Mitchell Ryan, 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Dharma and Greg' Star, Dead at 88

Veteran character actor Mitchell Ryan has died at the age of 88. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Ryan passed away on Friday due to congestive heart failure at his home in Los Angeles according to his stepdaughter Denise Freed. He is also survived by his wife, Barbara, and grandchildren Ashley, Jacqueline, Olivia, Kaila, and Noah.

Ryan is best known for his work in Lethal Weapon, Dharma & Greg, and Grosse Pointe Blank, and he worked steadily In the Industry for decades. "If you are [young] and have no feelings of your own, the theater has a fatal attraction," he previously told TV Guide in an interview. "I became totally involved, worked for nothing, 20 hours a day. Playing at being somebody else took me out of myself and gave the illusion of meaning and worth."

Ryan also appeared on the 1960s soap Dark Shadows, and his costar Kathryn Leigh Scott wrote a tribute about his passing on Facebook. "My sweet, beloved friend Mitch died early this morning," she wrote. "He was a great gift in my life. I cherish my warm memories of his beautiful soul. I'm heartbroken."

Ryan was a real "That Guy" In Hollywood, popping up in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Two-Minute Warning, Midway, Hot Shots! Part Deux, Speechless, Judge Dredd, The Devil's Own, and Liar Liar. Interestingly, Ryan was very nearly cast as Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. "I was pretty well considered until they ran across that incredible British actor … Patrick Stewart," he said in an interview in 2018. "I don't know how close I came, but I was told [at the time] I was really being considered and it was looking good." He did guest star on the show In 1989 as the estranged father of Riker (Jonathan Frakes). He also published a memoir, Fall of a Sparrow, in 2021.