Robert Ryan (1909)
- Category : 1909-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (19,48)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Defiance 2
American actor who often played hardened cops and ruthless villains.
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, his specialty was tough/tender roles, finding particular expression in the films of directors such as Nicholas Ray, Jean Renoir (The Woman on the Beach), Robert Wise and Samuel 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.
In his later years, Ryan continued playing significant roles in major films. Among the most notable were The Dirty Dozen, The Professionals (1966) and Sam Peckinpah's highly influential brutal western The Wild Bunch.
On 11 March 1939, he married Jessica Cadwalader. They had two sons and one daughter. Robert and Jessica remained married until her death from cancer in 1972. He died from lung cancer in New York City on 11 July 1973 at age 63.