O'Neal in 1968
Charles Patrick Ryan O'Neal|
April 20, 1941
Los Angeles, California, United States
Joanna Moore (m. 1963; div. 1967)|
Leigh Taylor-Young (m. 1967; div. 1973)
|Partner(s)||Farrah Fawcett (1979–1997; 2001–2009)|
|Children||4 (including Tatum, Griffin, and Patrick)|
Charles Patrick Ryan O'Neal (born April 20, 1941), known professionally as Ryan O'Neal, is an American actor and former boxer. O'Neal trained as an amateur boxer before beginning his career in acting in 1960. In 1964, he landed the role of Rodney Harrington on the ABC nighttime soap opera Peyton Place. The series was an instant hit and boosted O'Neal's career. He later found success in films, most notably Love Story (1970), for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations as Best Actor, What's Up, Doc? (1972), Paper Moon (1973), Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975), and A Bridge Too Far (1977). Since 2007, he has had a recurring role in the TV series Bones as Max, the father of the series' protagonist.
O'Neal was born in Los Angeles, California, the eldest son of actress Patricia Ruth Olga (née Callaghan; 1907–2003) and novelist and screenwriter Charles O'Neal. His father was of English and Irish descent, while his mother had Ashkenazi Jewish and Irish ancestry. His brother, Kevin, is an actor and screenwriter.
O'Neal attended University High School in Los Angeles, and trained there to become a Golden Gloves boxer. During the late 1950s, his father had a job writing on a television series called Citizen Soldier, and moved the family to Munich, where O'Neal attended Munich American High School.
TV roles and early work
O'Neal appeared in guest roles on series that included The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Leave It to Beaver, Bachelor Father, Westinghouse Playhouse, Perry Mason and Wagon Train. From 1962 to 1963, he was a regular on NBC's Empire, another modern day western, where he played "Tal Garrett".
In 1964 he was cast as Rodney Harrington in the prime time serial drama Peyton Place. The series was a big success, making national names of its cast including O'Neal. Several were offered movie roles, including Mia Farrow and Barbara Parkins.
The Games had been co written by Eric Segal, who recommended O'Neal for the lead in Love Story, based on Segal's novel and script. A number of actors had turned down the role including Beau Bridges and Jon Voight before it was offered to O'Neal. His fee was $25,000; he had an offer that paid five times as much to appear in a Jerry Lewis film but O'Neal knew that Love Story was the better prospect and selected that instead. "I hope the young people like it," he said before the film came out. I don't want to go back to TV. I don't want to go back to those NAB conventions."
Before the film was released, O'Neal appeared in a TV movie written by Eric Ambler, Love Hate Love, which received good ratings. He also made a Western, Wild Rovers with William Holden for director Blake Edwards.
Love Story turned out to be a box office phenomenon, making O'Neal a star and earning him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Wild Rovers was considerably less popular.
He followed it with What's Up Doc? (1972) for director Peter Bogdanovich opposite Barbra Streisand. This was the third-highest-grossing film of 1972 and led to him receiving an offer to star in a movie for Stanley Kubrick, Barry Lyndon. While that was in pre production, O'Neal played a jewel thief in The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1972) opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Warren Oates. Then he was reunited with Bogdanovich for Paper Moon (1973) in which he starred opposite his daughter Tatum O'Neal. Tatumwon an Oscar for her performance in a very popular movie. In 1973, O'Neal voted by exhibitors as the second most popular star in the country, behind Clint Eastwood.
O'Neal spent over a year making Barry Lyndon (1975) for Kubrick. The resulting film was considered a commercial disappointment and had a mixed critical reception; it won O'Neal a Harvard Lampoon Award for the Worst Actor of 1975. Its reputation has risen in recent years but O'Neal says his career never recovered from the film's reception.
O'Neal was reunited with Bogdanovich a third time in Nickelodeon (1976), alongside Tatum and Burt Reynolds, for a fee of $750,000. The film flopped at the box office.
He followed this with a small role in the all-star war film A Bridge Too Far (1977), playing General James Gavin. O'Neal's performance as a hardened general was much criticised, although O'Neal was only a year older than Gavin at the time of the events in the film. "Can I help it if I photograph like I'm 16 and they gave me a helmet that was too big for my head?" he later said. "At least I did my own parachute jump." The film performed poorly at the US box office but did well in Europe.
O'Neal turned down a reported $3 million to star in Oliver's Story (1978), a sequel to Love Story. Instead he appeared in the car-chase film The Driver (1978), directed by Walter Hill, who had written The Thief Who Came to Dinner. This was a box office disappointment in the US but, like A Bridge Too Far, did better overseas.
