Ryan O'Neal's Final Instagram Post Reminds Everyone Of His Top Priority In Life

When Ryan O'Neal died at age 82, he left behind a complicated legacy. You see, the "Love Story" star's Instagram page doesn't capture his complete life story, as it mostly chronicles the good times, but his last post does tell us what was on his mind during his final days.

Among Ryan's 230 posts are photos of his dogs, beach sunsets, and reminders of the 1970 tearjerker that made him and co-star Ali MacGraw enduring Hollywood icons. There are also many tributes to Ryan's late partner, Farrah Fawcett, but only a handful of photos of Ryan with their son, Redmond O'Neal, who has struggled with addiction and legal woes. There's also a throwback photo from Ryan's 1973 movie "Paper Moon," which co-starred his daughter, Tatum O'Neal. But what you don't see is any mention of Ryan and Tatum's troubled relationship. "He loved me, but then hated me, because I won the Academy Award," Tatum told The Hollywood Reporter in July. At the time, she was planning on meeting O'Neal after three years of estrangement. "I don't want him to die," she said. "I love him."

Tatum doesn't appear on her father's Instagram page, nor does her brother, Griffin O'Neal. "The last time I saw my dad, he shot at me because I was trying to help his son [Redmond] get sober," Griffin told People in 2015. But there are several photos of Ryan's son Patrick O'Neal, who was the subject of his last post.

Ryan O'Neal expressed pride in his son

In July 2023, Ryan O'Neal shared a screenshot on Instagram of a Downtown Los Angeles article about Patrick O'Neal's career as a sportscaster. "My dad is my biggest fan," said Patrick, who calls games for the Los Angeles Angels. "Hearing him tell me how proud he is of me for my work doing play-by-play for the Angels is really special to me." In his caption, Ryan lavished his son with more fatherly praise, writing, "Proud of my boy."

In a 2009 Vanity Fair interview, Ryan pointed to his children's many troubles as proof that he hasn't been a great parent. He also said something pretty harsh about Patrick, whose mother is actor Leigh Taylor-Young: "He's not likable." But according to Patrick, he and Ryan were always close. In a 2012 HuffPost essay titled "In Defense of Dad," Patrick slammed the media for its fixation on his family's woes and responded to speculation that his father wasn't a major part of his life. "If you add up the number of sporting events my dad and I watched together on TV over the years, we are talking tens of thousands of hours," he wrote.

It was Patrick who announced the death of the man he says made him a good father to his girls. "My father Ryan O'Neal has always been my hero," he wrote on Instagram. "I looked up to him and he was always bigger than life."