Ryan O’Neal, Oscar nominated star of Love Story and Peyton Place, passed away on December 8, 2023, at the age of 82. And though he’s best known for his work on-camera, he had a full family life behind the scenes. Across three relationships — two marriages and one epic romance with actress Farrah Fawcett –he welcomed four children. By the time he passed at the age of 82, he’d also become a grandfather to five.
Here’s everything to know about his four children, including Oscar-winning former child actress Tatum O’Neal.
Ryan welcomed his first child, Tatum, on November 5, 1963, with ex-wife, actress Joanna Moore. Though Joanna and Ryan separated in 1966 and divorce in 1967, Tatum and her dad were destined for father-daughter greatness. They’d go on to co-star in Paper Moon, a Great Depression Era film about a con artist and a young girl, in 1974. At the age of just 10, Tatum would become the youngest actress ever to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress that year. Her father received a nomination, as well.
But over the years, their relationship soured amid Tatum’s reported battle with addiction. In 2011, Ryan and Tatum starred in OWN reality series Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals. She realized at the time that she needed to reconcile with him.
“How would I feel if my father were to, say, get sick or die even? Would I be OK? And I realized that I wouldn’t be OK,” she said in a clip of the show, per CNN. “So I knew I needed to make an effort, because what is your life without your family? What’s your life without a father?”
The estrangement reignited and dragged on. But in 2020, Tatum’s son Sean McEnroe, shared that the estrangement had ended. He shared a pic of his mom, grandfather Ryan, and his siblings, enjoying time as a family. “This is one of the most memorable photos of my life,” he captioned the pic in part. “The last time we were all together was at the 30-year Paper Moon Anniversary in 2003. I could cry tears of gratitude that everyone in this photo is still alive and that we were all able to come together again after so many years of hardship.” He finished the emotional post with, “if the O’Neals can reconcile, truly anything is possible.”
Tatum married tennis great John McEnroe in 1986, and divorced him in 1994. They welcomed kids Sean, Kevin, and Emily during their marriage.
Joanna and Ryan welcomed their second child, Griffin O’Neal, on October 28, 1964. Griffin followed in the family footsteps, choosing a career in acting. He’s best known for appearing in films including April Fool’s Day and The Escape Artist, among others.
Griffin left Los Angeles in 2007 and now lives near the Mexico border. In a devastating 2015 interview, he pulled no punches when speaking out the drama surrounding his family. “My whole family has been absolutely destroyed to smithereens from drug addiction and alcoholism,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “The common denominator is drugs and alcohol and depression and it’s a never-ending cycle. I had to walk away from all of it. I’m done.”
Now sober, Griffin was also estranged from his father — Ryan was arrested in 2007 over an alleged assault on Griffin with a firearm, though the iconic actor claimed it was self-defense. “The last time I saw my dad, he shot at me because I was trying to help his son [Redmond] get sober so I haven’t talked to him in nine years,” he told the outlet at the time.
Patrick O’Neal is the only child of Ryan and his second wife, Leigh Taylor-Young, whom he was married to from 1967-1974. The couple welcomed Patrick on September 14, 1967, and true to form, he also dabbled in acting, appearing in Die Hard 2 and Beverly Hills, 90210, among others. However, Patrick made his name primarily in sports broadcasting.
It was Patrick who broke the news that his famous father had died on December 8, 2023, in a lengthy memorial across a trio of Instagram posts. “So, this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to say but here we go,” Patrick wrote in the emotional social media statement. “My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us.”
The proud son went on, “I looked up to him, and he was always bigger than life. When I was born in 1967, my dad was already a TV star on Peyton Place. That’s where he met my mom, Leigh Taylor-Young, and about 9 months later (give or take a date night or two), I was born.”
On April 20, Patrick took to Instagram again to gush over his dad on his 82nd birthday. “Honor and a privilege to share time with my dad on his 82nd birthday,” he captioned a father and son black and white snapshot. “4/20 whoop whoop!!”
Redmond James Fawcett O’Neal is Ryan’s youngest child. Charlie’s Angels icon Farrah Fawcett and Ryan welcomed him in 1985. Farrah and Ryan were together from 1979-1997, then again from 2001 until Farrah’s death in 2009. Though little is known about Redmond’s current situation, he’s been involved in a litany of alleged crimes, and spent time in jail and rehab.
“He has addictions he can’t control; he goes to sleep in his food,” Ryan told Vanity Fair in a heartbreaking 2009 interview, per PEOPLE. “This is not a privileged guy. He never had any money; he never had a car; he never had a driver’s license. He’s never been out on the street for a year, because whatever he did, he got caught. He got arrested in prison with heroin in his pocket! So many arrests, the poor, stupid boy! He’s not a thug; he doesn’t know how to be. He’s just a sap, and he knows it. He’s been in rehabs all over the United States and Mexico. We’re just thankful he doesn’t have H.I.V.”
In 2008, the father-son duo was arrested for alleged drug possession in Malibu. At the time, authorities had been looking in on Redmond to ensure he was sticking to his probation terms following a DUI earlier that year.
His sister, Tatum, expressed concerns about Redmond in an interview with PEOPLE. “I love him, but I have never seen a more scary side of addiction,” she told the outlet in 2015. “He’s got addiction problems so bad that it breaks my heart. Nobody knows what to do with Redmond. From what I’ve seen, there is no way he’s going to survive.”