Ryan O'Neal net worth: Fortune explored as Love Story star dies aged 82

Actor Ryan O
Actor Ryan O'Neal dies at 82 (Image via Instagram/@ryan_o_neal, @partic_oneal)

American actor Ryan O'Neal, known for playing Oliver Barrett in the 1970 hit, Love Story, died on Friday, December 8, 2023, at the age of 82. The unfortunate news was confirmed by his son Partick O'Neal in an emotional Instagram post, where he wrote:

"So this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to say but here we go. My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us."

While Ryan's family did not share a cause of death, the Peyton Place star was diagnosed with chronic leukemia in 2001 and then prostate cancer in 2012.

Following the success of Love Story, the actor was catapulted to fame. He is best remembered for his roles in What's Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, and A Bridge Too Far. With a robust acting career, starring in over 500 TV episodes and several hit movies, the actor boasted a net worth of $30 million, as per Celebrity Net Worth.

Calling Ryan his "hero," Patrick added in his post:

"He is a Hollywood legend. Full stop. The growth spurt of the first name Ryan can be traced back to my dad. That’s a fact."

Ryan O'Neal was involved in a legal battle over an Andy Warhol painting

Ryan's $30 million net worth includes his $5 million Malibu beach house, an Andy Warhol painting of his partner Farrah Fawcett that was appraised at $24 million in 2018, and his earnings of $1 million.

The Andy Warhol painting led to a lengthy legal battle with the University of Texas, Austin. According to Fawcett's will, her art collection, which included one portrait by Warhol, was to be donated to the university. However, the university found out the artist had produced two paintings, and suspected Ryan had taken the second one for himself.

The painting was found two years later in 2011 when it was seen in the background of a reality TV show starring Ryan, titled Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals.

Following a legal battle, it was revealed that Warhol did make two portraits, one for Farrah and the other for Ryan O'Neal. In 2013, the court ruled in his favor, allowing him to keep it.


Ryan O'Neal was training to become a Golden Gloves boxer before turning to acting

Ryan O'Neal hails from Los Angeles, California, and was training as an amateur boxer. Talking about his love for boxing, Patrick stated:

"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."

O'Neal moved to Munich when his father, a screenwriter, took a job writing for a series called Citizen Soldier. Finding her son struggling with studies, Ryan's mother got him a job as an extra on the set of a TV show being filmed in the area.

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He then developed an interest in acting, appearing in small roles on several TV shows, before he was cast to play Rodney Harrington in the prime-time serial drama, Peyton Place. The show was a huge success and Ryan O'Neal went on to star in 422 episodes. He also met his second wife, Leigh Taylor-Young, on its sets.

In 1970, O'Neal had the opportunity to play the lead in a romantic drama, Love Story, opposite Ali MacGraw. The film was a huge success and earned both leads a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Ryan O'Neal was nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and Acadamy Awards.

He later starred opposite Barbara Streisand in What's Up, Doc? (1972) which became the third-highest-grossing film of the year. He also played a jewel thief in The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1972) and appeared in the comedy-drama, Paper Moon (1973).

At the time, his handsome boyish looks and box-office success led to him being voted as the second most popular star of 1973, behind Clint Eastwood. However, his career faced several fluctuations over the years.

In another one of his Instagram posts, the actor's son, Patrick, stated:

"He was so skilled at his craft, worked so hard, and just loved acting plain and simple... I hope he felt proud of his career, but he was very humble."

Ryan O'Neal divorced Leigh in 1973 and the two remained friends. He was in a relationship with Farrah Fawcett from 1970 to 1997, and from 2001, until her death in 2009.

Ryan O'Neal is survived by his four children and five grandchildren.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal