Ryan O’Neal’s cause of death revealed

‘Love Story’ actor died aged 82 in December

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 24 December 2023 14:42 GMT
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Love Story star Ryan O’Neal’s cause of death has been disclosed, two weeks after the actor’s death.

The US actor died aged 82 on 8 December from “congestive heart failure”, according to a death certificate obtained by The Blast.

The certificate reportedly also said that O’Neal had suffered from cardiomyopathy, a condition that affects the heart muscle in a way that inhibits the flow of blood to the rest of that body, for “years”.

News of the Oscar-nominated actor’s death was announced by his son, sports presenter Patrick O’Neal, who wrote on Instagram that his father had been diagnosed with chronic leukaemia in 2001 and prostate cancer in 2012.

“As a human being, my father was as generous as they come,” he said. “And the funniest person in any room. And the most handsome clearly, but also the most charming. Lethal combo.

“He loved to make people laugh. It’s pretty much his goal. Didn’t matter the situation, if there was a joke to be found, he nailed it. He really wanted us laughing. And we did all laugh. Every time. We had fun. Fun in the sun.”

Born in LA in 1941, O’Neal came to prominence in 1964 when he was cast as Rodney Harrington in the hit prime time drama Peyton Place.

He starred in a string of box office hits through the Seventies, including Love Story, which earnt him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and What’s Up Doc?, the screwball comedy with Barbra Streisand.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

In her autobiography A Paper Life, O’Neal’s daughter Tatum detailed the physical and emotional abuse she allegedly endured at the hands of her father.

In one particularly unsavoury encounter at the funeral of Griffin’s mother and O’Neal’s longterm partner, actor Farrah Fawcett, he allegedly attempted to make a sexual advance on Tatum, having failed to recognise her as his daughter.

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Both Tatum and Griffin have linked their childhood drug abuse to O’Neal, who struggled with drug addiction for many years.

However, Tatum revealed that she and her father had reconciled before his death, telling People that she felt “great sorry” at his death.

“He meant the world to me,” she said. “I loved him very much and know he loved me too. I’ll miss him forever and I feel very lucky that we ended on such good terms.”

O’Neal shared Tatum and her brother, Griffin O’Neal, with Joanna Moore. He had Patrick with Leigh Taylor-Young, and his youngest son, Redmonad, with Farrah Fawcett.

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