Robert Ryan

Age: 104
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Robert Bushnell Ryan (November 11, 1909 – July 11, 1973) was an American  actor who often played hardened cops and ruthless villains.

Ryan was born in Chicago, Illinois, the first child of Timothy Ryan and his wife Mabel Bushnell Ryan.  He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1932, having held the school's heavyweight boxing title all four years of his attendance. After graduation, the 6`4" Ryan found employment as a stoker on a ship, a WPA worker, and a ranch hand in Montana.

Ryan attempted to make a career in show business as a playwright, but had to turn to acting to support himself. He studied acting in Hollywood and appeared on stage and in small film parts during the early 1940s.

In January 1944, after securing a contract guarantee from RKO Radio Pictures, Ryan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served as a drill instructor at Camp Pendleton, in San Diego, California. At Camp Pendleton, he befriended writer and future director Richard Brooks, whose novel, The Brick Foxhole, he greatly admired. He also took up painting.

Ryan's breakthrough film role was as an anti-Semitic killer in Crossfire (1947), a film noir based on Brooks's novel. The role won Ryan his sole career Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor. From then on, Ryan's specialty was tough/tender roles, finding particular expression in the films of directors such as Nicholas Ray, Robert Wise and Sam Fuller. In Ray's On Dangerous Ground (1951) he portrayed a burnt-out city cop finding redemption while solving a rural murder. In Wise's The Set-Up (1949), he played an over-the-hill boxer who is brutally punished for refusing to take a dive. Other important films were Anthony Mann's western The Naked Spur, Sam Fuller's uproarious Japanese set gangland thriller House of Bamboo, Bad Day at Black Rock, and the socially conscious heist movie Odds Against Tomorrow. He also appeared in several all-star war films, including The Longest Day (1962) and Battle of the Bulge (1965), and The Dirty Dozen. He also played John the Baptist in MGM's Technicolor epic King of Kings (1961) and was the villainous Claggart in Peter Ustinov's adaptation of Billy Budd (1962).

In his later years, Ryan continued playing significant roles in major films. Most notable of these were The Dirty Dozen, The Professionals (1966) and Sam Peckinpah's highly influential brutal western The Wild Bunch (1969).

Ryan appeared several times on the Broadway stage. His credits there include Clash by Night, Mr. President and The Front Page, the comedy drama about newspapermen.

He appeared in many television series as a guest star, including the role of Franklin Hoppy-Hopp in the 1964 episode "Who Chopped Down the Cherry Tree?" on the NBC medical drama about psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour. Similarly, he guest starred as Lloyd Osment in the 1964 episode "Better Than a Dead Lion" in the ABC psychiatric series, Breaking Point. In 1964, Ryan appeared with Warren Oates in the episode "No Comment" of CBS's short-lived drama about newspapers, The Reporter, starring Harry Guardino in the title role of journalist Danny Taylor. Ryan appeared five times (1956–1959) on CBS's Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater and twice (1959 and 1961) on the Zane Grey spin-off Frontier Justice. He appeared three times (1962–1964) on the western Wagon Train.

Movie Character Year
W1siziisijiwmtmvmdqvmtivmtuvndmvmtkvntqwl2q0u0jut2swskvjwm9ddehuu09snulactuwlmpwzyjdlfsiccisinrodw1iiiwintv4nzujil1d Bombardier Joe Connors 1943
Wm4jeniaswclfehdaxkyrhf5r5b The Sky's the Limit Reginald Fenton 1943
Oxhu8gknvoeqxyrnztmnfztlwst Behind The Rising Sun Lefty O'Doyle 1943
Fpfxygeqtvoxcwp2lmntaxgmfmy Tender Comrade Chris Jones 1943
Qg90gdyxr46utjlwvjb8y0o6a7q Trail Street Ruby Stone 1947
Akhcokjgpotsc052h24z9wgo4wa The Boy With Green Hair Dr. Evans 1948
5yerfjzagc5mtlkhcava6v4pqt2 Act of Violence Joe Parkson 1948
Ugrdzae0haeljp0pdvyevrnhmmf Born to Be Bad Nick Bradley 1950
Zfkgfpktzud2rf7mllag5baernj Best of the Badmen Jeff Clanton 1951
Buhokgm75wzb4hw1dk0x23qf9hv The Racket Nick Scanlon 1951
H5rfdstkhtblsy1uxbygaqr2jav On Dangerous Ground Jim Wilson 1952
Felx3y18dkocs9ztiy4uhcevvrs Horizons West Dan Hammond 1952
Pe9jh7ri7xhoocmgace7ldb0mrx The Naked Spur Ben Vandergroat 1953
W1siziisijiwmtqvmdqvmdcvmdmvmjcvmzgvodmxl3y0vvzzrwdhd0fkv1jlmeiznupsc3dxshdmti5qcgcixsxbinailcj0ahvtyiisiju1edc1iyjdxq Inferno Donald Whitley Carson III 1953
Nztne5nqkhgrhc57fpfsaox5jf8 About Mrs. Leslie George Leslie 1954
Ugkmqaqrjcfcxnq6dsxrpnioxn8 Bad Day at Black Rock Reno Smith 1955
W1siziisijiwmtqvmdqvmdcvmdmvmzuvmjivmzi3lzv3ttm0vw1uqujoutjhrtjyqwtwwvzpmxfsys5qcgcixsxbinailcj0ahvtyiisiju1edc1iyjdxq Escape to Burma Jim Brecan 1955
P3aquvvh8ometqvvsocgrlgzd78 House of Bamboo Sandy Dawson 1955
Kythifgnrncnntwkhjefib3uvay Day of the Outlaw Blaise Starrett 1959
Czvvs6kgr7hup9m8zpawt1818s6 Odds Against Tomorrow Earle Slater 1959
Jqciwz2xyes2xesyhmhcoc7yen8 Ice Palace Thor Storm 1960
I6mqib5jofqyhwhnjg5qcj15zrz The Longest Day Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin 1962
Oxdomimhjg5ftzqtmz2vqwninya Billy Budd John Claggart 1962
P5mmqkcmfsicjlccndh3eyreo8q Battle of the Bulge General Grey 1965
Xg1zl2ymmp2ksxvztxpwpwxt7ge The Professionals Hans Ehrengard 1966
2pkazvy2f2ghrfqyerq8qwiq0au The Dirty Dozen Col. Everett Dasher Breed 1967
5dfzpadkgebctofvy6jtuqiuu8l The Wild Bunch Deke Thornton 1969
Rfritfyfkbgnza5dinxs084qaiw Lawman Sabbath Marshal Cotton Ryan 1971
Kdqtj9wtaertnjahrxzbhnvlda7 Executive Action Foster 1973