- Ralph Morgan
Ralph Morgan (born
July 6 1883, New York City- died June 11 1956, New York City) was a Hollywood film, stage and character actor, and the brother of Frank Morgan(who played the title role in "The Wizard of Oz " 1939).
Born as Ralph Wuppermann, Morgan graduated from
Columbia Universitywith a law degree. However, he abandoned the stuffy world of jurisprudencefor the more exciting (to him) vocation of journeyman actor. Morgan became so successful in stock and on Broadway that his younger brother, Frank, was encouraged to give the theater a try and, as a result, became even more famous than Ralph.
The elder Morgan made his film bow in 1931, playing leading roles in such productions as "
Strange Interlude" in 1932 and " Rasputin and the Empress" in 1933. He later settled into secondary character parts. Morgan had played more "surprise" killers in more murder mysteries than virtually any other actor in Hollywood. fact|date=January 2008
Among off-camera activities, he was also a founder, charter member and one-time President of the
Screen Actors Guild.
Morgan was the father of Claudia Morgan (1912 - 1974), an actress best known for creating the role of Vera Claythorne on Broadway in the original production of "
Ten Little Indians", and for her portrayal of Nora Charles on the " Thin Man" radioseries.
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