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Co-stars Barbra Streisand and Lee Grant remember ‘incredible talent’ Ryan O’Neal

Patrick O’Neal poses with his father, actor Ryan O’Neal (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File/PA)
Patrick O’Neal poses with his father, actor Ryan O’Neal (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File/PA)

Academy Award winners Barbra Streisand and Lee Grant were among the stars remembering “gift of an artist” Ryan O’Neal following his death at the age of 82.

The Hollywood star died “peacefully” on Friday surrounded by his “loving team”, his son Patrick announced on Instagram.

The US actor starred in drama Peyton Place before rising to international stardom after his Oscar-nominated turn as Oliver in the 1971 film Love Story, opposite Ali MacGraw.

He later starred in What’s Up, Doc? in 1972 with Streisand and they met again on-screen seven years later in The Main Event.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, two-time Academy Award winner Streisand said: “So sad to hear the news of Ryan O’Neal’s passing.

“We made two films together, What’s Up, Doc? and The Main Event. He was funny and charming, and he will be remembered.”

O’Neal was described as Hollywood’s “leading boy” following more than 500 episodes playing Rodney Harrington on hit drama Peyton Place, alongside Grant – who played Stella Chernak.

On X, Grant said: “Impossible to believe that Ryan O’Neal is gone. I felt so welcomed by his Peyton Place, the first big production brave enough to welcome me back from the blacklist.

“An incredible talent, an incredible beauty. A gift of an artist we’re lucky to have so much of captured forever.”

During his career, O’Neal collaborated with director Peter Bogdanovich several times, including on Paper Moon opposite his daughter Tatum, who won an Academy Award at the age of 10 for her performance, What’s Up, Doc? and Nickelodeon in 1976.

His other notable credits include starring as Barry Lyndon in Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 film.

The official X page for Kubrick said: “We are deeply saddened to hear that the Oscar nominated, 60-year acting veteran, Ryan O’Neal has passed away.

“To us he will always be remembered as the loveable cad Barry Lyndon.

“Of his experience working with Stanley, Ryan said ‘it was magnificent, you never really get over an experience like that, working with someone like him’.

Announcing the news on Instagram, O’Neal’s son Patrick said his father has “always been my hero”.

“He is a Hollywood legend. Full stop,” he wrote.

Patrick continued: “As a human being, my father was as generous as they come. And the funniest person in any room. And the most handsome clearly, but also the most charming. Lethal combo.

“He loved to make people laugh. It’s pretty much his goal. Didn’t matter the situation, if there was a joke to be found, he nailed it.

“He really wanted us laughing. And we did all laugh. Every time. We had fun. Fun in the sun.”

He said his father “just loved acting, plain and simple” and was adept at memorising pages of dialogue in an hour, but was also the “best and most loving and supportive dad”.

“This is and will be a huge void in our lives,” he said.

Patrick also spoke about his father’s on-off relationship with Charlie’s Angels star Farrah Fawcett, who died in 2009 at the age of 62 from cancer.

He said: “Ryan never bragged. But he has bragging rights in Heaven. Especially when it comes to Farrah. Everyone had the poster, he had the real McCoy. And now they meet again.

“Farrah and Ryan. He has missed her terribly. What an embrace that must be. Together again.”

US actors’ union Sag-Aftra also said it was “saddened” to hear of the death of “revered performer” O’Neal – who had been a union member since 1959.