Ryan O’Neal’s Cause of Death Was Congestive Heart Failure

The “Love Story” and “Paper Moon” star passed away earlier this month at 82

Ryan O'Neal (Getty)
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Actor Ryan O’Neal died of congestive heart failure after suffering from cardiomyopathy for years, according to his death certificate, obtained Friday by The Blast.

The “Love Story” and “Paper Moon” died earlier this month at 82.

Congestive heart failure happens when a person doesn’t have enough oxygen after the heart fails to pump enough blood through the body. Cardiomyopathy is a heart disease that features several conditions that can lead to issues ranging from high blood pressure to tissue damage to the heart and heart valve issues.

O’Neal was survived by his children Patrick, Tatum, Griffin and Redmond. His son Patrick revealed his father’s death through social media on Dec. 8.

O’Neal started his professional life as an amateur boxer before pivoting to acting in 1960. His first major role was playing Rodney Harrington on ABC’s nighttime soap opera “Peyton Place.”

In 1970, O’Neal played wealthy Harvard law student Oliver Barrett IV alongside Ali MacGraw in the hit romantic film “Love Story.” His role in the film came as a recommendation from the movie’s cowriter Erich Segal. Later making his way into comedies, O’Neal costarred in “What’s Up, Doc?” with Peter Bogdanovich in 1972, whom he reunited with a year later for their roles in “Paper Moon.” The movie also gave him the opportunity to star opposite his daughter Tatum O’Neal, who was 9 years old at the time.

“He is a Hollywood legend. Full stop,” his son Patrick wrote in the post revealing O’Neals death. “The growth spurt of the first name Ryan can be traced back to my dad. That’s a fact,” Patrick wrote. “He was Rodney Harrington on ‘Peyton Place’ three days a week. (He starred in 500 shows over 5 years.) And then of course the name Ryan peaked after ‘Love Story,’ the film that saved Paramount Studios and earned my dad a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

Raquel “Rocky” Harris contributed to this report.


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