At age 10, Tatum O’Neal was first introduced to the big screen in 1973’s Paper Moon, where she starred with her father, Ryan O’Neal, as a pint-sized con artist. In this role, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and began a tumultuous career that, in recent years, has brought more attention to her personal life and made her a top story in entertainment news.
Educated at the Hollywood Professional School, O’Neal has acted on and off since her Oscar-winning debut. She was raised in Los Angeles by her reputed playboy father, while her mother tried to overcome amphetamine and alcohol addictions.
Despite her rocky life at home, O’Neal’s career soared during the 1970s and 1980s. She garnered more honors, the Golden Globe Award’s Most Promising Newcomer-Female and NATO Star of the Year. And production companies invested more in her because she was a proven box-office favorite. In fact, her role in The Bad News Bears turned her into the best paid child actress at that time.
Married in 1986 at the age of 22 to tennis phenom John McEnroe, O’Neal dropped out of the spotlight after giving birth to three children in quick succession, followed by years of depression, drug addiction and one of the stormiest divorces in recent memory, which she chronicles in her New York Times best-selling memoir, A Paper Life. Her latest memoir Found: A Daughter's Journey Home (William Morrow) is a detailed and moving story of recovery, forgiveness and reconciliation between beloved, albeit damaged, family members.
Now clean, sober and living on her own, O’Neal is a role model to all women everywhere who have struggled with personal demons…and won. Recently she has gone full force back into acting with a role on FX’s hit show Rescue Me.
O'Neal resides in New York City with her three children.