John Phillip Law
John Phillip Law
John Philip Law in Death Rides a Horse (1967)
|Born||September 7, 1937|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Died||May 13, 2008 (aged 70)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Film, television actor|
|Spouse(s)||Shawn Ryan (divorced) 1 child|
Following a breakthrough role as a Russian sailor in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966), Law became best known for his roles as gunfighter Bill Meceita in the Spaghetti Western Death Rides a Horse (1967) with Lee Van Cleef, the blind angel Pygar in the cult science fiction film Barbarella (1968) with Jane Fonda, the title character in the cult action film Danger: Diabolik (1968), Manfred von Richthofen in Von Richthofen and Brown (1971), and 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. He was the brother of actor Thomas Augustus Law (also known as Tom Law). He graduated from Hollywood High School.
He attended an engineering college in California then switched to the University of Hawaii where he studied psychology and appeared in several university stage productions. This caused him to decide to become an actor professionally.
Lincoln Center and Italy
After graduation, Law moved to New York, where he studied acting and he signed a seven year contract with Fox. He realised it was a mistake and got out of it, then returned to New York. He had a small role in Garson Kanin's Broadway comedy Come On Strong (1962) which was a flop. 
He then auditioned for the Repertory Theater at the Lincoln Center, and was one of 12 picked out of 30,000. He stayed there for three years.
Law was announced as part of the company in January 1964. He was in their productions of Marco's Millions; then The Changeling directed by Elia Kazan with Faye Dunaway; and Tartuffe (1965).
Early Hollywood Films
One of Law's Italian films 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) in September 1965. The film was a big success and Law was launched in Hollywood.
Fonda was going to star in Barbarella and recommended Law for the film. Production was delayed so Law played the lead in a Spaghetti Western, Death Rides a Horse (1967) with Lee Van Cleef, then the title role of Danger: Diabolik (1968), directed by Mario Bava and produced by Dino De Laurentiis.
Law went back to Europe to support Claudia Cardinale in a comedy, Diary of a Telephone Operator (1969). He had a key role in Hollywood's The Hawaiians (1970) with Charlton Heston and played the title role in the Italian Strogoff (1970), based on the novel by Jules Verne, Michael Strogoff.
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.
Law could still command star roles in Europe: he was in Doctor Justice (1975), A Whisper in the Dark (1976) and Tu dios y mi infierno (1976). He had a support role in The Cassandra Crossing (1977) and supported Anthony Quinn in Target of an Assassin (1977) shot in South Africa.
Law remained in demand, albeit mostly now in low budget films: Tin Man (1983) with Timothy Bottoms, Hijacked to Hell (1984), Night Train to Terror (1985), American Commandos (1985), Rainy Day Friends (1985), Johann Strauss: The King Without a Crown (1985), Moon in Scorpio (1987) with Britt Ekland directed by Gary Graver, The Overthrow (1987), Gila and Rik (1987), Thunder III (1987), Striker (1988), Una grande storia d'amore (1988), Space Mutiny (1988), Blood Delirium (1988), A Case of Honor (1989) for Eddie Romero, Cold Heat (1989) with Britt Ekland, and Quattro piccole donne (1989).
Law did Alienator (1990) for Fred Olen Ray, Shining Blood (1992), Marilyn Alive and Behind Bars (1992), Il giorno del porco (1993), Angel Eyes (1993) for Gary Graver, The Mountain of the Lord (1993), Brennendes Herz (1996), Hindsight (1996), My Ghost Dog (1997), Wanted (1999), and Bad Guys (2000).
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.
