John P. Ryan, a manic-eyed character actor who appeared in Bob Rafelson films, died March 20 in Los Angeles of a stroke. He was 70.
Born in New York, he served in the military and was introduced to the film business by Jack Nicholson. He appeared with Nicholson in Rafelson’s “Five Easy Pieces” and “The King of Marvin Gardens” as well as in Arthur Penn’s “The Missouri Breaks.” His other film credits include “Bound,” “Hoffa,” “Runaway Train,” “The Cotton Club” and “The Right Stuff.” In a career of playing villains, tough cops and military officers in films like “Delta Force 2,” he played a more sympathetic character as father of the monster baby in the “It’s Alive” series of horror films. He made dozens of appearances in TV series including “Kojak,” “The Rockford Files,” “Hart to Hart” and “Cagney and Lacey.”
Ryan was a member of AMPAS and lifetime member of the Actor’s Studio.
He is survived by two daughters.