Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Remembering Robert Ryan
Robert Ryan was born on November 11, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Dartmouth College where he was the school's heavyweight boxing champion for four years. After graduation he found work as a stoker in the engine room on a ship, a WPA worker and as a ranch hand in Montana. Ryan then became interested in playwriting but began to take acting roles to support himself. He firrst appeared on stage and film in small roles in the 1940s. He was signed to a contract at RKO Studios and then joined the U.S. Marines in 1944 as a drill instructor. He became a star and was nominated for an Oscar in the 1947 film “Crossfire”. He became famous for his tough but sensitive characters in crime and action films such as “The Naked Spur”, “Bad Day at Black Rock”, “House of Bamboo”. He then was seen in a number of block buster films such as “The Longest Day”, “Battle of the Bulge” and the “Dirty Dozen”. In later films he drifted back to westerns such as “The Professionals” and “The Wild Bunch”. Ryan appeared in several Euro-westerns in the late '60s such as “Custer of the West”\ and “A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die”. Robert Ryan died in New York City of lung cancer on July 11, 1993. Today we celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday.