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Tatum O'Neal ( 1963 - )  Category ( Actor_Actress ) [suggest a correction]
 

Tatum O'NealMost actors spend all of their working lives hoping to win an Academy Award. Tatum O'Neal won hers at the age of 10.

After she collected that statuette for Best Supporting Actress in "Paper Moon," however, young Tatum's career drifted into the Hollywood rapids, picked up speed, and eventually broke up against the rocks -- an old story for child stars.

The daughter of sex symbol Ryan O'Neal and actress Joanna Cook Moore, she was born Nov. 5, 1963 in Los Angeles. Her acting genes gave her an edge in winning child roles, and she followed "Paper Moon" with "The Bad News Bears," "International Velvet" and "Nickelodeon."

At the age of 17, she did her first nude scene (in "Circle of Two"). Perhaps typifying the roller-coaster trajectory of her acting and personal life, she followed that up with a part in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears."

In 1986, O'Neal married tennis star John McEnroe, famous for boorish on-court behavior. Her family boycotted the ceremony, but the union produced three children. During the time of their marriage, O'Neal remained largely on the sidelines as far as performing was concerned.

She and McEnroe eventually divorced in 1994, and O'Neal's earlier drug use apparently escalated. Her problem didn't become public knowledge, however, until she was busted in 2008 for buying crack cocaine in Manhattan. According to later court testimony from police, she was found with two bags of drugs (crack and powedered cocaine) and a crack pipe. She was charged with misdemeanor possession and sentenced to two half-day sessions in a drug treatment program.

In 2005, O'Neal published her autobiography, "A Paper Life" which, was among other things, highly critical of her father. Ryan, for his part, blasted his daughter for "throwing our dirty laundry out into the street."

In a TV interview shortly after the book was published, O'Neal said: "My father seemed to be able to put this sort of veil around us in a way that we looked so happy. We could smile, and we could have this veneer of such glamor and teeth and beauty, you know? We lived in Malibu, and my dad had a Rolls-Royce, and we made fancy movies, and I had an Academy Award.

"So I think it's hard to imagine that I could have that kind of sadness, and that I did sort of wail and that I cried a lot. So I think made sense when I got older that I looked to kill the pain or whatever – although it's not an excuse. I'm big and I'm not blaming it."

Hollywood gossip reporters made much of the fact that Ryan O'Neal tried to flirt with Tatum at the funeral of Farrah Fawcett, Ryan's long-time love interest.

He didn't recognize her.


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