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John P. Ryan

John P. Ryan

  • Born on
    • July 30th, 1936
  • Died on
    • March 20th, 2007
Character actor John P. Ryan was born on July 30, 1936 in New York City. The son of Irish immigrant parents, Ryan graduated from Rice High School and studied English at the City College of New York, where he first developed an interest in acting. He served six years in the US Army and worked as a welfare investigator prior to pursuing an acting career. John made his film debut in the 1967 comedy "The Tiger Makes Out." He appeared in five pictures for Jack Nicholson; he's especially memorable as male nurse Spicer in "Five Easy Pieces." Manic, pale-eyed and craggy-faced, with an often intense and explosive screen presence, Ryan was frequently cast as nasty villains, hard-boiled police officers, and strict military men. John gave a strong and touching performance in a rare change-of-pace sympathetic role as Frank Davis, the bitter and regretful father of a murderous monster mutant baby in Larry Cohen's excellent "It's Alive." He also portrayed Davis in the okay sequel "It Lives Again." Other notable movie parts include the fanatical Colonel Hardcore in "Shamus," shrewd mob capo Patsy O'Neill in the witty "Cops and Robbers," evil scientist Schneider in "Futureworld," the dogged Lt. Parmental in "Breathless," vicious Irish mobster Joe Flynn in "The Cotten Club;" at his ferocious best as sadistic prison Warden Ranken in the powerful "Runaway Train," hateful fascist lunatic Glastenbury in the exciting "Avenging Force," ruthless drug kingpin Nathan White in the cruddy "Death Wish IV: The Crackdown," ramrod high school principal Mr. O'Rourke in the amusing "Three O'Clock High," and lethal robot history teacher Mr. Hardin in "Class of 1999." Among the TV shows Ryan did guest spots on are "M.A.S.H.," "The Rockford Files," "Hawaii Five-O," "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," "Starsky & Hutch," "Kojak," "Hart to Hart," "The F.B.I.," and "Miami Vice." John had a recurring role on the TV series "Archer." In addition to his film and TV credits, Ryan also appeared in over 90 stage plays. Following his final film appearance in "Bound," John spent his later years giving acting lessons and was an advocate of spiritual healing. John P. Ryan died from a stroke at age 70 on March 20, 2007 in Los Angeles, California; he's survived by two daughters.

Starring John P. Ryan on Plex


Acting (29 Credits)

1996Bound as Mickey Malnato
1994The Patriots as Arthur
1993Batman: Mask of the Phantasm as Buzz Bronski (voice)
1992Hoffa as Red Bennett
1992White Sands as Arms Dealer (Uncredited)
1990Delta Force 2 as Gen. Taylor
1990Class of 1999 as Mr. HardinWatch Free
1989Best of the Best as Jennings
1987Death Wish 4: The Crackdown as Nathan White
1987Fatal Beauty as Lt. Kellerman
1987Three O'Clock High as Mr. O'Rourke
1987Rent-a-Cop as WieserWatch Free
1986Avenging Force as Prof. Elliott Glastenbury
1985Runaway Train as Ranken
1984The Cotton Club as Joe FlynnWatch Free
1983Breathless as Lt. Parmental
1983The Right Stuff as Head of Program
1982The Escape Artist as Vernon
1981The Postman Always Rings Twice as Kennedy
1980The Last Flight of Noah's Ark as Coslough
1978It Lives Again as Frank Davis
1976Futureworld as Dr. Mort Schneider
1976The Missouri Breaks as Si
1974It's Alive as Frank Davis
1973Shamus as Col. Craig C. Hardcore
1973Cops and Robbers as Patsy O'Neill
1973Dillinger as Charles Mackley
1972The King of Marvin Gardens as Surtees
1970Five Easy Pieces as Spicer

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