from The Monster Maker (1944)
|Born||Raphael Kuhner Wuppermann
July 6, 1883
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 11, 1956
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Grace Arnold (Georgiana Louise Iverson)|
Ralph Morgan (born Raphael Kuhner Wuppermann; July 6, 1883 – June 11, 1956) was a Hollywood stage and film character actor, and an older brother of Frank Morgan (who played the title role in The Wizard of Oz, 1939).
Morgan was born Raphael Kuhner Wuppermann in New York City, the eighth of 11 children of Josephine Wright (née Hancox) and George Diogracia Wuppermann. His mother was a Mayflower descendent. His father, George Wuppermann, was of Spanish and German lineage. Born in Venezuela and raised in Germany, he later immigrated to the United States. He had made a fortune by distributing Angostura bitters, allowing him to send all of his children to universities.
Ralph Morgan attended Trinity School, Riverview Military Academy and graduated from Columbia University with a law degree. However, after almost two years' practicing, he abandoned the world of jurisprudence for the vocation of journeyman actor, having already appeared in Columbia's annual Varsity Show. In 1905, billed as Raphael Kuhner Wupperman, he appeared in The Khan of Kathan, that year's variety show.
His first role on the stage came in The Bachelor in 1909 and later played John Marvin in the 1918 hit play, Lightnin' .
Ralph Morgan made his film debut in silent films in 1915, appearing in several production made on the East Coast. In the early talkie era, he played such leading roles in such productions as Strange Interlude in 1932 and Rasputin and the Empress also in 1932.
He later settled into secondary character parts. His quiet, dignified demeanor on screen was often employed for murder mysteries in which, more often than not, he would play what is known as a "heavy", being exposed in the last reel as the killer. One of his memorable roles was in the 1942 serial Gang Busters, in which he played a brilliant surgeon turned master criminal.
Morgan later worked in both radio and television, frequently in religious dramas filmed for Family Theater.
Among his off-camera activities, he, alongside Grant Mitchell, Berton Churchill, Charles Miller, Alden Gay, and Kenneth Thomson, formed the Screen Actors Guild to resolve and stop most of the injustice that actors faced within the industry (among which, were prolonged work hours enforced by the studios and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' membership policy, which was exclusively by invitation). He was also a founder, charter member, and the first president of SAG in 1933, and he was elected to two additional one-year terms in 1938 and 1939, serving until 1940.
Ralph Morgan was married to Georgiana Louise Iverson, who as a stage actress was known as Grace Arnold, although he called her "Daisy" and was the father of Claudia Morgan (born Claudeigh Louise Wuppermann, 1911–1974), 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 radio series The Thin Man.
- Charlie Chan's Chance (1932)
- Rasputin and the Empress (1932)
- Strange Interlude (1932)
- The Power and the Glory (1933)
- Doctor Bull (1933)
- Walls of Gold (1933)
- Humanity (1933)
- The Kennel Murder Case (1933)
- A Girl of the Limberlost (1934)
- Orient Express (1934)
- No Greater Glory (1934)
- Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round (1934)
- Little Men (1934)
- Stand Up and Cheer! (1934)
- Star of Midnight (1935)
- Condemned to Live (1935)
- Magnificent Obsession (1935)
- Speed (1936)
- The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936)
- Anthony Adverse (1936)
- General Spanky (1936)
- Crack-Up (1936)
- The Outer Gate (1937)
- The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
- Mannequin (1937)
- That's My Story (1937)
- Wells Fargo (1937)
- Army Girl (1938)
- Wives Under Suspicion (1938)
- Mother Carey's Chickens (1938)
- Out West with the Hardys (1938)
- The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939)
- Man of Conquest (1939)
- Fast and Loose (1939)
- Forty Little Mothers (1940)
- The Mad Doctor (1941)
- Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc. (1941 serial)
- Gang Busters (1942 serial)
- Night Monster (1942)
- Hitler's Madman (1943)
- Jack London (1943)
- The Great Alaskan Mystery (1944 serial)
- Weird Woman (1944)
- The Monster Maker (1944)
- The Impostor (aka Strange Confession) (1944)
- The Monster and the Ape (1945 serial)
- Black Market Babies (1945)
- Hollywood and Vine (1945)
- Song of the Thin Man (1947)
- Sleep, My Love (1948)
- Sword of the Avenger (1948)
- "Ralph Morgan, Veteran Actor, Dies At Age 72". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. June 12, 1956. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- Henderson, Jessie (January 22, 1933). "True Actors Can't Quit Job, Says Morgan". Utah, Ogden. The Ogden Standard-Examiner. p. 26. Retrieved March 23, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The Columbia Show". New York, New York City. The New York Tribune. March 14, 1905. p. 7. Retrieved March 23, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Ralph Morgan's portrait at the SAG-AFTRA
- "Frank Morgan". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- Ralph Morgan at NNDB
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