O'Neal was meant to follow this with The Champ (1979), directed by Franco Zeffirelli, but decided to pull out after Zeffirelli refused to cast O'Neal's son Griffin opposite him. Instead he agreed to make Oliver's Story after all once the script was rewritten. However the film was a flop at the box office.
"What I have to do now, seriously, is win a few hearts as an actor," he said in 1978. "The way Cary Grant did. I know I've got a lot of winning to do. But I'm young enough. I'll get there..."
Around this time O'Neal was meant to star in The Bodyguard, from a Lawrence Kasdan script, opposite Diana Ross for director John Boorman. However the film fell over when Ross pulled out, and it would not be made until 1992, with Kevin Costner in O'Neal's old role. There was some talk he would appear in a film from Michelangelo Antonioni, Suffer or Die, but this did not eventuate.
Instead O'Neal played a boxer in a comedy, The Main Event, reuniting him with Streisand. He received a fee of $1 million plus a percentage of the profits. The Main Event was a sizeable hit at the box office.
A 1980 profile of O'Neal described him:
|“||Unlike most stars of the post-Hoffman era he is very handsome, especially when moustached: he has bond [sic] curly hair and a toothpaste smile: he seems to lead an interesting life. What is on screen is, er, less interesting, but still agreeable. Maybe he would really come on if he had the apprenticeship of the stars of the 30s: for he is, to underline the point, a throwback to that era. There are no nervous tics, solemnity is at bag; his is an easy, genial presence, and thank heaven for it!||”|
Decline as star
O'Neal was looking to follow it as the lead in the film version of The Thorn Birds to be directed by Arthur Hiller but the book ended up being adapted as a mini series. Instead O'Neal made a British-financed thriller, Green Ice (1981), which had a troublesome production (the original director quit during filming) and flopped at the box office.
He had a cameo in Circle of Two, a film his daughter made with Richard Burton. O'Neal says Burton told him during filming he was "five years away from winning acceptance as a serious actor. On the other hand, my agent, Sue Mengers says I'm right on the threshold. Split the difference, that's two and a half years. One good picture, that's all I need..."
However, in the early 80s he focused on comedies. He received $2 million for the lead in So Fine. This was followed by Partners (1982), a farce written by Frances Veber in which O'Neal played a straight cop who goes undercover as one half of a gay couple. He then played a film director loosely based on Peter Bogdanovich in Irreconcilable Differences (1984); he received no upfront fee but got a percentage of the profits. It was a minor box office success.
O'Neal's film career was in decline. His one time agent Sue Mengers later said of this:
He tried something different playing a gambler in Fever Pitch (1985), the last movie for Richard Brooks. Even less conventional was Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987) for director Norman Mailer. Both movies flopped at the box office.
Supporting actor and TV star
He’s sweet as sugar, and he’s volatile. He’s got some of that Irish stuff in him, and he can blow up a bit. One day he was doing a scene, and I said, ‘Bring it down a little bit,’ and Ryan said, ‘I quit! You can’t say “Bring it down” to me that loud!’ I said, ‘If you quit, I’m going to break your nose.’ He started to cry. He’s sort of a big baby at times, but he’s a good guy, and he’s very talented. He’s had a strange career, but he was a monster star.
In 2011, Ryan and Tatum attempted to restore their broken father/daughter relationship after 25 years. Their reunion and reconciliation process was captured in the Oprah Winfrey Network series, Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals.
O'Neal was in a long-term relationship with actress Farrah Fawcett from 1979 until 1997. They then reunited in 2001 and were together until her death in 2009. He was previously married to actresses Joanna Moore and Leigh Taylor-Young; both marriages ended in divorce. He has four children: Tatum O'Neal and Griffin O'Neal (with Moore), Patrick O'Neal (with Taylor-Young), and Redmond James Fawcett O'Neal (with Fawcett).
"I got married at 20, and I was not a real mature 20," said O'Neal. "My first child was born when I was 21. I was a man’s man; I didn't discover women until I was married, and then it was too late.” O'Neal had custody of Tatum and Griffin due to his first wife's drug and alcohol issues. He had romances with Ursula Andress, Bianca Jagger, Anouk Aimee, Jacqueline Bisset, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, and Anjelica Huston. In her 2014 memoir, Huston claimed that O'Neal physically abused her.
For several years, O'Neal was estranged from his elder three children. However, in 2011, Tatum reconciled with her father with a book and a television show. On August 4, O'Neal, Tatum, and Patrick attended Redmond's court appearance on firearms and drug charges.
