Tatum O’Neal is an American actress who has a net worth of $1.5 million. O’Neal is probably most famous for being the youngest person to ever win a competitive Academy Award, which she earned for her first film, 1973’s “Paper Moon.”
Tatum has 35+ acting credits to her name, including the films “The Bad News Bears” (1976), “Little Darlings” (1980), and “The Scoundrel’s Wife” (2002) and the TV series “Rescue Me” (2005–2011) and “Wicked Wicked Games” (2006–2007). She competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2006, finishing in ninth place. O’Neal has published two autobiographies, 2004’s “A Paper Life” and 2011’s “Found: A Daughter’s Journey Home.”
Tatum O’Neal was born Tatum Beatrice O’Neal on November 5, 1963, in Los Angeles, California. Her parents, actors Ryan O’Neal and Joanna Moore, divorced in 1967; Joanna passed away from lung cancer in 1997, but Ryan is still acting. Tatum has a younger brother, Griffin, and two younger half-brothers, Patrick (from her father’s marriage to actress Leigh Taylor-Young) and Redmond (whose mother is Farrah Fawcett). O’Neal’s childhood was tumultuous, and her mother lost custody of Tatum and Griffin in 1970. In her memoir “A Paper Life,” O’Neal wrote, “In the grip of addiction, she had virtually abandoned me and Griffin, leaving us in squalor — starving, shoeless, and ragged, as well as beaten and abused by the men in her life.” Tatum has also alleged that she was physically, verbally, and emotionally abused by her father.
O’Neal made her acting debut as Addie Loggins in the 1973 film “Paper Moon” (co-starring with her father), and 10-year-old Tatum made history on April 2, 1974, when she became the youngest person to win a competitive Academy Award. She co-starred with her father again in 1976’s “Nickelodeon,” and that year she also played Amanda Whurlitzer in “The Bad News Bears,” earning a reported $350,000 + 9% of net profits, making her Hollywood’s highest-paid child star. O’Neal then starred in the films “International Velvet” (1978), “Circle of Two” (1982), and “Certain Fury” (1985) and appeared on “Faerie Tale Theatre” (1984) and “CBS Schoolbreak Special” (1989).
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In the 1990s, Tatum appeared in the TV movie “Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story” (1993) and the films “Little Noises” (1992) and “Basquiat” (1996). She guest-starred on “Sex and the City” (2003), “8 Simple Rules” (2004), and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2004), then played Maggie Gavin, sister of Denis Leary’s Tommy Gavin, on 39 episodes of the FX series “Rescue Me” from 2005 to 2011.
O’Neal then appeared in the films “My Brother” (2006), “Saving Grace B. Jones” (2008), “The Runaways” (2010), and “Last Will” (2010) and the TV movie “Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal” (2008), and she played Blythe Hunter on the MyNetworkTV series “Wicked Wicked Games” from 2006 to 2007, appearing in 49 episodes. She had a cameo in the Judd Apatow-directed film “This Is 40” in 2012 and the comedy “She’s Funny That Way” in 2014, and she appeared in the movies “Sweet Lorraine” (2015), “Rock, Paper, Scissors” (2017), “God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness” (2018), and “The Assent” (2019). Tatum guest-starred on “Criminal Minds” in 2017 and appeared in the TV movie “Runaway Romance” in 2018, and in 2019, she filmed the movie “Not To Forget,” which was partially funded by an Alzheimer’s foundation; some of the film’s profits will be donated to charity.
Tatum was rumored to have dated Michael Jackson in the late 1970s, when she was 12 and he was 17. Jackson called O’Neal his first love, but she called the relationship “a really wonderful friendship” and denied Michael’s claims that she tried to seduce him. When a “Daily Beast” interviewer referred to Jackson as Tatum’s “first public boyfriend,” O’Neal responded, “He was somebody I knew and I did go on a date with, but I don’t know about my first ‘public boyfriend.’ Let’s call that the media’s take on my first ‘public boyfriend.'”
In 1984, she began a relationship with tennis player John McEnroe, and they married on August 1, 1986. Tatum and John had three children, Kevin (born May 23, 1986), Sean (born September 23, 1987), and Emily (born May 10, 1991), before divorcing in 1994. After the divorce, O’Neal became addicted to heroin, and McEnroe was given custody of their children in 1998.
In 2008, Tatum was arrested after buying crack cocaine in Manhattan. Police found a bag of powder cocaine, a bag of crack cocaine, and an unused crack pipe while searching her, and she was charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance and released without bail. She later pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge that stemmed from the arrest and agreed to attend a drug treatment program. Tatum and her father were estranged for 25 years, but in 2011, their reconciliation was documented for the Oprah Winfrey Network series “Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals.”
In 2015, O’Neal told “People” magazine that she had started dating women, saying, “I think women are the most amazing creatures on earth. They’re gentle, and also more intelligent than the men that I’ve met recently.”
In “A Paper Life,” Tatum revealed she attempted suicide when she was 12 years old after walking in on her father and best friend (actress Melanie Griffith) together; she said that while she was unconscious, her father’s drug dealer sexually assaulted her. In October 2020, it was reported that O’Neal was “placed on a psychiatric hold for further evaluation” after allegedly threatening to jump off the balcony at a Los Angeles home.
Awards and Nominations:
O’Neal won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Paper Moon” in 1974. The film also earned her a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female and a David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actress as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.
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In 1980, Tatum was nominated for a Jupiter Award for Best International Actress for “Little Darlings” and a Bravo Otto award for Best Actress. In 2002, she was named Best Actress for “The Scoundrel’s Wife” at the San Diego Film Festival, and in 2008, “Rescue Me ” earned her a Prism Award nomination for Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline.
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