By Eduardo N. Cordovi Hernandez
HAVANA TIMES – On December 8, 2023, at the age of eighty-two, Ryan O’Neal passed away in the city of Los Angeles, where he was born. O’Neal celebrated his birthday on the same date as Adolf Hitler and the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who continues to celebrate happily. However, Ryan didn’t take up politics. He opted for an acting career, like Mijaíl Mulkay, another Cuban actor who shares April 20th as a birthday.
He almost won an Oscar in 1971 for Best Actor in the film “Love Story” directed by Arthur Hiller. Although he will be remembered for this, his performances in other films are notable. A couple of examples include “Paper Moon,” directed by Peter Bogdanovich in 1973, where his ten-year-old daughter Tatum became the youngest person to win an Oscar. Another film, I would say a cult classic, is “Barry Lyndon,” shot two years later by Stanley Kubrick.
However, “Love Story,” based on the novel by Erich Segal, will likely be his favorite for two strong reasons: Both protagonists, Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, received Oscar nominations, elevating the work above the ordinary. The second reason: it is classified as a romantic drama, ranked ninth on the list of the most romantic films of all time by the American Film Institute. Most viewers love well-made and well-acted melodramas, such as this one.
I learned of the sad news almost two days a