- The Magnificent Yankee (1950) .... Minor Role (scenes deleted)
- Show Boat (1951) .... Extra (uncredited)
- Smog (1962) .... (uncredited)
- High Infidelity (1964) .... Ronald (segment "Scandaloso")
- Three Nights of Love (1964) .... Fra Felice (segment "Fatebenefratelli")
- The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966) .... Alexei Kolchin
- Hurry Sundown (1967) .... Rad McDowell
- Death Rides a Horse (1967) .... Bill Meceita
- Her Harem (1967) .... (uncredited)
- Danger: Diabolik (1968) .... Diabolik
- Barbarella (1968) .... Pygar, the blind angel
- Skidoo (1968) .... Stash
- The Sergeant (1968) .... Private First Class Tom Swanson
- Diary of a Telephone Operator (1969) .... Crispino
- The Hawaiians (1970) .... Noel Hoxworth
- Strogoff (1970) .... Michael Strogoff
- Von Richthofen and Brown (1971) .... Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron
- The Love Machine (1971) .... Robin Stone
- The Last Movie (1971) .... Little Brother
- Stardust (1973) .... John
- The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) .... Sinbad the Sailor
- Open Season (1974) .... Greg Anderson
- The Spiral Staircase (1975) .... Steven Sherman
- Docteur Justice (1975) .... Dr. Benjamin Justice
- A Whisper in the Dark (1976) .... Alex
- Your Heaven, My Hell (1976) .... Martín
- The Cassandra Crossing (1976) .... Major Stark
- Target of an Assassin (1976) .... Shannon
- Eyes Behind the Wall (1977) .... Arturo
- Der Schimmelreiter (1978) .... Hauke Haien
- The Devil's Bed (1978, TV Movie) .... John Vanetti
- Ring of Darkness (1979) .... Exorcist
- Yuan (1980)
- Attack Force Z (1981) .... Lieutenant Jan Veitch
- Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981) .... Harry Holt
- Tin Man (1983) .... Dr. Edison
- Danger – Keine Zeit zum Sterben (1984) .... Ted Barner
- Night Train to Terror (1985) .... Harry Billings (segment "The Case of Harry Billings")
- American Commandos (1985) .... Kelly
- Rainy Day Friends (1985) .... Dr. Stephen Kendrick
- Johann Strauß – Der König ohne Krone (1987) .... Maximilian Steiner
- Moon in Scorpio (1987) .... Allen
- Colpo di stato (1987) .... Shaw
- Thunder Warrior III (1988) .... Sheriff Jeff
- Striker (1988) .... Frank Morris
- Space Mutiny (1988) .... Flight Commander Elijah Kalgan
- Blood Delirium (1988) .... Saint Simon
- A Case of Honor (1989) .... Capt. Roger L. Barnes
- Cold Heat (1989) .... R.C. Mallon
- Nerds of a Feather (1989) .... (uncredited)
- The Young & the Restless (1989) .... Dr. Jim Grainger
- Alienator (1990) .... Ward Armstrong
- Little Women of Today (1990) .... Tycoon
- Alaska Stories (1991) .... Aristocratic Con Man
- Marilyn Alive and Behind Bars (1992) .... Harry Billings
- Day of the Pig (1992) .... Azazel
- Europa Mission (1992) .... Colonel Ferri
- Shining Blood (1992) .... Heep, Ranch Foreman
- The Mountain of the Lord (1993) .... Brigham Young
- Angel Eyes (1993) .... Steven Fox
- Brennendes Herz (1995) .... Böhme
- Hindsight (1996) .... Vincent / Joanne's husband
- My Magic Dog (1998, TV Movie) .... Peter Avelino
- Wanted (1999) .... Pursuing rider
- Bad Guys (2000) .... Sheriff
- CQ (2001) .... Chairman
- Curse of the Forty-Niner (2002) .... Sheriff Murphy
- The Three Faces of Terror (2004) .... Professor Peter Price
- Ray of Sunshine (2006)
- I Am Somebody: No Chance in Hell a.k.a. Chinaman's Chance (2008) .... Foreman Dan
- L'apocalisse delle scimmie (2012)
- Vallance, Tom (May 17, 2008). "John Phillip Law: Actor best known for 'Barbarella'". The Independent.
- New Discovery Is Law Unto Himself By Don Alpert. The Washington Post, Times Herald 21 Aug 1966: G3.
- Actor in 'The Russians Are Comming' Arrives Big with U.S. Teen-Agers Clifford, Terry. Chicago Tribune 7 Aug 1966: h11.
- John Phillip Law, 70, Film Actor New York Times 16 May 2008: B8.
- LINCOLN THEATER BEGINS REPERTORY: ' After the Fall' by Miller Opens in Temporary Home By MILTON ESTEROW. New York Times 24 Jan 1964: 19.
- Theater: O'Neill Revival: ' Marco Millions' Given by Repertory Troupe By HOWARD TAUBMAN. New York Times 21 Feb 1964: 33.
- Theater: 'The Changeling' Is Revived: Lincoln Center Troupe Opens 2d Season By HOWARD TAUBMAN. New York Times 30 Oct 1964: 32.
- The Theater: 'Tartuffe': Moliere's Play Staged by Lincoln Theater By HOWARD TAUBMAN. New York Times 15 Jan 1965: 23.
- Hudson Up for 'Prix' Lead Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times 27 Sep 1965: C19.
- Aguilar, Carlos y otro & Haas, Anita John Phillip Law - Diabolik Angel Scifiworld/Quatermass (2008)
- Senta to Play Secret Agent Betty. Los Angeles Times22 Apr 1967: 19.
- MOVIE CALL SHEET: Law Given 'Sergeant' Role Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times21 Oct 1967: 18.
- Inhumanity Is the Name of Game Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times 25 Sep 1974: g11.