Ryan O'Neal was a father to daughter Tatum O'Neal and sons Griffin, Patrick and Redmond O'Neal
Ryan O'Neal's relationships with his four children were both close and complicated throughout his life.
The Love Story actor, who died on Dec. 8, 2023, was a father of four. He shared daughter Tatum and son Griffin with his first wife, Joanna Moore; son Patrick with his second wife, Leigh Taylor-Young; and his youngest son, Redmond, with Farrah Fawcett.
Over the years, the O'Neals have been known to be one of the most turbulent families in Hollywood, with Tatum and Griffin detailing their troubled childhoods, struggles with addiction and more.
“My life has been a reign of drug and alcohol degradation," Griffin told PEOPLE in 2015. "I had to self medicate my entire life because there was pain everywhere. There were drugs everywhere in my family all day, every day. It was the ’60s and ’70s and Tatum and I had a tough time."
Tatum and Griffin's troubles led to decades of difficulties with their father, and although Griffin and his father remained estranged, Tatum and Ryan reunited in 2020.
It was Ryan's second son, sportscaster Patrick, who announced his death at age 82, saying the actor "passed away peacefully."
"My father Ryan O’Neal has always been my hero," he wrote on Instagram. "I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life."
Following her father's death, Tatum exclusively told PEOPLE, "I feel great sorrow with my father's passing. 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."
From shared moments onscreen to mended relationships, here's a look back at Ryan O'Neal's ups and downs with his children.
He shared his four children with three women
Ryan first became a father in 1963 when he and his then-wife Moore welcomed their daughter Tatum. The couple welcomed their second child, Griffin, the following year, though they split in 1966.
One year later, Ryan wed his second wife, Taylor-Young. The pair had one son, Patrick, born in 1967. Ryan and Taylor-Young divorced in 1974 but retained a friendship.
Ryan shared his youngest child and third son, Redmond, who was born in 1985, with actress Farrah Fawcett. The Hollywood pair were together for nearly 20 years, though split in 1997. They reunited in 2001 after O'Neal was diagnosed with leukemia and remained together until Fawcett's death in 2009.
"There was never a day I didn't love her," Ryan told PEOPLE of Fawcett in 2019.
Ryan and daughter Tatum played a father-daughter duo in Paper Moon
Ryan and Tatum famously shared the screen in the '70s, playing a father and daughter in the 1973 film Paper Moon. Tatum was only 10 years old at the time, and her performance as Addie Loggins earned her an Academy Award — making her the youngest person to win an Oscar. Ryan also earned an Academy Award nomination for his role.
Tatum went on to star in several films and television series, including The Bad News Bears, Little Darlings and a guest turn in Sex and the City.
Tatum and Griffin have been open about their troubled childhood and estrangement from Ryan
Ryan's difficult relationship with his older children began when they were young. The late actor was estranged from both Tatum and Griffin for several years.
Tatum has said their decades-long estrangement began shortly after the start of Ryan's relationship with Fawcett. "My dad doesn't have any idea how horrendous his leaving was for us," Tatum once told PEOPLE. The actress also said she suffered physical and emotional abuse during her childhood and her father introduced her and her younger brother to drugs.
In 2015, Griffin told PEOPLE that his struggles with substance abuse began when he was 9 years old. When Griffin was 16, his father once punched his teeth out.
“My whole family has been absolutely destroyed to smithereens from drug addiction and alcoholism,” Griffin said. “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.”
Griffin and Ryan had another altercation in 2007, where the late actor was arrested for allegedly assaulting Griffin with a firearm. (He claimed at the time that it was in 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 PEOPLE in 2015.
Redmond blamed his legal troubles on his famous parents
Ryan's youngest son, Redmond, has also struggled with substance abuse since his teenage years. In 2004, he entered rehab for heroin use. He has also been arrested multiple times on drug-related charges.
"I love him, but I have never seen a more scary side of addiction," Tatum told PEOPLE in 2015. "He's got addiction problems so bad that it breaks my heart."
After Redmond was arrested and charged after allegedly robbing a convenience store in 2018, he blamed his history of struggles on his famous parents, Ryan and Fawcett.
Redmond — who was in jail at the time — told RadarOnline that it was "not drugs that have been a problem, it's the psychological trauma of my entire life — my whole life experiences have affected me the most."
He added that fights with his father and "being kicked out and living on the streets" have contributed to his struggles, including, "going to jail, being put in a psychiatric ward, being embarrassed all the time."
"The pressure that came with that set off a time-bomb in my head," Redmond said of his celebrity parents. "I never asked for any of this, I never wanted any attention."
A rep for Ryan didn't immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment at the time.
Ryan reunited with Tatum and her children in 2020
In 2020, Ryan reunited with his family for the first time in 17 years. Tatum's son Sean McEnroe, who she shares with her ex-husband John McEnroe, shared a photo of his grandfather, his mother and two brothers on Instagram, and called it one of the "most memorable photos" of his life.
"This is one of the most memorable photos of my life. 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. The entire West Coast is burning, but if the O’Neals can reconcile, truly anything is possible," Sean wrote, referencing the wildfires occurring across California, Oregon and Washington at the time.
Despite their decades of estrangement, Tatum had previously said that the death of Fawcett in 2009, helped her and her father mend their relationship.
“She brought us back together,” Tatum said in 2010, adding of her father, “He told me he’s sorry. He’s all I have in terms of family, and I needed him in my life. My dad was absolutely everything to me."
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