Character actor Mitchell Ryan–best known to genre fans for his three-year run on the horror soap opera Dark Shadows–passed away late last week at the age of 88.
Ryan passed away of congestive heart failure in his Los Angeles home, his stepdaughter Denise Freed told The Hollywood Reporter.
Born in Cincinnati and raised in Louisville, Ryan served in the U.S. Navy before moving to New York City to pursue an acting career. He worked on the stage and on TV prior to his film debut in Thunder Road (1958) opposite Robert Mitchum.
For three years in the mid-’60s, Ryan played ex-con Burke Devlin on Dark Shadows before being fired from the popular show. His Dark Shadows co-star Kathryn Leigh Scott–who played Maggie Evans–posted on Facebook that Ryan was “a great gift in my life. I cherish the warm memories of his beautiful soul.”
Ryan’s other genre film roles included appearances in 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers–in which he played the head of a sanitarium and leader of a Druid-like cult–and Judge Dredd.
The actor also appeared in Magnum Force and High Plains Drifter (with Clint Eastwood) in 1973 and in Lethal Weapon (with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover) in 1987.
Ryan is survived by his stepdaughter; his wife Barbara; his grandchildren Ashley, Jacqueline, Olivia, Kaila and Noah; his daughter-in-law Elizabeth; and his sister-in-law Mary.
The staff of Horror News Network extends its sincere condolences to Ryan’s family, friends and colleagues.