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Robert Ryan (I) (1909–1973)

Chicago-born, distinguished U.S. actor and longtime civil rights campaigner, Robert Ryan served in the United States Marines as a drill sergeant (winning a boxing championship) and went on to become a key figure in post WWII American Film Noir and western productions. Ryan grabbed critical attention for his dynamic performances as an anti-Semitic ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Known For


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (90 credits)
 1973 Executive Action
Robert Foster
 1973 The Outfit
 1973 The Man Without a Country (TV Movie)
Lt. Cmdr. Vaughan
 1973 Lolly-Madonna XXX
Pap Gutshall
 1971 The Love Machine
Gregory 'Greg' Austin
 1970 The Reason Why (Short)
 1970 The Front Page (TV Movie)
Walter Burns
 1968 Anzio
General Carson
 1967 Custer of the West
Sgt. Patrick Mulligan
 1967 The Busy Body
Charley Barker
 1966 The Professionals
 1966 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (TV Series)
Andrew Dixon
- Guilty or Not Guilty (1966) ... Andrew Dixon
 1965 The Secret Agents
General Bruce
 1965 The Crooked Road
Richard Ashley
 1964 The Reporter (TV Series)
- No Comment (1964) ... Rush
 1962-1964 Wagon Train (TV Series)
Bob Stuart / Father John Bernard
- The Bob Stuart Story (1964) ... Bob Stuart
- The John Bernard Story (1962) ... Father John Bernard
 1964 The Eleventh Hour (TV Series)
Franklin 'Hoppy' Hopp
- Who Chopped Down the Cherry Tree? (1964) ... Franklin 'Hoppy' Hopp
 1964 Breaking Point (TV Series)
Lloyd Osment
- Better Than a Dead Lion (1964) ... Lloyd Osment
 1963 Kraft Suspense Theatre (TV Series)
Thomas Bollington
- Are There Any More Out There Like You? (1963) ... Thomas Bollington
 1962 Billy Budd
John Claggart - Master of Arms
 1961 The Canadians
Inspector William Gannon
 1960 Buick-Electra Playhouse (TV Series)
Harry Walters
- The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1960) ... Harry Walters
 1960 The Snows of Kilimanjaro (TV Movie)
 1960 Ice Palace
Thor Storm
 1956-1959 Zane Grey Theater (TV Series)
Captain William Kraig / Sheriff Amos Parney / Cob Oakley / ...
- Interrogation (1959) ... Captain William Kraig
- To Sit in Judgment (1958) ... Sheriff Amos Parney
- Trial by Fear (1958) ... Cob Oakley
- You Only Run Once (1956) ... Matt Jessop
 1959 Day of the Outlaw
Blaise Starrett
 1958 Playhouse 90 (TV Series)
Jay Gatsby
 1957-1958 Alcoa Theatre (TV Series)
Ken Morton / Jeff Banner / Mike Ripetti / ...
- The Perfectionist (1958) ... Ken Morton
- Hidden Witness (1958) ... Jeff Banner
- The Face of Truth (1957) ... Mike Ripetti
- On Edge (1957) ... William Trilbridge
 1957-1958 Goodyear Theatre (TV Series)
Gunner's Mate Smith / Lieutenant Joe Carter / Dr. Robert Ross / ...
- The Giant Step (1958) ... Gunner's Mate Smith
- The Seventh Letter (1958) ... Lieutenant Joe Carter
- The White Flag (1958) ... Dr. Robert Ross
- The Crowd Pleaser (1957) ... Frank Berry
- Silhouette of a Killer (1957) ... Man
 1957 Mr. Adams and Eve (TV Series)
- Adult Western (1957)
 1957 Men in War
Lt. Benson
 1956 Back from Eternity
Bill Lonagan
 1956 The Proud Ones
Marshal Cass Silver
 1955 The Tall Men
Nathan Stark
 1955 Escape to Burma
Jim Brecan
 1954 Her Twelve Men
Joe Hargrave
 1954 About Mrs. Leslie
George Leslie
 1954 Alaska Seas
Matt Kelly
 1953 Inferno
Donald Whitley Carson III
 1951 Flying Leathernecks
Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
 1951 Best of the Badmen
Jeff Clanton
 1951 Hard, Fast and Beautiful
Seabright Tennis Match Spectator (uncredited)
 1950 The Secret Fury
David McLean
 1949 The Woman on Pier 13
Bradley Collins / Frank Johnson
 1949 Caught
Smith Ohlrig
 1948 The Boy with Green Hair
Dr. Evans
 1944 Marine Raiders
Capt. Dan Craig
 1943 Tender Comrade
Chris Jones
 1943 Gangway for Tomorrow
Joe Dunham
 1943 The Iron Major
Father Timothy 'Tim' Donovan
 1943 Behind the Rising Sun
Lefty O'Doyle
 1943/I The Sky's the Limit
Reginald Fenton
 1943 Bombardier
Joe Connors
 1940 The Texas Rangers Ride Again
Eddie (uncredited)
 1940 North West Mounted Police
Constable Dumont
 1940 Golden Gloves
Pete Wells
 1940 Queen of the Mob
 1940 The Ghost Breakers
Intern (uncredited)
Show Show Soundtrack (1 credit)
Show Show Self (29 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (15 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Starred (as "Walter Burns") in "The Front Page" on Broadway (1969). Comedy (revival). Written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. Directed by Harold J. Kennedy (also in cast as "Bensinger" from the Tribune). Ethel Barrymore Theatre: 18 Oct 1969-28 Feb 1970 (158 performances + 6 previews). Cast: Val Avery (as "Diamond Louis"), ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

3 Print Biographies | 4 Articles | See more »


6' 4" (1.93 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on being listed as one of the screen's all-time best heavies] I guess they never saw me in most of my pictures. Still, I've never stopped working so I can't complain. See more »


At the time he was diagnosed with cancer, he was scheduled to play "Don Quixote" in a film version of Miguel Cervantes' novel. It was Rex Harrison, however, who was finally seen as the Don in a 1973 made-for-television film of the book, a year after Peter O'Toole had starred in the film version (Man of La Mancha (1972)) of the Broadway musical "Man of La Mancha". See more »


Often played stern authority figures, in sharp contrast to his real life persona. See more »

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