Charles O'Neal, 92, a Writer for 40s and 50s Films and TV by William Grimes (New York Times, 5 September 1996)
Charles O'Neal, a film and television writer and the father of the actor Ryan O'Neal, died on Sunday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 92. Mr. O'Neal, known as Blackie, was born in Raeford, N.C., and grew up in Atlanta. He briefly attended Georgia Tech before transferring to the University of Iowa, where he studied literature and played on the football team.
Mr. O'Neal went to New York City intent on becoming an actor. Supporting himself as a horse groom, a telephone repairman, and a bank clerk, he acted in the theater in New York, Southern California, and Chicago. He was a leading member of the Old Globe Shakespearean Repertory in San Diego and, with his wife, staged several productions at the Old Globe Theater, including Robinson Jeffers's verse drama Tower Beyond Tragedy, with Judith Anderson.
After publishing a short story in Esquire in 1940, he turned to screen-writing. He is credited as a co-writer of The Seventh Victim (1943), Cry of the Werewolf (I 944) , Montana (1950), Lassie's Great Adventure'9 (1963) and other films. He was the sole screenwriter of The Missing Juror (1944), I Love a Mystery (1945) and Return of the Badmen (1948). He later wrote numerous episodes for television series including The Untouchables, Lassie and The Californians. Collaborating with Abe Burrows and Ralph Blane, he turned his novel The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin (1949) into a Broadway musical, Three Wishes for Jamie. Starring John Raitt and Anne Jeffreys, it ran for 75 performances in 1952. With Victor Trivas, he wrote the novel The Thirty-Second Day.
In addition to his son Ryan, he is survived by his wife, Patricia, another son, Kevin, a screenwriter, also of Beverly Hills, and five grandchildren, including the actors Tatum, Griffin and Patrick O'Neal.