Ryan O'Neal

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Ryan O'Neal
Ryan Oneal - 1968.jpg
circa 1968
Born Charles Patrick Ryan O'Neal[1]
(1941-04-20) April 20, 1941 (age 73)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Education University High School
Munich American High School
Occupation Actor
Years active 1960–present
Spouse(s) Joanna Moore (1963-67; divorced); 2 children
Leigh Taylor-Young (1967-73; divorced); 1 child
Partner(s) Farrah Fawcett (1979–97, 2003–09; her death); 1 child
Children Tatum O'Neal
Griffin O'Neal
Patrick O'Neal
Redmond O'Neal
Parents Charles Eldridge "Blackie" O'Neal
Patricia Ruth Olga (née Callaghan)

Charles Patrick Ryan O'Neal (born April 20, 1941), better known as Ryan O'Neal, is an American television and film actor.

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.

Early life[edit]

Ryan O'Neal was born in Los Angeles, California, the eldest son of actress Patricia Ruth Olga (née Callaghan; 1907-2003) and novelist/screenwriter Charles O'Neal.[2] His father was of Irish and English descent, and his mother, Patricia, was of half Irish and half Ashkenazi Jewish (from Germany and Poland) ancestry.[2][3] His brother, Kevin, is an actor and screenwriter.[4]

Ryan O'Neal attended University High School, and trained there to become a Golden Gloves boxer. During the late 1950s, his father, "Blackie" O'Neal, had a job writing on a television series called Citizen Soldier, and moved the family to Munich, Germany, where Ryan attended Munich American High School.[5]


TV roles and early work[edit]

O'Neal appeared in guest roles on series that included The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Bachelor Father, Leave It to Beaver, Westinghouse Playhouse, Perry Mason and Wagon Train. From 1962-63, he was a regular on NBC's Empire, another modern day western, where he played a 21-year-old rancher's son, named Tal Garrett.[6]

Feature film success[edit]

O'Neal's film career took off beginning with his role in Love Story (1970), earning a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1973, he was #2 in the Annual Top Ten Box Office Stars, behind Clint Eastwood.[7]

He starred in a series of films for director Peter Bogdanovich, beginning with the screwball comedy What's Up, Doc? (with Barbra Streisand, 1972); following were Paper Moon (with daughter Tatum O'Neal in an Oscar-winning role, 1973); and Nickelodeon (1976, again with Tatum). Other films of the 1970s included Barry Lyndon (directed by Stanley Kubrick, 1975); A Bridge Too Far (1977); Oliver's Story (1978, a sequel to Love Story); and the car-chase film The Driver (directed by Walter Hill, also 1978).[6]

Later career[edit]

His film career faded by the end of the 1970s. He starred as a character loosely based on director Bogdanovich in Irreconcilable Differences (1984). He returned to TV in the short-lived CBS series Good Sports (1991, with companion Farrah Fawcett), and as a recurring character on Fox's Bones (2007–present).[6]

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.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Relationships and family[edit]

O'Neal was in a long-term relationship with actress Farrah Fawcett 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 (born January 30, 1985, Los Angeles;[8] with Farrah Fawcett).

For several years, Ryan was estranged from his elder three children, Patrick, Griffin, and Tatum.[9] However, in 2011, Tatum reconciled her relationship with her father through a book and a television show. On August 4, Patrick O'Neal appeared with his father and Tatum for Redmond's court appearance for the firearms and drug charges arrest[10] Redmond pleaded not-guilty to the charges.[11]

O’Neal has nine grandchildren, three from Tatum’s marriage to tennis player John McEnroe,[12] four from both of Griffin’s marriages,[13] and two from Patrick’s marriage to actress Rebecca De Mornay. He is also a great-grandfather by Griffin.[14]


In 2001 he was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).[15] As of 2006, it is in remission.[16] After struggling with leukemia, O'Neal was frequently seen at Fawcett's side when she was battling cancer. He opened up to People magazine saying, "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."[17]

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 such a sunny outlook.[18] Fawcett had died of anal cancer three years earlier.[19]


On February 4, 2007, O'Neal was arrested for allegedly assaulting his son, Griffin, in Malibu, California,[20] but the charges were dismissed.