O'Neal has nine grandchildren: three from Tatum's marriage to tennis player John McEnroe, four from both of Griffin's marriages, and two from Patrick's relationship with actress Rebecca De Mornay. He is a great-grandfather by Griffin.
In 2001, O'Neal was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). As of 2006, it is in remission. After struggling with leukemia, O'Neal was frequently seen at Fawcett's side when she was battling cancer. 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. Cancer is an insidious enemy." In April 2012, O'Neal revealed he had been diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer. He reported that it had been detected early enough to give a prognosis of full recovery, although some doctors have questioned this prognosis.
|1969||The Big Bounce||Jack Ryan|
|1970||The Games||Scott Reynolds|
|1970||Love Story||Oliver|| Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor|
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
|1971||The Moviemakers||N/A||Short film|
|1971||Wild Rovers||Frank Post|
|1972||What's Up, Doc?||Howard Bannister|
|1973||The Thief Who Came to Dinner||Webster McGee|
|1973||Paper Moon||Moses Pray||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy|
|1975||Barry Lyndon||Barry Lyndon|
|1977||A Bridge Too Far||Brigadier General James M. Gavin|
|1978||The Driver||The Driver|
|1978||Oliver's Story||Oliver Barrett IV|
|1979||The Main Event||Eddie 'Kid Natural' Scanlon|
|1981||So Fine||Joseph Wiley|
|1981||Circle of Two||Theatre patron||Uncredited|
|1981||Green Ice||Bobby Fine|
|1984||Irreconcilable Differences||Albert Brodsky|
|1985||Fever Pitch||Steve Taggart|
|1987||Tough Guys Don't Dance||Tim Madden||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor|
|1989||Chances Are||Philip Train|
|1989||Small Sacrifices||Lew Lewiston|
|1995||Man of the House||Man with Kite||Uncredited|
|1997||An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn||James Edmunds||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor|
|1998||Zero Effect||Gregory Stark|
|2000||The List||Richard Miller|
|2002||People I Know||Cary Launer|
|2003||Malibu's Most Wanted||Bill Gluckman|
|2012||Slumber Party Slaughter||William O'Toole|
|2015||Knight of Cups||Ryan|
|1960||The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis||Herm||Episode: "The Hunger Strike"|
|1960||The Untouchables||Bellhop (uncredited)||Episode: "Jack 'Legs' Diamonds"|
|1960||General Electric Theater||Art Anderson||Episode: "The Playoff"|
|1961||The DuPont Show with June Allyson||Cadet Wade Farrell||Episode: "Without Fear"|
|1961||Bachelor Father||Marty Braden||Episode: "Bentley and the Great Debate"|
|1961||Laramie||Johnny Jacobs||Episode: "Bitter Glory"|
|1961||Leave It to Beaver||Tom Henderson||Episode: "Wally Goes Steady"|
|1962–63||Empire||Tal Garrett||31 episodes|
|1963||The Virginian||Ben Anders||Episode: "It Takes a Big Man"|
|1964||Perry Mason||John Carew||Episode: "The Case of the Bountiful Beauty"|
|1964–69||Peyton Place||Rodney Harrington||422 episodes|
|1991||Good Sports||Bobby Tannen||15 episodes|
|1992||1775||Jeremy Proctor||Unsold TV pilot|
|1995||The Larry Sanders Show||Ryan O'Neal||2 episodes|
|2000–01||Bull||Robert Roberts, Jr.||6 episodes|
|2003||Miss Match||Jerry Fox||18 episodes|
|2005||Desperate Housewives||Rodney Scavo||Episode: "Your Fault"|
|2010||90210||Spence Montgomery||3 episodes|
|2006–16||Bones||Max Keenan||22 episodes|
- 1970 – Academy Award for Best Actor for Love Story
- 1971 – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Film for Love Story
- 1974 – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Film for Paper Moon
- 1988 – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for Tough Guys Don't Dance
- 1998 - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn
- 2005 – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Razzie Loser of Our First 25 Years
Amateur boxing record
|Win||12-4||Frankie Lohman||KO||1959||1||Munich, Germany|
|Loss||11-4||Tony Foramero||PTS||1957||3||Golden Gloves Tournament||Los Angeles|
|Win||11-3||Stevie Rouse||KO||1957||1||Golden Gloves Tournament (Finals)||Los Angeles|
|Win||10-3||Chuck Newell||PTS||1957||3||Golden Gloves Tournament (Semi-Finals)||Los Angeles|
|Win||9-3||Alvin "Allen" Walker||KO||1957||1||Los Angeles|
|Win||8-3||Samuel Roland||Foul||1956||1||Hollywood, Florida|
|Win||7-3||Leonard Wallace||KO||1956||1||Los Angeles|
|Win||6-3||Eugene Liebert||KO||1956||1||Los Angeles|
|Win||5-3||Felix Morse||KO||1956||2||Los Angeles|
|Win||4-3||George Shay||PTS||1956||3||Hollywood, California|
|Win||3-3||Edmund Dowe||PTS||1956||3||Los Angeles|
|Win||2-3||Victor Fellsen||KO||1956||1||Los Angeles|
|Loss||1-3||Dal Stewart||PTS||1956||3||Los Angeles|
|Loss||1-2||George Shay||PTS||1956||3||Golden Gloves Tournament||Los Angeles|
|Win||1-1||J. Cecil Gray||PTS||1956||3||Golden Gloves Tournament||Los Angeles|
|Loss||0-1||J. Cecil Gray||PTS||1956||3||Los Angeles|
- Birth Registry, californiabirthindex.org; accessed June 22, 2014.
