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|Known for:||The Wild Bunch, Bad Day at Black Rock, Billy Budd|
|Birth name:||Robert Bushnell Ryan|
|Birthday:||11 November 1909, Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Height:||6' 4" (1.93 m)|
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TriviaOriginally intended to portray "Commodore Matt Decker" in the "Star Trek" (1966) (the original series) episode "Doomsday Machine", but was unable to do so. The character was intended as a Captain Ahab-type, obsessed with revenge for the loss of his crew. The role instead went to William Windom who portrayed Decker in a more tragic, sensitive light. While performing in a stock play version of "A Kiss for Cinderella" in 1941 with actress Luise Rainer, Rainer's ex-husband, Clifford Odets, saw him and offered him the featured juvenile part in his Broadway play "Clash by Night" as "Joe Doyle", opposite Tallulah Bankhead. A decade later he starred in the film version but had outgrown the juvenile role and instead played Earl Pfeiffer, one of the leads, originated on Broadway by Joseph Schildkraut. His "Joe Doyle" character was played by Keith Andes in the film Clash by Night (1952). Due to his towering frame, cruelly-lined face and a simmering intensity uncommon in his generation of "tough guys", he usually played hateful villains. Even on the rare occasions that he played a good guy, they often possessed a violent, obsessive personality that was a tad unsettling. At the time he was diagnosed with cancer, he was scheduled to play "Don Quixote" in a film version of Miguel Cervantes' novel. It was Rex Harrison, however, who was finally seen as the Don in a 1973 made-for-television film of the book, a year after Peter O'Toole had starred in the film version (Man of La Mancha (1972)) of the Broadway musical "Man of La Mancha". Co-founded the Theatre Group at the University of California at Los Angeles with John Houseman and Sidney Harmon in 1959. Nine years later in 1968 he co-founded the Plumstead Playhouse Repertory Company, with Henry Fonda and Martha Scott. Served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1944 to 1947. Campaigned for Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 Democratic primaries. Ryan did not get along with John Wayne while filming Flying Leathernecks (1951), and was appalled by Wayne's active support for blacklisting in Hollywood. His Shakespearean roles included "Antony and Cleopatra" with Katharine Hepburn in 1960, and the title role of "Othello" at the Nottingham Playhouse in England. He was considered for Stephen Boyd's role as Messala in Ben-Hur (1959). When he was 26, his father died after being hit by a car. His son Cheyney has a graduate degree and a law degree, but no undergraduate degree. This is because he was expelled from Harvard due to his involvement in the civil rights and anti-war movements. Actors Jeff Bridges and Kris Kristofferson have both cited Ryan as their favorite actor. A close friend of Lee Marvin.