Photo of Robert Ryan Robert Ryan

A former college boxing champion at Dartmouth University who found work as a ship stoker and ranch hand before breaking into acting, Robert Ryan was born in Chicago on Nov. 11, 1909, and made his film debut in Golden Gloves (1940).

But his career didn't really take off until he returned from serving as a Marine in World War II, first earning an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of an anti-Semitic killer in Crossfire (1947), then playing an aging boxer in The Set-Up (1949) and a conflicted cop in On Dangerous Ground (1952).

The 1960s found Ryan appearing in a string of all-star war films, including The Longest Day (1962), Battle of the Bulge (1965) and The Dirty Dozen (1967), as well as classic Westerns such as Richard Brooks's The Professionals (1966) and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969). He died on July 11, 1973, at the age of 63.

Robert Ryan in The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch

1969 R

Director Sam Peckinpah's brilliant 1969 Western epic tells the story of a bunch of aging outlaws, led by Pike Bishop (William Holden), whose botched plans to pull off one last job forces them to collude with a crooked Mexican general (Emilio Fernández) -- leading to ugly bloodshed. Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson and Jaime Sánchez co-star in this special edition, which includes never-before-seen outtakes and three exclusive documentaries.

  • Robert Ryan in The Longest Day The Longest Day
  • Robert Ryan in The Dirty Dozen The Dirty Dozen
  • Robert Ryan in The Racket The Racket
  • Robert Ryan in Crossfire Crossfire
  • Robert Ryan in Flying Leathernecks Flying Leathernecks
  • Robert Ryan in Executive Action Executive Action
  • Robert Ryan in On Dangerous Ground On Dangerous Ground
  • Robert Ryan in The Naked Spur The Naked Spur
  • Robert Ryan in Battle of the Bulge Battle of the Bulge
  • Robert Ryan in Clark Gable Collection: The Tall Men Clark Gable Collection: The Tall Men
  • Robert Ryan in God's Little Acre God's Little Acre
  • Robert Ryan in Billy Budd Billy Budd
  • Robert Ryan in Anzio Anzio
  • Robert Ryan in House of Bamboo House of Bamboo
  • Robert Ryan in Men in War Men in War