The Hollywood community was remembering Mitchell Ryan today after the prolific actor died at the age of 88. Ryan, whose square-jawed good looks often led him to play heavies, enjoyed a fruitful career in both film and television, including roles in the first ``Lethal Weapon'' film and a recurring part on the sitcom ``Dharma & Greg.''
He died Friday of congestive heart failure at his home in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which cited his stepdaughter Denise Freed. ``We are deeply saddened to say goodbye to Mitch, who was an active and proud member of Screen Actors Guild for decades,'' SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said Sunday. ``He inspired many to union service and loved the craft of acting, helping to create many of the performer programs at the then-Screen Actors Guild Foundation. We are grateful and better as a union for his dedication.''
Ryan made his movie debut in 1958's ``Thunder Road,'' starring Robert Mitchum. Other key film roles included the 1970 western ``Monte Walsh,'' 1973's ``High Plains Drifter,'' ``The Friends of Eddie Coyle,'' ``Electra Glide in Blue'' and ``Magnum Force,'' 1976's ``Midway'' and ``Two-Minute Warning,'' andb ``Liar Liar'' and ``Grosse Pointe Blank'' in 1997. He starred as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in the 1981 made-for-TV movie ``Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story.''
On television, Ryan starred in ``Dark Shadows'' from 1966-67, and also appeared on the soap operas ``Santa Barbara,' ``All my Children'' and ``General Hospital.'' He portrayed the father of Thomas Gibson's title character on ``Dharma & Greg'' from 1997-2002, appearing in about 120 episodes of the popular ABC show.