Actor Tatum O’Neal is sharing her thoughts following the death on Friday of her father, Ryan O’Neal, with whom she long had a stormy relationship.
After starring together in 1973’s “Paper Moon,” for which then 10-year-old Tatum earned a supporting actress Oscar, the O’Neals were often estranged in the ensuing years. For decades, recriminations involving drug addiction and emotional abuse flew back and forth between the two in tabloid stories and tell-all memoirs.
But recently they had been able to make amends before the elder O’Neal, who starred in such films as “Love Story” and “Barry Lyndon,” died at age 82.
“I feel great sorrow with my father’s passing,” O’Neal, 60, said in a statement to People magazine. “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.”
Tatum O’Neal had been propelled to overnight stardom after her performance in Peter Bogdanovich’s Depression-era road comedy as Addie Loggins, a spunky orphan who teams up with a charming con man, played by her father. “It was hard work, but I loved working,” she told The Times of making the film in 2008. “I was laughing the whole time.”
But when she won her Oscar for the film, becoming the youngest person ever to score a competitive Academy Award, her father was not in attendance. The award drove a wedge between the O’Neals, whose family was already riven with dysfunction.
The actress — who followed up her Oscar with roles in films like “Bad News Bears” and “Little Darlings” before her career was derailed by drug addiction — later suggested that her father was jealous of her success.
“He loved me, but then hated me, because I won the Academy Award,” Tatum said of her father earlier this year in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Weird s— happened. It kind of went in the wrong direction to happiness.”
“Everybody hated everybody because of that Academy Award,” Ryan O’Neal said in a 2009 Vanity Fair profile.
In 2011, the O’Neals made an effort to reconcile in front of the cameras on the Oprah Winfrey Network reality series “Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals.”
More recently, the O’Neals had spent time together to try to further mend old wounds. In April, on her father’s birthday, Tatum O’Neal posted a photo of the two smiling on a bed beneath a photo of O’Neal’s late wife Farrah Fawcett, writing, “Happy birthday dad I love you.”