Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Feb. 27
Ten Things I Learned About Ryan O'Neal on The Piers Morgan Show
Forgive me for coming so late to the dance, but a friend just showed me Piers Morgan’s interview with 1970’s heartthrob turned 2011 reality-TV personality, Ryan O’Neal (What’s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, Barry Lyndon).
Out stumping Ryan & Tatum: The O'Neals, his new show on exploitation queen Oprah’s channel, the puffy former matinee idol let slip a few tidbits that bear closer scrutiny.
10) He forgets his friends. When recanting a story about the good old days when he was a "star," O'Neal declined to call Peter Bogdanovich, the man who basically handed him a career, by name.
9) O'Neal appears to be consulting the same plastic surgeon and hairdresser as William Shatner.
8) His reaction -- when Morgan reminds O'Neal that Tatum won an Oscar at age eight while dad came home empty-handed -- hasn't changed in 38 years. He's still seething with jealousy.
7) I'll grant O'Neal the good sense to acknowledge the obvious. "I was just so-so," O'Neal grumbled when asked about his ability as an actor.
6) The invitation to his daughter's wedding to tennis great John McEnroe must have been lost in the mail. He wasn't even welcome at his daughter's nuptials.
5) Prior to Ryan & Tatum: The O'Neals, the former himbo hadn't enjoyed a starring role since Norman Mailer’s Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987), a film that barely saw the light of a Xenon bulb.
4) Could the reason he's been absent from theatre screens for almost three decades have anything to do with a lack of interest on the part of Hollywood? More than likely, Ryan Fawcett-Majors enjoyed the lifestyle afforded a has-been living off his more famous inamorata’s syndication residuals.
3) Ryan swears that he didn’t force his daughter down the rocky road of stardom. On the contrary; it was not the fault of his unnamed “director friend,” but the “hands-on” dad who dropped his child off at the filmmaker’s house with instructions to impress.
2) There will be no “Father of the Year” awards in O’Neal’s foreseeable future. When pressed about his relationship with son Griffin, O’Neal mournfully exclaimed, “I’m going to get a paternity test!”
1) When O’Neal speaks of his strained relationship with his Oscar-winning daughter, the sentiment reeks of bile spewed by a scorned lover, not the thoughts of a concerned father. Perhaps the time is right for The Big “O's” network to mount a remake of Bonjour Tristesse.
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