- Profile, familysearch.org; accessed June 22, 2014.
- IMDb profile; accessed June 22, 2014.
- Charles O'Neal profile, filmreference.com; accessed June 22, 2014.
- Ryan O'Neal profile, Yahoo.com; accessed June 22, 2014.
- Ryan O'Neal at the Internet Movie Database
- Haber, Joyce (6 Dec 1970). "Ryan O'Neal Has Plenty of Stories". Los Angeles Times. p. v31.
- Steinberg, Cobbett (1980). Film Facts. New York: Facts on File, Inc. p. 60. ISBN 0-87196-313-2.
- Bennetts, Leslie (September 2009). "Beautiful People Ugly Choices". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Flatley, Guy (30 Dec 1977). "At the Movies". New York Times. p. C8.
- "Ryan O'Neal: Does Father Know Best?: Ryan O'Neal". Los Angeles Times. 23 July 1978. p. v24.
- Flatley, Guy (19 Aug 1979). "Ryan O'Neal meaner but far from macho". Chicago Tribune. p. e8.
- Kilday, Gregg (11 Dec 1978). "FILM CLIPS: Is O'Neal Set to 'Suffer or Die'?". Los Angeles Times. p. f21.
- Shipman, David (1980). The Great Movie Stars: The International Years. Angus and Robertson. p. 451.
- Mann, Roderick (8 July 1980). "RYAN O'NEAL: HOOKED ON 'THORN BIRDS' AND FARRAH". Los Angeles Times. p. g1.
- Mann, Roderick (6 July 1980). "MOVIES: THE HIGH ADVENTURES OF 'GREEN ICE'". Los Angeles Times. p. o25.
- Taylor, Clarke (29 March 1981). "MOVIES: A 'FINE' TRY FOR LAUGHS... AT $12 MILLION". Los Angeles Times. p. m26.
- "For Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal, 45 years between love stories," The Boston Globe, January 28, 2016.
- California Births 1905–1995, familytreelegends.com; accessed June 22, 2014.
- Lee, Grant (28 August 1977). "Ryan O'Neal: A Love-Hate Story". Los Angeles Times. p. q1.
- dailybeast.com; accessed November 10, 2014.
- Stuever, Hank, "On OWN, ‘Ryan & Tatum's’ paper gloom", Washington Post, June 17, 2011
- MacIntyre, April, "Ryan O'Neal and Tatum O'Neal talk Redmond O'Neal", Access Hollywood, August 4, 2011; accessed October 6, 2014.
- Phillips, Stone. "Tatum O'Neal Shares Survival Story: Part 2", Dateline NBC, October 15, 2004.
- Ninth grandkis
- "Rebecca De Morney — about this person". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
- "Actor O'Neal Has Cancer". BBC News. May 3, 2001. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
- Graham, Caroline (October 7, 2006). "Why I Have To Be Strong For Farrah". Daily Mail. London, UK. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
...a disease now in remission but for which he still takes daily medication...
- Bryant, Adam (May 7, 2009). "Ryan O'Neal: Watching Farrah Battle Cancer Is Like "Being Stabbed in the Heart"". TV Guide. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- Notice of O'Neal's cancer, yahoo.com; accessed June 26, 2014.
- "Awards Database". Los Angeles Times. The Envelope: The Awards Insider. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
- Biodata, imdb.com; accessed October 6, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ryan O'Neal.|
- Ryan O'Neal at the Internet Movie Database
- Ryan O'Neal at AllMovie
- Ryan O'Neal at the TCM Movie Database
- Ryan O'Neal at TV Guide