Robert Ryan (I) (1909–1973)

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Distinguished U.S. actor and longtime civil rights campaigner Robert Bushnell Ryan was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Mable Arbutus (Bushnell), a secretary, and Timothy Aloysius Ryan, whose wealthy family owned a real estate firm. His father was of Irish ancestry, and his mother was of English and Irish descent. Ryan served in the United States ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

The Wild Bunch Thornton
The Iceman Cometh Larry Slade
The Dirty Dozen Col. Everett Dasher Breed
Billy Budd John Claggart - Master of Arms


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (91 credits)
 1973 Executive Action
Robert Foster
 1973 The Iceman Cometh
Larry Slade
 1973 The Outfit
 1973 The Man Without a Country (TV Movie)
Lt. Cmdr. Vaughan
 1973 Lolly-Madonna XXX
Pap Gutshall
 1972 And Hope to Die
Charley Ellis
 1971 The Love Machine
Gregory 'Greg' Austin
 1971 Lawman
Sabbath Marshal Cotton Ryan Cotten
 1970 The Reason Why (Short)
 1970 The Front Page (TV Movie)
Walter Burns
 1969 The Wild Bunch
 1968 Anzio
General Carson
 1968 A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die
New Mexico Gov. Lem Carter
 1967 Custer of the West
 1967 Hour of the Gun
Ike Clanton
 1967 The Dirty Dozen
Col. Everett Dasher Breed
 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 Battle of the Bulge
Gen. Grey
 1965 The Secret Agents
General Bruce
 1965 The Crooked Road
Richard Ashley
 1964 The Reporter (TV Series)
- No Comment (1964) ... Rush
 1964 The Presidency: A Splendid Misery (TV Movie documentary)
Abraham Lincoln
 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 The Longest Day
Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin
 1962 Billy Budd
John Claggart - Master of Arms
 1961 King of Kings
John The Baptist
 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
 1959 Odds Against Tomorrow
 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 Lonelyhearts
William Shrike
 1958 God's Little Acre
Ty Ty Walden
 1958 Playhouse 90 (TV Series)
Jay Gatsby
- The Great Gatsby (1958) ... 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) ... Trilbridge
 1957-1958 Goodyear Theatre (TV Series)
Gunner Smith / Joe Carter / Dr. Robert Ross / ...
- The Giant Step (1958) ... Gunner Smith
- Seventh Letter (1958) ... Joe Carter
- The White Flag (1958) ... Dr. Robert Ross
- The Crowd Pleaser (1957) ... Frank Berry
- Silhouette of a Killer (1957) ... The 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 Screen Directors Playhouse (TV Series)
Abraham Lincoln
- Lincoln's Doctor's Dog (1955) ... Abraham Lincoln
 1955 The Tall Men
Nathan Stark
 1955 House of Bamboo
Sandy Dawson
 1955 Escape to Burma
Jim Brecan
 1955 Bad Day at Black Rock
Reno Smith
 1954 Her Twelve Men
Joe Hargrave
 1954 About Mrs. Leslie
George Leslie Hendersall
 1954 Alaska Seas
Matt Kelly
 1953 Inferno
Donald Whitley Carson III
 1953 City Beneath the Sea
Brad Carlton
 1953 The Naked Spur
Ben Vandergroat
 1952 Horizons West
Dan Hammond
 1952 Beware, My Lovely
Howard Wilton
 1952 Clash by Night
Earl Pfeiffer
 1951 On Dangerous Ground
Jim Wilson
 1951 The Racket
Nick Scanlon
 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 Born to Be Bad
 1950 The Secret Fury
David McLean
 1949 The Woman on Pier 13
Brad Collins
 1949 The Set-Up
 1949 Caught
Smith Ohlrig
 1949 Act of Violence
Joe Parkson
 1948 The Boy with Green Hair
Dr. Evans
 1948 Return of the Bad Men
Sundance Kid
 1948 Berlin Express
Robert Lindley
 1947 Crossfire
 1947 The Woman on the Beach
 1947 Trail Street
Allen Harper
 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 Texas Rangers Ride Again
Eddie - Citizen in Car (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 (30 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (19 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Print ads: Publicity photographs for Indian motorcycles See more »

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3 Print Biographies | 9 Articles | See more »


6' 4" (1.93 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on why he never became a target of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the Red-baiting HUAC, despite being known for his left-of-center politics] I was involved in the things he was throwing rocks at but I was never a target. Looking back, I suspect my Irish name, my being a Catholic and an ex-Marine sort of softened the blow. See more »


Jeff Bridges said he learned a lot about acting from working with Ryan when they appear together in The Iceman Cometh (1973). See more »


Often played serious, temperamental men of action. See more »

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