Fran Ryan, longtime character actress with dozens of TV, feature and legit credits to her name, died Jan. 15 in Burbank of natural causes. She was 83.
Her career began in Oakland at age 6 onstage at the Henry Duffy Theater. Before moving into television and film in the 1950s, Ryan played opposite comedian Red Skelton.
In 1955, she first appeared on television in the long-running series “Gunsmoke,” in the recurring role of Hannah. Over the course of her career she added roles as the bag lady in “Barney Miller,” Rosie Carlson in “Days of Our Lives” and Tilly in “The Wizard.” She also made guest appearances on many TV shows including “Hill Street Blues,” “Murphy Brown,” “Taxi” and “Charlie’s Angels.”
Ryan also made a name for herself in film, performing in supporting roles in such films as “Pale Rider,” “Stripes,” “The Apple Dumpling Gang” and “Rocky II.”
She is survived by her son, Chris.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills in Griffith Park.