Barbra Streisand and William Shatner lead tributes to Ryan O’Neal as others remember unsavoury legacy

Barbra Streisand and other celebrities have paid tribute to Ryan O’Neal, following the actor’s death at the age of 82.

O’Neal, the celebrated but complicated star of films such as Love Story, Barry Lyndon and Paper Moon, appeared opposite Streisand in the 1972 screwball comedy What’s Up, Doc? and 1979’s The Main Event.

Ryan’s son Patrick O’Neal announced news of his death on Instagram. The actor 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,” Patrick wrote. “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.”

Patrick is one of four children O’Neal had from three relationships, along with Griffin O’Neal, Redmond James Fawcett O’Neal, and Tatum O’Neal, who acted as a child alongside her father in Paper Moon.

In a tribute shared on social media, Streisand hailed her former collaborator, writing: “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.”

Star Trek star William Shatner also shared a tribute to O’Neal, writing: “Condolences to the family of Ryan O’Neal. A wonderfully talented actor and Twitter friend.”

O’Neal and Streisand in ‘What’s Up Doc?' (Moviestore/Shutterstock)
O’Neal and Streisand in ‘What’s Up Doc?' (Moviestore/Shutterstock)

Journalist and former Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan commented: “RIP Ryan O’Neal, 82. His performance in Love Story alone was iconic. Superb actor, proper movie star, complex guy.”

While he is being remembered for his contributions to several of the best films of the 1970s, O’Neal enjoyed an unsavoury legacy, rocked by fraught personal relationships and abuse allegations.

His relationships with his children, except Patrick, faced staunch criticism down the years.

In 2007, O’Neal was arrested for shooting a firearm at Griffin, though he claimed it had been in self-defence, and the charges were eventually dropped.

In her autobiography A Paper Life, Tatum detailed the physical and emotional abuse she had allegedly endured at the hands of her father. A particularly notorious incident occurred at the funeral of Griffin’s mother and O’Neal’s long-term partner, the actor Farrah Fawcett, in 2009: O’Neal attempted to make a romantic advance on Tatum, not recognising the estranged star as his own daughter.

Ryan and Tatum O’Neal in ‘Paper Moon' (Paramount Pictures)
Ryan and Tatum O’Neal in ‘Paper Moon' (Paramount Pictures)

O’Neal struggled with drug addiction for many years, with Tatum and Griffin both linking their own childhood drug use to their father’s infuence.

Actor Anjelica Huston, who dated O’Neal for a period, claimed in her 2014 memoir that she broke up with him after he violently assaulted her.

As well as his long on-again, off-again relationship with Fawcett, O’Neal was married twice, to Joanna Moore in 1963 and to Leigh Taylor-Young in 1967.