AceShowbiz - Tatum O'Neal revealed that she is grateful for having a good connection with Ryan O'Neal prior to his death. Despite mourning the passing of her actor dad, the "Little Darlings" actress felt "very lucky" that she and the "Love Story" actor were on "good terms" before he took his last breath.
On Friday, December 8, the 60-year-old Oscar winner, who once had an estranged relationship with Ryan for more than a decade, voiced her sadness in losing her father. Speaking to PEOPLE, she lamented, "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." She went on to say, "I'll miss him forever and I feel very lucky that we ended on such good terms."
Tatum's statement was published by the outlet a few hours after Ryan's death was announced. Earlier that same day, Tatum's brother Patrick O'Neal made use of Instagram to share the heartwrenching news. Along with a photo of a beautiful sunset view at a beach, Patrick began writing in the caption of the post, "So this is the toughest thing I've ever had to say but here we go."
"My dad passed away peacefully today, with his loving team by his side supporting him and loving him as he would us," the sports broadcaster continued. "This is very difficult for my wife Summer and I, but I will share some feelings to give you an idea of how great a man he is."
Patrick further described, "My father Ryan O'Neal has always been my hero. I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life. When I was born in 1967 my dad was already a TV star on 'Peyton Place'. That's where he met my mom Leigh Taylor-Young, and about 9 months later (give or take a date night or two) I was born."
Patrick additionally elaborated, "My dad became an international movie star with 'Love Story' at the beginning of the 1970s, a decade he absolutely crushed by starring in movies like 'What's Up, Doc?', 'Paper Moon', 'Barry Lyndon', 'A Bridge Too Far', 'The Main Event', and 'The Driver'." He then exclaimed, "He is a Hollywood legend. Full stop."
"The growth spurt of the first name Ryan can be traced back to my dad. That’s a fact," the 56-year-old added. "He was Rodney Harrington on 'Peyton Place' 3 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)."