Tatum O’Neal Pays Tribute to Father Ryan O’Neal: “I’ll Miss Him Forever”

Tatum O’Neal Pays Tribute to Father Ryan O’Neal: “I’ll Miss Him Forever”

Tatum O’Neal is speaking out after the news of Ryan O’Neal’s death on Friday.

The Oscar-winning actress shared a statement with People about how she felt following her father’s passing. The two had a rocky relationship since working together on 1973’s Paper Moon, for which Tatum won the best supporting actress Academy Award at just 10 years old.

“I feel great sorrow with my father’s passing,” Tatum told the publication. “He meant the world to me. 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.”

Ryan’s son, Patrick, shared the news that his father had died in a series of lengthy Instagram posts, calling the Peyton’s Place star a “Hollywood legend.”

“My father Ryan O’Neal has always been my hero. I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life,” the caption of his first post read. “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.

Tatum and Ryan’s relationship had its ups and downs in the decades after they worked together. Tatum struggled with substance abuse, and Ryan admitted he may have never really been up to the job of being her father.

“I had this peculiar thing on Paper Moon, and that is the director insisted she wasn’t my daughter,” he said in 2011’s OWN reality series Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals. “The director insisted that my character, Moses, never thought for a second that this was his daughter. So, he wanted me to make sure that I didn’t think of her as my daughter. And maybe it never wore off.”

Tatum previously shared with The Hollywood Reporter that she felt her father may have hated her for winning the Oscar for Paper Moon instead of him, adding that her life kind of went in the wrong direction to happiness following her triumph at such a young age.

The pair would go years without seeing each other. Prior to this year, the last time the father and daughter had been together in person was in September 2020. But Tatum told THR in March that she had initiated contact with her father again, and they had plans to get together and talk.

When asked what she hoped would come of the conversation, she said, “I think he’s gotten a little bit better in his life. I mean, he’s an amazing man, my dad, and I miss him terribly.” She added. “I don’t want him to die. I love him. I love my dad. I mean, I’ve had a hard life with my dad — but I still love him.”

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