MacGraw remembers O’Neal as a skilled and generous actor
Actress Ali MacGraw has expressed her grief over the death of her “Love Story” co-star Ryan O’Neal. In a statement to Fox News Digital, MacGraw described working with O’Neal as one of the great experiences of her film career. She praised his skills as an actor and his charming and funny personality. MacGraw acknowledged the significant role O’Neal played in her success, citing his generosity as her co-star. She also revealed that she had been aware of O’Neal’s declining health for many years and was not surprised by his passing. MacGraw extended her condolences to O’Neal’s children and close friends, emphasizing the impact he had on those who loved him most.
“Love Story” and its enduring legacy
“Love Story,” directed by Erich Segal, tells the tale of two Harvard College students from different backgrounds who fall deeply in love and marry, only to face tragedy. The film, based on Segal’s bestselling novel of the same name, is widely regarded as one of the most romantic movies of all time. It received seven nominations at the Academy Awards, including a nod for Best Picture. Both O’Neal and MacGraw earned Oscar nominations for their performances, with the latter winning a Golden Globe Award. The movie’s success at the box office, earning $130 million worldwide, is credited with saving Paramount Pictures from financial ruin.
A lasting bond and a memorable line
In a reunion interview with Town & Country in 2020, MacGraw and O’Neal celebrated the 50th anniversary of “Love Story.” O’Neal humorously remarked on the swift passing of time, while MacGraw recalled her emotional reaction upon reading the story for the first time. The casting process for the film was extensive, with 1,000 contenders considered before O’Neal was ultimately chosen to star alongside MacGraw. O’Neal shared a story about their first screen test, where their passionate kiss led him to believe he had secured the role. Despite learning that MacGraw had kissed everyone just as intensely, O’Neal recognized the special chemistry between them. MacGraw revealed that students at Harvard still shout out her famous line from the movie, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” However, she admitted that the phrase, while memorable, does not hold much meaning. MacGraw stressed the importance of learning from mistakes and taking responsibility for the hurt caused.
Fox News Digital’s Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.