John Ridgely

Active - 1937 - 1953  |   Born - Sep 6, 1909   |   Died - Jan 18, 1968   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Romance, Mystery

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Trained for an industrial career but sidetracked into showbiz by a few seasons at Pasadena Playhouse, "Mr. Average Man" utility player John Ridgely spent most of his Hollywood years at Warner Bros. From his first film Submarine D-1 (1937), Ridgely was one of the studio's most reliable and ubiquitous supporting players, portraying first-reel murder victims, last-reel "surprise" killers, best friends, policemen, day laborers, and military officers. One of his largest film roles was the commanding officer in Howard Hawks' Air Force (1943), in which he was billed over the more famous John Garfield. His indeterminate features could also convey menace, as witness his portrayal of blackmailing gangsters Eddie Mars in Hawks' The Big Sleep (1946). Freelancing after 1948, John Ridgely continued to essay general-purpose parts until he left films in 1953; thereafter he worked in summer-theater productions and television until his death from a heart attack at the age of 58.

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