The youngest recipient of the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, American actress Tatum O'Neal was the daughter of actors Ryan O'Neal and Joanna Moore. When her father was cast as the confidence trickster protagonist of Paper Moon (1973), O'Neal was awarded the part of Addie Loggins, the con man's "ward" and partner in crime. For this remarkable debut, O'Neal won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress -- which enabled her to demand profit percentage points on her next film, The Bad News Bears (1976). O'Neal played the only female member of a misfit junior-league baseball team (she was doubled by two young baseball champs); her highlight scene in Bears was the one in which she all but promised her body to a preteen punk to get him to join the ball club. Mid-'70s audiences were oddly attuned to films in which children swore and swilled beer, so The Bad News Bears was O'Neal's second box-office hit in a row. Nickelodeon (1976) followed, wherein O'Neal played a 12-year-old silent-film scenarist, a character based on Anita Loos. This film, in which she was reunited with her Paper Moon co-star/father Ryan O'Neal and director Peter Bogdanovich, may have represented the actress' best work, but few filmgoers saw it. By 1980, O'Neal was old enough to appear as a summer-camp girl determined to lose her virginity in Little Darlings, but her acting skills paled beside those of her co-star, Kristy McNichol. As O'Neal got older, the roles became less interesting and fewer in number. Though she didn't act much in the '90s, O'Neal managed to keep her name in the public eye through her marriage to tennis star John McEnroe. The couple had three children together, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1992. In the early 2000s, O'Neal found moderate success on the small screen, appearing on such shows as Sex and the City, Rescue Me, and Wicked Wicked Games, and even competed on the enormously popular ballroom-dancing competitive reality series Dancing with the Stars in 2006. In 2010 she appeared as the mom of the troubled lead singer in The Runaways.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Charmed director Peter Bogdanovich and was cast as a scrappy orphan opposite her father Ryan O'Neal in 1973's Paper Moon, a role that led to her becoming the youngest actor to win an Oscar.
- Received over $300,000 (a record for a child actor of the time) to appear in 1976's Bad News Bears.
- After marrying tennis star John McEnroe in 1986, her acting career stalled while she focused on being a wife and mother.
- Wrote about her tumultuous childhood, her battles with alcohol and drug addictions, her volatile marriage, and her troubled relationship with her father in her 2004 memoir A Paper Life.
- Found renewed career success with appearances on television shows including HBO's Sex and the City and FX's Rescue Me.