Tatum O’Neal has been in the spotlight since she was 10 years old. Her presence on screen has always been powerful–a statement that’s supported by the fact that she’s the youngest actor ever to have won a competitive Academy Award for her role in the movie Paper Moon in 1973. While her career may have started off strong, her personal life wasn’t always as easy. Being the daughter of two mainstream actors was no cakewalk. She’s the daughter of actors Ryan O’Neal and Joanna Moore, and in this recent interview, Tatum confesses how she was never baptized or brought up into any religious affiliation or ideals at all. But it was spirituality that would eventually come to her rescue later on in life.
Tatum struggled in many ways to cope with the lifestyle of being a Hollywood celebrity, and she went through many difficulties throughout her life. The pressures of success for such a young actress was unimaginable. She suffered through sexual abuse when she was only 12. Both of her parents struggled with substance abuse, and Tatum claims that it was drug use that brought her father to physically and emotionally abuse her. Tatum also had her own struggles with substance abuse, something that she had been arrested for in the past. She’s also had plenty of public and troublesome relationships in the past that have caused her more distress in her life.
She briefly described the time when her mother resorted to religion in order to overcome substance abuse. Tatum was young at the time, and her mother Joanna used to drag her and her brother to Born Again Christian services. There was no connection then for Tatum, and the experiences almost scared her away from religion altogether. It also didn’t steer her towards a more positive path, as Tatum clearly dug deeper into a life full of drugs even in her 40s. That’s certainly a long time of being in the dark, and it took time before Tatum found her own answers.
In the interview, Tatum stated that she didn’t know what her purpose was. She didn’t know why she was born. She understood at a young age that her parents were too focused and involved in their careers to probably have a deep and emotionally rewarding relationship with a child. During the time in her life when she was asking so many questions about why she was the way she was and why she was doing the things she did, she found her answers in the unlikeliest of places. It was spirituality that led her to a more positive path. She found her own connection to a higher power, and that’s what ultimately saved her life and ended her battle with drug addiction.
In more recent times, Tatum has appeared in a couple of shows including Criminal Minds and Hell’s Kitchen. She’s also done a cameo in a 2015 film called She’s Funny That Way. Whether Tatum will pursue her acting further is something that we’ll just have to wait for to see. She’s certainly still just as talented as she was when she first wowed us all with her Paper Moon role, and we’re all hopeful that there’s more to come from her in the future.