Tuesday, December 6, 2011
[on being listed as one of the screen's all-time best heavies]: "I guess they never saw me in most of my pictures. Still, I've never stopped working so I can't complain."
Most people will remember Robert Ryan from his later pictures where he was usually a heavy or a grizzled old soldier ("The Wild Bunch" "The Dirty Dozen" "The Longest Day") but as you can see from the picture above, he was quite a dashing young man when he started in Hollywood. His breakout role was in the 1947 film "Crossfire" where he played an anti-Semitic bully, a role that landed him an Oscar nomination. He continued to work in films until his death in 1973. He was an actor who brought grit, honesty, intensity and heart to his roles; whether he was in the old West, fighting in WWII or pounding the beat as a cop. He starred with such legends as John Wayne, Clark Gable, Richard Burton and Spencer Tracy, and more than held his own. He was a mainstay in Hollywood for 33 years. Robert Ryan was handsome, convincing and a terrific actor.