Ryan and Redmond O'Neal were arrested on September 17, 2008, after authorities said they found methamphetamine at the actor's Malibu home during a probation check on Redmond. The elder O'Neal was ordered to participate in a drug awareness program, with Redmond to receive drug rehabilitation on an outpatient basis. Redmond was later incarcerated on separate charges, and briefly allowed to leave jail twice, once to visit his dying mother and later to speak at her funeral.[21]

Redmond O'Neal was arrested for firearms and drug charges during a traffic stop in Santa Monica on August 2, 2011.[22]

Amateur boxing record[23][edit]

Amateur boxing record
Result Record Opponent Method Date Round Time Event Location Notes
Win United StatesFrankie Lohman KO 1959 1 Munich, Germany
Loss United StatesTony Foramero PTS 1957 3 Golden Gloves Tournament Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesStevie Rouse KO 1957 1 Golden Gloves Tournament (Finals) Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesChuck Newell PTS 1957 3 Golden Gloves Tournament (Semi-Finals) Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesAlvin "Allen" Walker KO 1957 1 Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesSamuel Roland Foul 1956 1 Hollywood, Florida
Win United StatesLeonard Wallace KO 1956 1 Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesEugene Liebert KO 1956 1 Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesFelix Morse KO 1956 2 Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesGeorge Shay PTS 1956 3 Hollywood, California
Win United StatesEdmund Dowe PTS 1956 3 Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesVictor Fellsen KO 1956 1 Los Angeles, California
Loss United StatesDal Stewart PTS 1956 3 Los Angeles, California
Loss United StatesGeorge Shay PTS 1956 3 Golden Gloves Tournament Los Angeles, California
Win United StatesJ. Cecil Gray PTS 1956 3 Golden Gloves Tournament Los Angeles, California
Loss United StatesJ. Cecil Gray PTS 1956 3 Los Angeles, California







  1. ^ Birth Registry, californiabirthindex.org; accessed June 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Profile, familysearch.org; accessed June 22, 2014.
  3. ^ IMDb profile; accessed June 22, 2014.
  4. ^ Charles O'Neal profile, filmreference.com; accessed June 22, 2014.
  5. ^ Ryan O'Neal profile, Yahoo.com; accessed June 22, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Ryan O'Neal at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ Steinberg, Cobbett (1980). Film Facts. New York: Facts on File, Inc. p. 60. ISBN 0-87196-313-2. 
  8. ^ California Births 1905–1995, familytreelegends.com; accessed June 22, 2014.
  9. ^ Stuever, Hank, "On OWN, ‘Ryan & Tatum’s’ paper gloom", Washington Post, June 17, 2011
  10. ^ MacIntyre, April, "Ryan O'Neal and Tatum O'Neal talk Redmond O'Neal", Access Hollywood, August 4, 2011
  11. ^ "Redmond O'Neal Pleads Not-Guilt to Gun, Drugs Charges", Foxnews, August 5, 2011; accessed June 22, 2014.
  12. ^ Phillips, Stone. "Tatum O'Neal Shares Survival Story: Part 2". Dateline NBC. 15 October 2004.
  13. ^ Ninth grandkis
  14. ^ "Rebecca De Morney — about this person". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Actor O'Neal Has Cancer". BBC News. May 3, 2001. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  16. ^ 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..." 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ Notice of O'Neal's cancer, yahoo.com; accessed June 26, 2014.
  19. ^ "Ryan O’Neal diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer days after slamming Oprah over reality show" by Joyce Chen, New York Daily News April 15, 2012.
  20. ^ Fleeman, Mike (February 5, 2007). "Ryan O'Neal Arrested After Fight With Son". People. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  21. ^ "Ryan O'Neal, Son Charged with Felony Drug Possession". People. Associated Press. October 15, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  22. ^ "Son of Ryan O'Neal, Farrah Fawcett arrested again for drugs". CNN. August 2, 2011. 
  23. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0641939/bio
  24. ^ "Awards Database". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 

External links[edit]