It is a sad day indeed as popular actor Mitchell Ryan has passed away. The reason for the death has been reportedly congestive heart failure. The actor passed away at his home in Los Angeles, as stated by his stepdaughter Denise Freed. He was 88 years old.
The actor played the role of Shorty Austin, who is a ranch hand who gets mixed up with the wrong crowd, in the Lee Marvin-Jack Palance Western Monte Walsh that was directed by William Fraker. Ryan went on to play a heroin-smuggling retired general in the first Lethal Weapon movie, then portrayed the role of an ex-con on Dark Shadows. He also starred in the hit comedy sitcom Dharma and Greg as an obnoxious father.
Mitchell Ryan Was Almost Cast As Jean-Luc Picard In Star Trek!
Mitchell Ryan played some impressive roles in the coming years as he starred alongside Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter and Magnum Force. He played a burned-out motorcycle patrolman in the latter movie. He starred alongside Robert Mitchum in Peter Yates’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle and later played a detective alongside Robert Blake in Electra Glide in Blue. He also worked in the theatre while starring in Broadway projects including Wait Until Dark, Medea and The Price.
The actor went on to be a regular as an ex-con Burke Devlin on Dark Shadows and continued for three years before being fired in 1966. The actor admitted that he was so drunk that year, that he could barely remember what it was about. He further addressed his drinking issues in his memoir that was released in 2021. Ryan’s Dark Shadows co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott remembered the late actor as a great gift in her life as she cherishes her warm memories of his beautiful soul.
Mitchell Ryan went on to star in several television shows including All My Children, Santa Barbara and General Hospital. Ryan once revealed in an early 2018 interview how he almost bagged the role of Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He, however, made a small appearance in one of the episodes. The actor published a memoir titled Fall of a Sparrow, last year.