Robert Ridgely

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Robert Ridgely
BornDecember 24, 1931
DiedFebruary 8, 1997(1997-02-08) (aged 65)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1960–1997

Robert Ridgely (December 24, 1931 – February 8, 1997)[1] was an American actor, known for both on-camera roles and extensive voice-over work.


Ridgely was born in Teaneck, New Jersey.[2] Before becoming an actor, he worked as a cabaret entertainer.[3]

He served as a talk show host with Woody Woodbury. Ridgely appeared in commercials, including a classic McDonald's commercial, staged as a Broadway production number, where he sings "there is nothin' so clean – as my burger machine". He guest starred on TV series such as Sea Hunt and the Warner Bros. Television series Maverick, Lawman, and Surfside 6. He landed a regular role as Lieutenant Kimbro in the short-lived World War II Warner Bros./ABC series The Gallant Men. After the series was cancelled, he made guest appearances on shows, including Bonanza, WKRP in Cincinnati, Coach, Night Court, Wings, and Designing Women.

He appeared in various films, including two productions directed by Robert Altman early in his career, Nightmare in Chicago and Countdown. He also appeared in several Mel Brooks productions, including Blazing Saddles (1974), High Anxiety (1977), Life Stinks (1991) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). Ridgley starred in other films, including Something Wild (1986), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Philadelphia (1993), and Boogie Nights (1997). He put his strong voice to use in voice-over roles in movies like Down and Dirty Duck (1974) and television specials such as Thanksgiving in the Land of Oz (aka Dorothy in the Land of Oz) (1980). He did a great deal of voice work on animated series as well, including the titular heroes in Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, and Thundarr the Barbarian. From 1985 to 1996, Ridgely was one of ABC's main primetime promo announcers. He also voiced the Peculiar Purple Pieman in the 1980s Strawberry Shortcake specials, Rex Charger in The Centurions, General "Thunderbolt" Ross on The Incredible Hulk, Finch on Daisy-Head Mayzie, and Commander Chief in Dexter's Laboratory.[4]

Ridgely died of cancer on February 8, 1997,[3] at his home in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1964 Nightmare in Chicago Dan McVeay
1971 Chrome and Hot Leather Sergeant Mack
1974 Blazing Saddles Boris, the hangman
1974 The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat Voice
1977 High Anxiety Flasher
1977 American Raspberry Celebrity Sportsman Host
1980 Melvin and Howard Wally 'Mr. Love' Williams
1983 Heart Like a Wheel Bob Morton, 'Sportsline'
1984 The Wild Life Craig Davis
1986 Something Wild Richard Graves
1987 Beverly Hills Cop II Mayor Ted Egan
1988 The Dirk Diggler Story Jack Horner Short Film
1993 Philadelphia Walter Kenton
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Hangman
1994 The Ref Bob Burley
1996 Hard Eight Keno Bar Manager
1996 Multiplicity Laura's Father
1996 That Thing You Do! Hollywood Showcase Announcer
1997 Fire Down Below Simon Posthumous release
1997 Boogie Nights Colonel James Posthumous release; final film role


  1. ^ "Robert Ridgely". Allmovie. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  2. ^ "Robert Ridgely; Versatile Actor Appeared in Films, Television". The Los Angeles Times. February 13, 1997. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Robert Ridgely, 65, Film and TV Actor". The New York Times. February 16, 1997. Retrieved December 4, 2013. Mr. Ridgely, a native of Teaneck, N.J., began as a cabaret artist.
  4. ^ Robert Ridgely - Behind the Voice
  5. ^ "Robert Ridgely, film, TV actor". Democrat and Chronicle. New York, Rochester. February 16, 1997. p. 30. Retrieved November 5, 2022 – via

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Preceded by Actors to portray Tarzan
Succeeded by