We lost another great actor this week. Mitchell Ryan passed away at the age of 88. I had the honor to meet his legendary man a couple times and we also planned to work together. I recorded a long interview with him which you can watch below.
His career is legendary from Dark Shadows to Dharma & Greg, Magnum Force and Lethal Weapon, and my ultimate favorite (pictured below) is his role in Monte Walsh. If you haven’t seen it, please do. He’s so great in it. All of this we discuss in the interview and I am so grateful we sat down to record Mitch’s stories several years ago or they would be lost.
Thankfully, Mitch lived a long life unlike many of those who have died recently. Still my heart goes out to his sweet wife Barbara and my friend John Miller who originally introduced us. I first met Mitch when he agreed to come out of retirement to play a role in my thriller about assassinated journalist Don Bolles titled Valley of Shadows. He was very kind about the script and my film work shown to him by our mutual friend John. Unfortunately, that film was never funded but Mitch and I stayed in touch over the years and when the 12 Westerns came around, he agreed to play the part of the Blind Rancher in HEART OF THE GUN. But with COVID, it was too risky for Mitch to participate and he regretfully had to give up the role.
He did grace us with his presence in 2019 at the Western film festival I organized at the Strand Theatre in Vicksburg. There, we showed Monte Walsh and High Plains Drifter. He shared stories about working with Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood. Later on, he participated in our stage reading from scenes of the 12 Westerns, playing Colonel Trabue from THE WILDERNESS ROAD. We could tell that an acting legend was with us.
I will never forget Mitch and he will live on in the movies. I feel so fortunate to have known him.