Oscar Actors: O’Neal, Tatum–Background, Career, Awards

Tatum O’Neal is the youngest person ever to win a competitive Oscar, which she won in 1974 at age 10 for her performance as Addie Loggins in Paper Moon (1973) opposite her father, Ryan O’Neal.

She also starred as Amanda Whurlitzer in The Bad News Bears (1976), followed by Nickelodeon (1976), and Little Darlings (1980).

O’Neal later appeared in guest roles in Sex and the City, 8 Simple Rules and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. From 2006 to 2007, she portrayed Blythe Hunter in the My Network TV drama series Wicked Wicked Games.

Tatum Beatrice O’Neal was born November 5, 1963, in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, California, to actors Ryan O’Neal and Joanna Moore. Her brother, Griffin, was born in 1964. In 1967, her parents divorced and her father quickly married actress Leigh Taylor-Young, together having Tatum’s half-brother, Patrick. The two divorced in 1973.

Tatum has another half-brother, Redmond, from Ryan O’Neal’s relationship with actress Farrah Fawcett. O’Neal’s mother died of lung cancer at age 63, after a career in which she appeared in such movies as Walk on the Wild Side and Follow That Dream. Her paternal ancestry is Irish, English and Ashkenazi Jewish.

She appeared in only five films during the next 15 years, one of them being Basquiat (1996) as Cynthia Kruger.

In the early 2000s, O’Neal returned to acting with guest appearances in Sex and the City, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

In 2005, O’Neal began a recurring role as Maggie Gavin in the firehouse drama series Rescue Me, portraying the unbalanced and lively sister of Tommy Gavin, played by Denis Leary.

In January 2006, she participated in the second season of ABC’s reality series Dancing with the Stars with professional partner Nick Kosovich. They were eliminated in the second round. She went on to do commentary for the series on Entertainment Tonight.

From 2006 to 2007, she portrayed the vindictive and psychotic Blythe Hunter in the My Network TV drama Wicked Wicked Games.

One of O’Neal’s first public boyfriends was pop star Michael Jackson, whom she dated in the late 1970s.

O’Neal’s relationship with tennis player John McEnroe began in 1984 when she moved into his condo New York City. They married in 1986, and had three children: Kevin, Sean and Emily. They separated in 1992 and were divorced in 1994.

After divorce, O’Neal’s drug problems reemerged and she developed an addiction to heroin. As a result, McEnroe obtained custody of the children in 1998.

In 2011, Tatum and her father Ryan began to restore their relationship after 25 years. Their reunion and reconciliation process was captured in the short-lived Oprah Winfrey Network series Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals.

In 2015, she said she had begun dating women, while choosing not to identify herself as lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual, saying, “I’m not one or the other.”

In her 2004 autobiography, A Paper Life, O’Neal alleged that she was molested by her father’s drug dealer when she was 12. She also alleges physical and emotional abuse from her father. She also detailed her own heroin addiction and its effects on her relationship with her children. Her father Ryan denied the allegations.

In 2011, O’Neal wrote a new collection of memoirs titled Found: A Daughter’s Journey Home, which dealt with her tempestuous relationship with her father, volatile marriage to John McEnroe, and her recent drug arrest.