Dark Shadows and Lethal Weapon actor Mitchell Ryan has died at the age of 88

Actor Mitchell Ryan died on Friday. He was 88.

The actor was known for playing a villain general in the first Lethal Weapon movie, playing a ruthless businessman on the TV series Santa Barbara, and had character roles on the soap opera Dark Shadows and the sitcom Dharma & Greg”.

Ryan died of congestive heart failure at his Los Angeles home, his stepdaughter Denise Freed told The Hollywood Reporter.

Robust, with granite jaws and a straight mane of hair, Ryan was instantly recognizable on television and the big screen. His career spanned more than half a century, beginning with an uncredited role in the 1958 Robert Mitchum film Thunder Road.

He was a general-turned-heroin smuggler-turned-heroin smuggler in “Lethal Weapon,” a cop in “Magnum Force” and “Electra Glide in Blue,” and sneaky, murderous Las Vegas businessman Anthony Tonell in the nightly TV soap opera “Santa Barbara.”

In the 1990s, he had a long-running role as Greg’s wealthy, eccentric, and drunk father on Dharma & Greg.

Actor Mitchell Ryan, actress Margaret O'Brien, Marcia Smith, executive director of the SAG Foundation pose for a photo during the Screen Actors Guild "Conversations - For Children" at the Pacific Design Center.
Mitchell Ryan, actress Margaret O’Brien and SAG Foundation executive Marcia Smith pose for a photograph at a Screen Actors Guild event in 2003.
Robert Mora

Ryan played Burke Devlin on the cult 1960s soap opera Dark Shadows for one season, but was fired for his alcoholism.

Ryan admitted his drinking problems in his 2021 autobiography, Fall of a Sparrow.

“I’m blessed that after 30 years of being an alcoholic I’ve managed to live the life of a working actor to be the envy of someone. And I lived a lot of real life while I was at it,” he wrote. “Sober for the next 30 years, I’m told that I’ve come out of it all into a good and useful person.”

Ryan has had roles in many TV shows and films, from High Plains Drifter starring Clint Eastwood to Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.

Mitchell Ryan
Mitchell Ryan has been open about his alcoholism.
Vince Bucci

He has also appeared in theatre, including Broadway performances in Wait Until Dark, Medea and The Price.

“He was a great gift in my life,” Kathryn Leigh Scott, who starred with him in Dark Shadows, said in a Facebook post. “I cherish my warm memories of his beautiful soul. I have lovesickness.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/05/mitchell-ryan-dark-shadows-and-lethal-weapon-actor-dead-at-88/ Dark Shadows and Lethal Weapon actor Mitchell Ryan has died at the age of 88

Dais Johnston

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