Mitchell Ryan, who played a villainous general in the first Lethal Weapon movie, a ruthless businessman on TV’s Santa Barbara and had character roles on the soap opera Dark Shadows and the 1990s sitcom Dharma & Greg, died Friday. He was 88.
Ryan died of congestive heart failure at his Los Angeles home, his stepdaughter, Denise Freed, told the Hollywood Reporter.
Rugged, granite-jawed and sporting a sleek mane of hair, Ryan was instantly recognizable on TV and the big screen. His career spanned more than a half-century, beginning with an uncredited role in the 1958 Robert Mitchum film Thunder Road.
He was a general-turned heroin smuggler in Lethal Weapon, police officer in Magnum Force and Electra Glide in Blue, and the conniving, murderous Las Vegas businessman Anthony Tonell in the nighttime TV soap opera Santa Barbara.
In the 1990s, he had a long-running role as Greg’s wealthy, eccentric and boozy father on Dharma & Greg.
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Ryan played Burke Devlin on the cult 1960s soap opera Dark Shadows for one season but he was fired because of his alcoholism.
Ryan acknowledged his drinking issues in his 2021 autobiography, Fall of a Sparrow.