John Phillip Law
|John Phillip Law|
John Philip Law as Bill in Death Rides a Horse
September 7, 1937|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Died||May 13, 2008
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Occupation||Film, television actor|
|Spouse(s)||Shawn Ryan (divorced) 1 child|
|Children||Dawn Law (b. 1974)|
He was best known for his roles as the blind angel Pygar in the science fiction cult classic Barbarella (1968) with Jane Fonda, and as news anchor Robin Stone in The Love Machine (1971). The latter reteamed him with Alexandra Hay, his co-star from the 1968 "acid comedy" Skidoo.
Law was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff John Law and actress Phyllis Sallee and the brother of actor Thomas Augustus Law (also known as Tom Law).
He worked as a film extra as a child, and had a non-speaking role of a courtroom page in John Sturges's The Magnificent Yankee (1950). He studied drama at the University of Hawaii and appeared in several university stage productions.
After graduation, Law moved to New York, where he studied with Elia Kazan's Lincoln Center Repertory Theatre and had a small role in Garson Kanin's comedy Come On Strong (1962). Like many American actors he moved to Italy where he acted in several films. One of these was seen by the director Norman Jewison, who thought Law perfect for the role of a young Soviet sailor in The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966). He followed the role with a co-star role in Otto Preminger's Hurry Sundown (1967).
Law returned to Europe where he played the lead in a spaghetti western Death Rides a Horse (1967) then the title role of Danger: Diabolik (1968), and played an angel in Barbarella. He followed this with The Sergeant (1968) with Rod Steiger.
Tall (6'-5") and handsome, with steel-blue eyes, Law became a sex symbol in the 1960s. He was a VIP guest at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion and in Hollywood society. While he never achieved superstar status, he became a popular action hero, particularly in the Italian movie market, with movies ranging from science fiction and fantasy to comedy, westerns, drama, and war movies.
Law co-starred in Roger Corman's film Von Richthofen and Brown (1971), playing Manfred von Richthofen opposite Don Stroud's Roy Brown. Corman used Lynn Garrison's Irish aviation facility, complete with replica World War I aircraft. Garrison taught Law the basics of flying so that he could take off and land, making some of the footage more realistic.
In 2001 he appeared in Roman Coppola's directorial debut CQ, an homage to the Italian spy/sci-fi B-movies in which Law often starred during the 1960s. Law's final credited film role was in 2008's Chinaman's Chance.
He was at one time married to actress Shawn Ryan, with whom he had a daughter named Dawn.
On the 13th of December 2007, his doctors diagnosed him with pancreatic cancer. Law died on the 13th of May 2008 at his home in Los Angeles. His remains were cremated and given to Dawn and her son Ryan.
- High Infidelity (1964)
- Three Nights of Love (1964)
- The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966)
- Death Rides a Horse (1967)
- Hurry Sundown (1967)
- Barbarella (1968)
- Danger: Diabolik (1968)
- Skidoo (1968)
- The Sergeant (1968)
- Certain, Very Certain, As a Matter of Fact... Probable (1969)
- The Hawaiians (1970)
- Strogoff (1970)
- The Love Machine (1971)
- The Last Movie (1971)
- Von Richthofen and Brown (1971)
- Stardust (1973)
- The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)
- Open Season (1974)
- The Spiral Staircase (1975)
- Docteur Justice (fr) (1975)
- A Whisper in the Dark (1976)
- The Cassandra Crossing (1976)
- Target of an Assassin (1976)
- Eyes Behind the Wall (1977)
- Der Schimmelreiter (de) (1978)
- Ring of Darkness (1979)
- Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981)
- Attack Force Z (1982)
- Tin Man (1983)
- Night Train to Terror (1985)
- Striker (1987)
- Moon in Scorpio (1987)
- Blood Delirium (1988)
- Space Mutiny (1988)
- Day of the Pig (1992)
- Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995)
- My Magic Dog (1998)
- Wanted (1999)
- CQ (2001)
- The Three Faces of Terror (2004)
- I Am Somebody: No Chance in Hell (2008)
- Vallance, Tom (17 May 2008). "John Phillip Law: Actor best known for 'Barbarella'". The Independent.
- Aguilar, Carlos y otro & Haas, Anita John Phillip Law - Diabolik Angel Scifiworld/Quatermass (2008)
- John Phillip Law at the Internet Movie Database
- John Phillip Law at AllMovie
- John Phillip Law at the Internet Broadway Database
- John Phillip Law at Find a Grave