweet spot for starring roles, including Love Story (1970) with Ali MacGraw, What’s Up, Doc? (1972) with Barbra Streisand, Paper Moon (1973) with his daughter Tatum O’Neal (who picked up an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the role, making her the youngest person ever to win a competitive Academy Award) and Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975). Pictured above with daughter Tatum.


NEW YORK, NY - CIRCA 1989: Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal attend the New York Premiere of "Chances Are" circa 1989 in New York City.

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Married twice, O’Neal was later the on-again, off-again boyfriend of Farrah Fawcett, their relationship strained by his frequent dalliances and a penchant for putting up his dukes for a fight. O’Neal was with Fawcett as she struggled with cancer up until her death in 2009. Battling leukemia himself, he stayed close to her to the end. He told People magazine, “It’s a love story. I just don’t know how to play this one. I won’t know this world without her.” He had proposed numerous times to her, however, the two never married. But they do share a son Redmond together. Pictured above Farrah and Ryan attend the New York Premiere of Chances Are in 1989.


Jack Nicholson, Michelle Phillips, and Ryan O'Neal

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Nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Love Story, O’Neal lost to George C. Scott, who won for Patton, but it was not without controversy. George believed performances shouldn’t be compared with the other actors, so he refused to accept the nomination or the award and it was returned the next day. Pictured above with fellow nominee Jack Nicholson and Michelle Philips of Mammas and the Papas fame at an Oscars after-party in 1971.