Tatum O'Neal
Birth Date:
November 5, 1963
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 7" (1.70 m)
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Paper Moon Girl


“It was on my dad's TV when I lived with him. When I moved out I said, ‘Sorry, Dad, but you have to part with my Oscar.’” Tatum O'Neal.

Daughter of actors Ryan O'Neal and Joanna Cook Moore, Tatum O'Neal made her film debut alongside her father in the hit 1973 film, Paper Moon. Her brilliant performance as the fast-talking, pint-sized con artist Addie Loggins in the film was awarded Oscar’s Best Supporting Actress, making her the youngest person (she was 10) in history to win the prestigious award. The child actress, who was one of VH1's "100 Greatest Kid Stars," followed it up with roles in The Bad News Bears (1976), Nickelodeon (1976), International Velvet (1978) and Little Darlings (1980).

For many years, her acting career moved backward due to some personal problems. But she later revived in 2005, starting with a recurring role as Maggie Gavin on FX’s critically-praised firehouse drama series “Rescue Me.” She currently stars as Blythe Hunter, a beautiful, sophisticated scorned woman plots revenge against her husband, on MyNetworkTV's jilted-lover's-revenge tale "Wicked Wicked Games." She will also co-star in writer-director Anthony Lover's drama film, My Brother, alongside Vanessa L. Williams, Nashawn Kearse and Fredro Starr.

More personally, the 5' 7" tall blonde actress dated former King of Pop Michael Jackson in the 1970s. In March 2001, she announced engagement with Steven Hutensky (born in 1965; works for Miramax; met in 1999), but announced separation three months later (July 13). Afterward, Tatum reportedly dated Oscar-nominated actor Alec Baldwin in Spring of 2002

Motion Picture Family

Childhood and Family:

Daughter of actors Ryan O'Neal (of mostly Irish ancestry) and Joanna Cook Moore (of mostly English descent), Tatum Beatrice O'Neal (named after her paternal grandmother and jazz pianist Art Tatum) was born on November 5, 1963 in Los Angeles, California. Her paternal grandparents are Irish-American Hollywood movie screenwriter Charles O'Neal and actress Patricia Callaghan. In 1967 her parents divorced. And after spending several years with her mother (who was battling addictions to amphetamines and alcohol), Tatum chose to live with her father. Her mother died in 1997 of lung cancer at age 63.

Tatum is the sister of actor Griffin O'Neal (born October 28, 1964). She also has two half brothers: Patrick O'Neal (born on September 14, 1967; works for Fox Sports Network), from her father’s next marriage with actress Leigh Taylor-Young, and Redmond O' Neal (born in 1985), from her father’s long-term relationship with legendary sex symbol of the 1970s and an iconic actress in the 1980s, Farrah Fawcett. In 1998, 13-year-old Redmond was up in the tabloids after being arrested for possessing marijuana. Patrick is currently married to actress Rebecca De Mornay and they have two children together.

Tatum, nicknamed Tantrum or Tatesky, attended Hollywood Professional School, Hollywood, California. On August 1986, she married tennis superstar John McEnroe and they have three children: Kevin (born May 23, 1986), Sean (born September 23, 1987) and Emily (born May 10, 1991). They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1994. McEnroe eventually won custody of their children after a prolonged custody battle. Tatum, who was in and out of rehabs throughout the 1990s but has eventually cleaned up, later confessed in a July 2002 article with People magazine that she has been fighting with cocaine and heroin addiction which had caused her to lose custody of her children.

Through Hardships


“I've got love scenes, I've got murder scenes. It's delicious, It's the first time I've ever had an opportunity to do more. I was always taught as an actor, less is more, less is more, do less, don't show, and in this, I think I might be able to show a little, to really have fun with the drama, and I'm having a great time.” Tatum O'Neal.

Born into the motion picture family, Tatum O'Neal started her acting career alongside her actor father in Peter Bogdanovich's drama comedy movie adapted from the novel, "Addie Pray" (1971) by Joe David Brown, Paper Moon (1973). In the film, set in the depression-era Midwestern region of the United States, Tatum co-starred as Addie Loggins, an orphan girl who teams up with a bible salesman (played by her father) to form a money-making con team. Tatum’s brilliant performance in her debut film was awarded Oscar’s Best Supporting Actress, making the 10-year-old girl the youngest winner in the history of the Academy Awards.

