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HomeEntertainment‘Love Story’, ‘Paper Moon’ actor Ryan O’Neal dies at 82

‘Love Story’, ‘Paper Moon’ actor Ryan O’Neal dies at 82

Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O’Neal, who came to prominence on TV’s ‘Peyton Place’ and became a top star of the 1970s in films including ‘Love Story’, ‘What’s Up, Doc?’, ‘Paper Moon’ and ‘Barry Lyndon’, died on Friday, his son Patrick said on Instagram. He was 82.

Ryan was diagnosed with chronic leukaemia in 2001 and with prostate cancer in 2012. “Ryan was a very generous man who has always been there to help his loved ones for decade upon decade,” his son wrote, reports Variety.

“My dad was 82, and lived a kick ass life. I hope the first thing he brags about in Heaven is how he sparred 2 rounds with Joe Frazier in 1966, on national TV, with Muhammad Ali doing the commentary, and went toe to toe with Smokin’ Joe”, he added.

In later years, Ryan’s acting work often took a backseat to media coverage on his personal travails, involving his combative relationship with longtime companion Farrah Fawcett, who died of cancer in 2009, and with his children, including Redmond O’Neal and actress Tatum O’Neal.

But in the 1970s, he was a marquee draw.

As per Variety, in 1973, he ranked behind only Clint Eastwood in terms of box office draw — and ahead of stars like Steve McQueen, Burt Reynolds and Robert Redford. ‘Love Story’ was the No. 1 film of 1970, grossing $106 million in the U.S. and Canada, and the sixth highest grossing film of all time at that point.

The melodramatic romance, based on Erich Segal’s bestselling novel, was also a cultural phenomenon, with its signature line of dialogue, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” spoken both by Ali MacGraw and Ryan at different times, inspiring parody for decades. ‘Love Story’ was nominated for seven Academy Awards, with Ryan picking up a nomination for lead actor. Ryan returned for the adaptation of Segal’s sequel ‘Oliver’s Story’ in 1978, co-starring with Candice Bergen.

In his first film after ‘Love Story’, Blake Edwards’ 1971 Western ‘The Wild Rovers’, he was paired with William Holden, then appeared in 1973’s ‘The Thief Who Came to Dinner’, with Jacqueline Bisset.

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