A veteran actor with a charming drawl, South Carolina native Leon Rippy began his acting career in the early '80s, making very minor appearances in very big films, like a store clerk in The Color Purple and an FBI agent in Firestarter. Rippy would continue to appear in several projects over the coming years, often taking on a number of roles every year. He notably played a prosecutor in 1988's Illegally Yours, and an Army sergeant in 1990's Moon 44, one of seven collaborations Rippy would make with director Roland Emmerich. The '90s would find the actor just as active as ever, appearing in the usual plethora of movies and TV shows, including high-profile appearances in 2000's The Patriot and on the series Walker, Texas Ranger. The new millennium would bring even more prominent work for the now silver-haired actor, with a starring role on the HBO western series Deadwood, which Rippy would appear on from 2004 to 2006. He soon took on another starring role on the police drama Saving Grace with Holly Hunter, playing Earl, a tough-talking, tobacco-spitting messenger from God. Although he was away from screens for nearly a half-decade after Saving Grace came to an end, he returned in the Johnny Depp project The Lone Ranger.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Made his first acting appearance at 7 years old, playing a gingerbread boy in a staging of Hansel and Gretel.
- Founded and operated two theater companies.
- Past jobs include ballet dancing, working on a cattle ranch and traveling with a circus.
- Collaborated with filmmaker Roland Emmerich on no less than seven movies, including Stargate (1994), The Patriot (2000) and Eight Legged Freaks (2002).