John Phillip Law
|John Phillip Law|
John Philip Law in Death Rides a Horse (1967)
September 7, 1937|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Died||May 13, 2008
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Pancreatic cancer|
|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 as 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 this 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 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 in films of the science fiction and fantasy, comedy, westerns, drama, and war genres.
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. Some other of Law's movies have also become cult classics, including The Love Machine (1971), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and Attack Force Z. Two of Law's films, Danger: Diabolik and Space Mutiny, were also featured in the movie-mocking TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000.
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.
- High Infidelity (1964) … Ronald
- Three Nights of Love (1964) … Fra Felice
- The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966) … Alexei Kolchin
- Death Rides a Horse (1967) … Bill Meceita
- Hurry Sundown (1967) … Rad McDowell
- Barbarella (1968) … Pygar, the blind angel
- Danger: Diabolik (1968) … Diabolik
- 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
- The Love Machine (1971) … Robin Stone
- The Last Movie (1971) … Little Brother
- Von Richthofen and Brown (1971) … Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron
- 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) … John Vanetti
- Ring of Darkness (1979) … Exorcist
- Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981) … Harry Holt
- Attack Force Z (1982) … Lieutenant Jan Veitch
- Tin Man (1983) … Dr. Edison
- No Time to Die a.k.a. Hijacked to Hell (1984) … Ted Barner
- Night Train to Terror (1985) … Harry Billings
- American Commandos (1986) … Kelly
- Johann Strauss: The King Without a Crown (1987) … Maximilian Steiner
- Moon in Scorpio (1987) … Allen
- Colpo di stato (1987) … Shaw
- Thunder 3 (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
- "The Young & the Restless" (1989) ... Dr. Jim Grainger
- Alienator (1990) … Ward Armstrong
- Day of the Pig (1992) … Azazel
- Angel Eyes (1993) … Steven Fox
- The Mountain of the Lord (1993) … Brigham Young
- The Shining Blood (1993) … Heep
- Brennendes Herz (1995) … Böhme
- My Magic Dog (1998) … Peter Avelino
- Wanted (1999) … Pursuing rider
- CQ (2001) … Chairman
- The Three Faces of Terror (2004) … Professor Peter Price
- I Am Somebody: No Chance in Hell a.k.a. Chinaman's Chance (2008) … Foreman Dan
- Vallance, Tom (May 17, 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)