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Ryan O’Neal is an Oscar-nominated actor known for films like Love Story, What’s Up, Doc?, Barry Lyndon and The Main Event.
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For his work on the film, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Turning to comedy, O'Neal starred opposite Barbara Streisand in What's Up Doc? (1971). He then played a grifter working con games with his daughter (played by his real-life daughter Tatum) in the critically acclaimed hit Paper Moon (1973). Tatum won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. While his daughter's career appeared to be heating up, O'Neal experienced several flops,
including Stanley Kubrick's 1975 historical drama Barry Lyndon and 1978's Oliver's Story, a sequel to Love Story. He also had a series of missed opportunities, having been considered and rejected for lead roles in The Godfather and Rocky. In 1979, O'Neal scored a box office win with The Main Event, starring again with Barbra Streisand in this popular boxing comedy.
His next few films failed to make much of an impression on critics or movie-goers, but he did receive some attention for his personal life. In 1983, O'Neal made headlines for a fight he had with his oldest son Griffin, in which he knocked out two of Griffin's teeth. Gossip columns also buzzed with rumors that O'Neal was dating actress Farrah Fawcett. Fawcett was still married to actor Lee Majors at the time, who was also one of O'Neal friends. While O'Neal and Fawcett never married, they welcomed a son, Redmond, in 1985.
Around this time, O'Neal scored a modest hit with 1984's Irreconcilable Differences. He co-starred with Shelley Long as parents who are sued for divorce by their daughter (played by Drew Barrymore). O'Neal returned to his television roots in 1991 with the sitcom Good Sports. He played a former football star who lands a sportscaster job at a sports cable network and ends up working with a former fling (played by Farrah Fawcett). The show lasted for only seven months.
In coming years, O'Neal became more famous for his off-screen life than his acting work. His relationship with Fawcett was an endless source of interest for the tabloid press. The couple broke up in the late 1990s, but they remained friendly after the split. They reunited in 2001, as O'Neal faced another challenge: cancer. He was able to successfully treat the disease with medication, and entered into remission. Around that same time, O'Neal appeared on the short-lived television drama Bull. He tried again in 2003 with the romantic comedy Miss Match, playing the father of a matchmaker across from Alicia Silverstone. The show was a ratings disaster, and didn't last a full season.
In 2005, O'Neal found himself under media scrutiny after his daughter Tatum published her autobiography A Paper Life. She wrote that he was an abusive father, and was responsible for introducing her and her brother Griffin to drugs at an early age. Despite this latest controversy, O'Neal scored a recurring role on the hit crime drama Bones. More family drama occurred in 2007, when O'Neal was arrested on assault charges after another run-in with son Griffin. During the altercation, Griffin's pregnant girlfriend was struck in the head with a fireplace poker, and O'Neal shot a gun into the air.
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