Three years after her stunning debut, Tatum went to star in Michael Ritchie's classic baseball comedy movie The Bad News Bears (1976), playing 11-year-old pitching ace Amanda Whurlitzer recruited by an alcoholic ex-professional baseball player who now coaches a cellar-dwelling Little League team (played by Walter Matthau). The film marked Tatum as the highest paid child star (at the time) when she earned a reported $350,000 and nine percent of its net profit.

That same year, Tatum reteamed with her father in Peter Bogdanovich's drama comedy Nickelodeon (also with Burt Reynolds), which was based, extremely loosely, on the early career on the late filmmaker Cecil B. De Mille. Tatum was also named Female Star of the Year by the National Association of Theater Owners.

Moviegoers subsequently saw more mature Tatum in Bryan Forbes' charming sequel to the hit 1944 classic Elizabeth Taylor vehicle National Valvet, International Velvet (1978), playing an Olympic aspiring equestrian who happens to be the niece of a grown-up Velvet Brown. Afterward, Tatum and fellow kid star Kristy McNichol played two rivals at a summer camp (Tatum played the romantic rich girl named Ferris Whitney) in Ronald F. Maxwell's drama comedy Little Darlings (1980), and starred as a young prostitute named Scarlet in Stephen Gyllenhaal's misguided action drama Certain Fury (1985).

After marrying tennis superstar John McEnroe in 1986, Tatum withdrew herself from the screen to focus on her own family. She only appeared once in 1989, co-starring with Drew Barrymore on CBS special 15 and Getting Straight, which centers the life inside a chemical-dependency unit for teens.

Following her separation with McEnroe in 1992, Tatum resumed acting, but apparently has not been able to transform her early successes into an adult career. Her stage debut in the off-Broadway play "A Terrible Beauty" was widely panned and her co-starring role with Crispin Glover (Tatum played his playwright girlfriend) in the low-budget drama comedy Little Noises (1992) also did little to upgrade her status in Hollywood.

The next year, Tatum went to TV to star as Lawrencia "Bambi" Bembenek, a Milwaukee police officer, a Playboy model, a convicted murderess and a fugitive, on NBC’s true-story-based miniseries "Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story." And after appearing as a drug-addicted artist in Julian Schnabel's biopic about the meteoric rise of youthful postmodernist/neo expressionist artist Basquiat (1996; starring Jeffrey Wright), Tatum disappeared from the screen and later returned in 2002, in Glen Pitre's romantic drama The Scoundrel's Wife, in which she starred as named Camille Picou, a beautiful, stubborn widow in a small village during World War II. Her distinguished turn in the film later was awarded an award at the San Diego Film Festival for Best Actress.

In October 2004, O’Neal published a tell-all book, “A Paper Life” (HarperEntertainment), which exposed all the details of her life, including her long fight with drugs and alcohol, her estrangement from her actor father and her difficult marriage to the tennis great. The memoirs debuted at #4 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

After being clean from drugs and alcohol, Tatum began the long course of revitalizing her career. She appeared as a guest in an episode of HBO’s popular comedy series “Sex and the City,” NBC’s crime drama “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and had a recurring role as Maggie Gavin, the drunken and belligerent sister of Tommy Gavin (played by Denis Leary), on FX’s critically-praised firehouse drama series “Rescue Me.” She also joined eight other stars on ABC’s smash reality show “Dancing with the Stars.” Although she was voted off the second week of the competition, Tatum later went on to do commentary for the series on “Entertainment Tonight.”

TV viewers now can see Tatum starring as Blythe Hunter, a beautiful, sophisticated scorned woman plots revenge against her husband who has dumped her and her two sons to marry someone else, on MyNetworkTV's new telenovela, the jilted-lover's-revenge tale "Wicked Wicked Games." She will also co-star in writer-director Anthony Lover's drama film, My Brother, alongside Vanessa L. Williams, Nashawn Kearse and Fredro Starr.

“I've gone through a lot of hardships. Not everyone can take hardships. I think I'm one in a million.” Tatum O'Neal.


  • San Diego Film Festival: Best Actress, The Scoundrel's Wife, 2002
  • Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Paper Moon, 1974
  • David di Donatello: Best Foreign Actress, Paper Moon, 1974
  • Golden Globes: Most Promising Newcomer - Female, Paper Moon, 1974
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