John P. Ryan

Place of birth:
New York City, New York, USA:
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.


Bound (1996)
as Mickey Malnato
Bad Blood (1994)
as John Blackstone
Les Patriotes (1994)
as Arthur
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
as Buzz Bronski (voice)
Young Goodman Brown (1993)
as The Devil
Hoffa (1992)
as Red Bennett
White Sands (1992)
as Arms Dealer (Uncredited)
Star Time (1992)
as Sam Bones
Blood River (1991)
as Henry Logan
Eternity (1990)
as Thomas Vandervere / Prosecutor
Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990)
as Gen. Taylor
Class of 1999 (1990)
as Mr. Hardin
Best of the Best (1989)
as Jennings
Paramedics (1988)
as Captain Prescott
Rent-a-Cop (1987)
as Wieser
Fatal Beauty (1987)
as Lt. Kellerman
Three O'Clock High (1987)
as Mr. O'Rourke
Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)
as Nathan White
Rip Van Winkle (1987)
as Hendrick Hudson
Houston: The Legend of Texas (1986)
as David Burnett
Avenging Force (1986)
as Prof. Elliott Glastenbury
Runaway Train (1985)
as Ranken
The Cotton Club (1984)
as Joe Flynn
The Right Stuff (1983)
as Head of Program
Shooting Stars (1983)
as McGee
Breathless (1983)
as Lt. Parmental
The Escape Artist (1982)
as Vernon
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
as Kennedy
The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980)
as Coslough
It Lives Again (1978)
as Frank Davis
Kill Me If You Can (1977)
as Johnson
A Killing Affair (1977)
as Flagler
Futureworld (1976)
as Dr. Schneider
The Missouri Breaks (1976)
as Si
Death Scream (1975)
as Det. Dave Lambert
It's Alive (1974)
as Frank Davis
Cops and Robbers (1973)
as Patsy O'Neill
Dillinger (1973)
as Charles Mackley
Shamus (1973)
as Col. Craig C. Hardcore
The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
as Surtees
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
as Spicer
A Hatful of Rain (1968)
as Chuck © 2020

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