Image of John P. Ryan

John P. Ryan

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.

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Jul 30, 1936 In New York City, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series The F.B.I. 1965-09-19
Latest Project:
Movie Bound 1996-09-13
Known For
Poster of Bound
Poster of The Patriots
Poster of Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection
Poster of The Postman Always Rings Twice
Movie Bound Mickey Malnato 1996-09-13
Movie The Patriots Arthur 1994-06-01
Movie Bad Blood John Blackstone 1994-11-03
Movie Young Goodman Brown The Devil 1993-01-01
Movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Buzz Bronski (voice) 1993-12-25
Series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Unknown 1993-08-27
Movie White Sands Arms Dealer (Uncredited) 1992-04-24
Movie Star Time Sam Bones 1992-01-03
Movie Hoffa Red Bennett 1992-12-25
Movie Blood River Henry Logan 1991-03-17
Movie Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection Gen. Taylor 1990-08-24
Movie Class of 1999 Mr. Hardin 1990-04-01
Movie Eternity Thomas Vandervere / Prosecutor 1990-11-15
Movie Best of the Best Jennings 1989-11-10
Movie Paramedics Captain Prescott 1988-06-01
Movie Rip Van Winkle Hendrick Hudson 1987-03-23
Movie Death Wish 4: The Crackdown Nathan White 1987-06-11
Movie Rent-a-Cop Wieser 1987-11-28
Movie Fatal Beauty Lt. Kellerman 1987-10-30
Movie Three O'Clock High Mr. O'Rourke 1987-10-09
Movie Avenging Force Prof. Elliott Glastenbury 1986-09-13
Movie Houston: The Legend of Texas David Burnett 1986-11-22
Series Hollywood Beat Unknown 1985-09-21
Movie Runaway Train Ranken 1985-11-15
Series Miami Vice Unknown 1984-09-16
Movie The Cotton Club Joe Flynn 1984-12-14
Movie Miss Lonelyhearts Peter Doyle 1983-03-19
Movie The Right Stuff Head of Program 1983-10-20
Movie Breathless Lt. Parmental 1983-05-13
Movie Shooting Stars McGee 1983-07-28
Series Cagney & Lacey Unknown 1982-03-25
Series Matt Houston Unknown 1982-09-26
Movie The Escape Artist Vernon 1982-05-04
Movie The Postman Always Rings Twice Kennedy 1981-03-20
Series Simon & Simon Unknown 1981-11-24
Movie The Last Flight of Noah's Ark Coslough 1980-06-24
Series Hart to Hart Unknown 1979-09-22
Series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Kurt Belzack 1979-09-20
Series Paris Unknown 1979-09-29
Movie It Lives Again Frank Davis 1978-05-10
Series Kaz Unknown 1978-09-10
Movie A Killing Affair Flagler 1977-09-21
Movie Kill Me If You Can Johnson 1977-09-25
Movie Futureworld Dr. Mort Schneider 1976-08-13
Movie The Missouri Breaks Si 1976-05-19
Series Archer Lieutenant Barney Brighton 1975-01-30
Series Starsky & Hutch Unknown 1975-09-10
Movie Death Scream Det. Dave Lambert 1975-09-26
Movie It's Alive Frank Davis 1974-04-26
Series The Rockford Files Dearborn 1974-09-13
Series Police Woman Unknown 1974-09-13
Movie Shamus Col. Craig C. Hardcore 1973-01-31
Movie Dillinger Charles Mackley 1973-07-20
Series Kojak Unknown 1973-10-24
Movie Cops and Robbers Patsy O'Neill 1973-08-15
Series M*A*S*H Unknown 1972-09-17
Movie The King of Marvin Gardens Surtees 1972-10-12
Movie Five Easy Pieces Spicer 1970-09-12
Movie A Hatful of Rain Chuck 1968-03-03
Series Hawaii Five-O Unknown 1968-09-20
Series The F.B.I. Unknown 1965-09-19