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Robert Ryan
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Actor
    (November 11, 1909-July 11, 1973)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Appeared in the films 'Crossfire' (1947), 'I Married a Communist' (1949), 'The Set Up' (1949), 'Flying Leathernecks' (1951), 'On Dangerous Ground' (1951), 'The Naked Spur' (1953), 'Bad Day at Black Rock' (1955), 'House of Bamboo' (1955), 'Odds Against Tomorrow' (1959), 'King of Kings' (1961), 'The Longest Day' (1962), 'Billy Budd' (1962), 'The Professionals' (1966), 'The Dirty Dozen' (1966), 'A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die' (1968), 'The Wild Bunch' (1969) and 'The Iceman Cometh' (1973)
    Appeared on Broadway in 'Clash by Night' (1941), 'Mr. President' (1962) and 'The Front Page' (1969)
    One of his pre-acting jobs was as chauffeur/bodyguard for a mobster.
    Despite being a civil rights supporter, he was often cast as bigoted villains.
    He complained to the press about 'the problems of an actor like me playing the kind of character that in real life he finds totally despicable.'
    He so often played the villain that he was shocked when the producers of 'King of Kings' asked him to portray John the Baptist; he had assumed they would cast him as Judas.
    He was a heavy smoker which contributed to his death from lung disease.
    He held the school's heavyweight boxing title all four years that he attended Dartmouth.
    He was a Marine drill instructor at Camp Pendleton (1944-47).
    He was a member of the anti-blacklisting group The Committee for the First Amendment.
    He and Steve Allen founded the Hollywood chapter of the Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy.
    When he and his family received right-wing death threats, John Wayne stood guard outside his house with a rifle (1962).
    Jeff Bridges and Kris Kristofferson both named him as their favorite actor.

Credit: C. Fishel


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