Oscar-nominated 'Love Story' star Ryan O'Neal dies aged 82

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Hollywood actor Ryan O'Neal, star of Love Story, Paper Moon, Peyton Place and Barry Lyndon has died aged 82

The heartthrob actor went from a TV soap opera to an Oscar-nominated role in Love Story and delivered a wry performance opposite his charismatic nine-year-old daughter Tatum in Paper Moon.

No cause of death was given, but the actor was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, a decade after he was first diagnosed with chronic leukemia.

“My father, Ryan O’Neal, has always been my hero,” his son Patrick O'Neal wrote on social media. “He is a Hollywood legend. Full stop.”

Ryan O'Neal was among the biggest movie stars in the world in the 1970s, working across genres with many of the era's most celebrated directors including Peter Bogdanovich on Paper Moon and What's Up, Doc? and Stanley Kubrick on Barry Lyndon.

He often used his boyish, blond good looks to play men who hid shadowy or sinister backgrounds behind their clean-cut images.

Oscar nominated performance in Love Story

Ryan O'Neal had his own best actor Oscar nomination for the 1970 tear-jerker drama Love Story, co-starring Ali MacGraw, about a young couple who fall in love, marry and discover she is dying of cancer. The movie includes the memorable, but often satirised line: “Love means never having to say you're sorry.”

The romantic melodrama was the highest-grossing film of 1970, became one of Paramount Pictures' biggest hits and collected seven Oscar nominations, including one for best picture. It won for best music.

After Love Story made him a major movie star, O’Neal was considered for seemingly every major leading role in Hollywood. Paramount even pushed for him to to star as Michael Corleone in _The Godfather _before Al Pacino got the part at the insistence of director Francis Ford Coppola.

O'Neal then starred for Bogdanovich as a bumbling professor opposite Barbra Streisand in the 1972 screwball comedy What's Up, Doc?

“So sad to hear the news of Ryan O’Neal’s passing," said Streisand in a post in Instagram. She also starred with O'Neal in the 1979 boxing rom-com The Main Event anddescribed him as "funny and charming.”

Twice divorced, O'Neal was romantically involved with actress Farrah Fawcett for nearly 30 years, and they had a son, Redmond, born in 1985. The couple split in 1997, but reunited a few years later. He remained by Fawcett’s side as she battled cancer, which killed her in 2009 at age 62.