Fans of legendary actor Ryan O’Neal learned of saddening news last week.
According to the Associated Press, O'Neal, who began as a soap opera heartthrob and eventually ascended to becoming an Oscar nominee, died at age 82, his family confirmed.
His son, Patrick O’Neal, a Los Angeles sportscaster, confirmed the heartbreaking news in an Instagram post over the weekend.
"My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us," Patrick O'Neal wrote.
His son's Instagram post captured the bond between the two, who were always publicly known to be close.
"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," he wrote.
The younger O'Neal added, "My father Ryan O’Neal has always been my hero. I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life. 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 1970’s, 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."
Singing his praises, Patrick O'Neal described his father as a "Hollywood legend."
"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)," Patrick concluded.
Given his extreme popularity in the business, earning fans worldwide, tributes to his work inside and outside of the business poured in across social media over the weekend. One of those came from Barbara Streisand.
So sad to hear the news of Ryan O’Neal’s passing. ❤️ We made two films together, What’s Up, Doc? and The Main Event. He was funny and charming, and he will be remembered. pic.twitter.com/Z9ADMv2R5T
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) December 8, 2023
Stanley Kubrick paid tribute to the late actor.
We are deeply saddened to hear that the Oscar nominated, 60-year acting veteran, Ryan O’Neal has
passed away. To us he will always be remembered as the
loveable cad Barry Lyndon.
Of his experience working with Stanley, Ryan said “it was magnificent, you never really get over… pic.twitter.com/fYPJ8nMGsH
— Stanley Kubrick (@StanleyKubrick) December 8, 2023