Biography

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.

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.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 84

Birthday 1909-11-11

Day of Death 1973-07-11

Place of Birth Chicago, Illinois, United States

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Роберт Райан

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1991 Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire as Himself (archive footage)
1986 The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn
1973 The Iceman Cometh as Larry Slade
1973 Executive Action as Foster
1973 The Outfit as Mailer
1973 The Man Without a Country as Lt. Cmdr. Vaughan
1973 Lolly-Madonna XXX as Pap Gutshall
1972 And Hope to Die as Charley
1971 The Love Machine as Gregory 'Greg' Austin
1971 Lawman as Sabbath Marshal Cotton Ryan
1970 The Reason Why
1969 Captain Nemo and the Underwater City as Captain Nemo
1969 Simon and Garfunkel: Songs of America as Himself - Host
1969 The Wild Bunch as Deke Thornton
1968 Anzio as Gen. Carson
1968 A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die as New Mexico Gov. Lem Carter
1967 Custer of the West as Mulligan
1967 Hour of the Gun as Ike Clanton
1967 The Dirty Dozen as Col. Everett Dasher Breed
1967 The Busy Body as Charley Barker
1966 The Professionals as Hans Ehrengard
1965 The Dirty Game as General Bruce
1965 Battle of the Bulge as General Grey
1965 The Crooked Road as Richard Ashley
1964 World War One (26 episodes) as Narrator
1964 World War I: The Complete Story (26 episodes) as Narrator
1963 Kraft Suspense Theatre (1 episode)
1963 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1 episode)
1962 Billy Budd as John Claggart, Master of Arms
1962 The Longest Day as Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin
1961 King of Kings as John the Baptist
1961 The Canadians as Inspector William Gannon
1960 Ice Palace as Thor Storm
1959 Odds Against Tomorrow as Earle Slater
1959 Day of the Outlaw as Blaise Starrett
1958 God's Little Acre as Ty Ty Walden
1958 Lonelyhearts as William Shrike
1957 Alcoa Theatre (106 episodes)
1957 Men in War as Lt. Benson
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (5 episodes)
1956 Back from Eternity as Bill Lonagan
1956 The Steve Allen Show (1 episode)
1956 The Proud Ones as Marshal Cass Silver
1955 The Tall Men as Nathan Stark
1955 House of Bamboo as Sandy Dawson
1955 Escape to Burma as Jim Brecan
1955 Bad Day at Black Rock as Reno Smith
1954 Her Twelve Men as Joe Hargrave
1954 About Mrs. Leslie as George Leslie
1954 Alaska Seas as Matt Kelly
1953 Inferno as Donald Whitley Carson III
1953 The Academy Awards (1 episode)
1953 City Beneath the Sea as Brad Carlton
1953 The Naked Spur as Ben Vandergroat
1952 Horizons West as Dan Hammond
1952 Beware, My Lovely as Howard Wilton
1952 Clash by Night as Earl Pfeiffer
1951 On Dangerous Ground as Jim Wilson
1951 The Racket as Nick Scanlon
1951 Flying Leathernecks as Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
1951 Best of the Badmen as Jeff Clanton
1950 Born to Be Bad as Nick Bradley
1950 The Secret Fury as David McLean
1949 The Woman on Pier 13 as Bradley Collins / Frank Johnson
1949 The Set-Up as Stoker
1949 Caught as Smith Ohlrig
1949 Act of Violence as Joe Parkson
1948 The Boy with Green Hair as Dr. Evans
1948 Return of the Bad Men as Sundance Kid
1948 Berlin Express as Robert Lindley
1947 Crossfire as Montgomery
1947 The Woman on the Beach as Scott Burnett
1947 Trail Street as Ruby Stone
1944 Marine Raiders as Capt. Dan Craig
1943 Tender Comrade as Chris Jones
1943 Gangway for Tomorrow as Joe Dunham
1943 The Iron Major as Father Timothy 'Tim' Donovan
1943 Behind the Rising Sun as Lefty O'Doyle
1943 The Sky's the Limit as Reginald Fenton
1943 Bombardier as Joe Connors
1940 The Texas Rangers Ride Again as Eddie
1940 North West Mounted Police as Constable Dumont
1940 Golden Gloves as Pete Wells
1940 The Ghost Breakers as Intern (uncredited)

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