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Ryan O’Neal, the master of alternative encounters and cuteness

He has the face of a fairy tale protagonist that would have been appropriate for the early days of Hollywood but feels comfortably charming today. Ryan O’Neal Was a boxer in his youth – his son Patrick O’Neal pointed out to fans after announcing his father’s death on Friday YouTube videos O’Neal fought Joe Frazier on national television, with Muhammad Ali on commentary. But it served him well when he turned to show business, and by 1964 he was a star on the ABC primetime soap opera Peyton Place.

And no wonder: O’Neal’s youthful appearance, with blond hair, blue eyes, round cheeks and a touch of smarts, reminds you of the guy sitting next to you in the AP profile who would lend you a pen or his if you needed it. lunch. Clearly, this face looks like that of a good guy, the kind of guy you’d definitely want to take home to your parents. When O’Neal auditioned for the role of Oliver in Love Story, Ali McGraw convinced her husband, Robert Evans, to cast him as an actor at Paramount.

As a childish Harvard lacrosse player who falls in love with smart Radcliffe student Jenny, O’Neal is captivating and the two have instant chemistry. “She has to go home to him at night, but I have her during the day,” O’Neal told The Hollywood Reporter in interview Decades later. Cute encounter in the movieIt’s intellectually sexy, if you want to call it that, as the two argue at the library checkout counter and then drink coffee, with Jenny telling him that she asked him out because “I like your body.”

Released in 1970, the film was a huge success, in part because the sharp wit of the opening gave way to the unfortunate melancholy of the ending, with Jenny dying of a terminal illness and Oliver devastated, repeating his line from Lost Sweetheart: ” Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” It proved irresistible to audiences, and its success was partly what enabled Evans to make films like “The Godfather” at Paramount a decade later.

O’Neal will bring that combination of innocence and wit, comfort and humor to his next film and beyond. It turns out he can do screwball comedy, too. “Meet Cute” by Peter BogdanovichWhat’s going on DOC?” O’Neal plays Dr. Howard Bannister, a musicologist wearing black-rimmed glasses who inadvertently engages in an erudite conversation about rock and roll with the chaotic Judy Maxwell, played by Barbra Streisand. He condescendingly thinks she doesn’t know anything. He’s interested in rocks, but when Judy declares, “I mainly relate to mica, quartz, feldspar,” the look of surprise on his face is more genuine joy than wounded pride. When he fell backwards, landing on his butt as a nearby cascade of stuffed animals fell on his head, we fell in love, too.

O’Neal’s life and career were long and storied, but not without controversy, including his difficult relationship with daughter Tatum O’Neal, who played with her father in Bogdan when she was nine Norwich made her big screen debut in “Paper Moon.”look at him Instagram account provide evidence that he believes his love story of a lifetime With Farrah Fawcett.

Fawcett and O’Neill have their own strangely endearing way of meeting each other. Fawcett’s husband, Lee Majors, introduced her to O’Neill in 1979, and the two soon became romantically involved, although Majors and Fawcett did not divorce until 1982. Neil was also married twice, to Joanna Moore and Leigh Taylor-Young, with whom he had three children and a fourth with Fawcett.

He and Fawcett quarreled for nearly 20 years. (She left in 1997, when she found him in bed with another woman.) They reunited from 2001, when O’Neal learned he had cancer, until Fawcett’s death in 2009. This is a classic fairy tale. It was a rocky partnership, with both Tatum and Fawcett alleging physical abuse and strained relationships with several of his children. But when Fawcett dies of cancer—like Janet in Love Story—it’s hard to miss the parallels. Here’s the star of “Love Story” living through the tragedy that made him a star in the first place. Melodrama becomes reality.

A famous line from “Love Story”—”Love means never having to say you’re sorry”—works well in a tearjerker, but it doesn’t hold up in daylight. Love does mean saying sorry, a wisdom O’Neal eventually learned time and time again, at least to some extent.Earlier this year, his daughter spoke Attempting to reconcile with her father, with whom she subsequently reconnected, post their photos His 82nd birthday was posted on Instagram on April 21 with the caption, “Happy birthday dad, I love you.”

“What’s wrong, Doc?” Finally, Judy repeats a line about never saying you’re sorry, which is a little joke within a joke. Howard, charmed by her with O’Neal’s easy smile, declared, “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.” Heard. “

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