Fran Ryan (November 29, 1916 – January 15, 2000) was an American character actress featured in television and films. She was born in Los Angeles, California.
Fran Ryan began performing at the age of 6, at Oakland's Henry Duffy Theatre, in Northern California. She attended Stanford University for three years, and during World War II was a member of the USO entertaining troops. She performed comedy, singing and acting on stage in California and Chicago but was not to launch her television career for two decades. Her small screen debut came in an episode on Television's Batman (TV series), in 1966, followed by a bit part in Beverly Hillbillies. Ryan's first supporting cast television role was as Aggie Thompson in first several episodes of The Doris Day Show (in its first incarnation plotline theme). The same season she was offered the 'replacement' role on the hit series Green Acres as Doris Ziffel from 1969-1971. Fran was to replace Barbara Pepper, who by then was in poor health. Sadly, Miss Pepper died just five months later of heart ailments, on July 15, 1969.
Ryan also starred on the long running TV Western series Gunsmoke during its twentieth and final season as Miss Hannah (Cobb). In 1987, she reprised the role of Miss Hannah in the TV movie Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge.
Fran Ryan played the role of Rosie Carlson in the soap opera Days of our Lives (1976-1979) and Sister Agatha in General Hospital (US TV Series) in (1979). She also did voices for cartoons such as Hong Kong Phooey, Mister T (television series) and Little Dracula. Fran starred on some TV shows for children like Sigmund and the Sea Monsters in 1975 as Gertrude Grouch, and in 1970s children's show New Zoo Revue as Ms. Goodbody, the 1980s TV series No Soap, Radio (1982 TV series) as Mrs. Belmont, the short lived 1980s CBS TV series The Wizard (TV series) as Tillie Russell from 1986-1987. Her last regular TV role was on The Dave Thomas Comedy Show.
She starred in many feature films, including Flush (film) (1977), Big Wednesday (1978), Take This Job and Shove It (film) (1981), Pale Rider (1985), Chances Are (film), and in her scene-stealing cameo in 1981's Stripes, as a tortured cab fare to Bill Murray as the cabbie, in the opening scenes of the comedy film.
Ryan made guest appearances on TV shows ranging from Batman (TV series), Adam-12, CHiPs, Quantum Leap (TV series), Night Court, Baywatch to The Commish.
Fran Ryan was often compared to actress Marjorie Main; they looked and sound similar to one another. Ryan died on January 15, 2000, at age 83. She is buried in the family plots alongside her mother, at the Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery, in Hayward, California.
- Fran Ryan at the Internet Movie Database
- Fran Ryan at the Internet Broadway Database
- Fran Ryan at Find a Grave
- The Wizard Official Fansite & Definitive Cyberhome
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