Mitchell Ryan

Mitchell Ryan (born January 11, 1934) is an American former film, television, and stage actor, who in his six decades of television is known for playing Burke Devlin in the 1960s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, and later for his co-starring role as Thomas Gibson's father Edward Montgomery on Dharma & Greg. He also played the villainous General Peter McAllister in the 1987 buddy cop action film Lethal Weapon.

Mitchell Ryan
Ryan in 1973
Born (1934-01-11) January 11, 1934
Years active1958–2009
Spouse(s)Lynda Morse (divorced)

Early life

Ryan was born on January 11, 1934, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. His father was a novelty salesman. He served in the United States Navy during the Korean War.[1] After the Korean War, he went to the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. There, he went on to make his acting debut in Thunder Road along with the theatre's founder Robert Porterfield.


A life member of the Actors Studio,[2] Ryan's Broadway theatre credits include Wait Until Dark, Medea, and The Price.

Ryan was an original cast member on the cult TV soap opera Dark Shadows, playing Burke Devlin until he was fired from the show in June 1967 due to his alcoholism,[3][4][5] and replaced by Anthony George.

In 1970, Ryan was in one episode of The High Chaparral as a character named Jelks, who was on the run from the law.

He appeared in an episode of Cannon, "Fool's Gold" in 1971, and in ABC's The Streets of San Francisco episode "The Unicorn". In 1973, he played the lead in the NBC adventure show Chase, with co-stars Wayne Maunder and Reid Smith.

In 1975, Ryan played in Barnaby Jones, episode titled “Counterfall”. In 1976-77, he portrayed the leading character on Executive Suite and worked with his future on-screen wife from Dharma & Greg, Susan Sullivan, in the short-lived series Julie Farr, M.D..

His other acting credits include Liar, Liar, Cannon, Magnum Force playing as Dirty Harry's ill-fated despondent best friend and fellow police officer, a burned out motorcycle patrolman named Charlie McCoy, Lethal Weapon playing the key villain, General Peter McAllister, Grosse Pointe Blank, Electra Glide in Blue, and Hot Shots! Part Deux playing senator Grey Edwards. And in 1985, he portrayed Tillet Main, the patriarch of the Main family in the first North and South miniseries. In 1991, he played Ellis Blake in the sixth season Matlock episode: "The Foursome".

Ryan appeared in NBC's The A-Team episode "Waste 'Em", as Grant Everett in the two-part Silk Stalkings episode "Partners", and as Kyle Riker, the father of Commander William Riker, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Icarus Factor"; Ryan had earlier been considered for the part of series lead Captain Jean-Luc Picard.[6] He also portrayed the roles of the abusive boyfriend of Blanche Deveraux in The Golden Girls and a police officer in a 1993 episode of NYPD Blue. That same year, Ryan was Dallas Shields in Renegade. He appeared in the 1963 episode of Hart to Hart 'Highland Fling'. In 1994, he appeared again in Hart to Hart, this time in the episode 'Home Is Where the Hart Is'. In 1995, he appeared in Judge Dredd and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers as Dr. Terence Wynn (played by Robert Phalen in the original Halloween film).

He played the role of Greg's father Edward Montgomery on the show Dharma & Greg, which ran from 1997 to 2002. The following year, Ryan voiced Highfather on Justice League.

He was the Screen Actors Guild Foundation president.[7]

Personal life

Ryan married Lynda Morse in 1972. They later divorced. The couple had three children.[8]



  1. Mitchell Ryan Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  2. Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 279. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  5. Barnabas & Company: The Cast of the TV Classic Dark Shadows, Craig Hamrick & R. J. Jamison: Ryan is quoted as saying "I was so drunk that year, I barely remember what it was about" in a 1976 TV Guide interview
  6. "Letters of Note: STAR TREK/Casting". Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  7. Screen Actors Guild Foundation Launches Storyline Online II
  8. Mitchell Ryan on IMDb

9. Demetria Fulton; previewed Ryan in Barnaby Jones; episode titled “Counterfall”(02/04/1975).

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