Robert Ridgely

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For the American ornithologist of the same name, see Robert Ridgely (ornithologist).
Robert Ridgely
Born Robert Ritterbusch
December 24, 1931
Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.
Died February 8, 1997(1997-02-08) (aged 65)
Toluca Lake, California, U.S.
Cause of death Cancer
Occupation Actor and vocal artist
Years active 1960–1997, his death
Spouse(s) Patricia Ridgely (19??-1997; his death)

Robert Ridgely (born Robert Ritterbusch; December 24, 1931 – February 8, 1997) was an American actor and vocal artist, known for both on-camera roles and extensive voice-over work.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Teaneck, New Jersey, Ridgely, who began his entertainment career as a cabaret entertainer,[1] began his Hollywood acting career with guest roles in such 1960s television series as Maverick, Sea Hunt, Lawman, and Surfside 6. He landed a regular role as Lieutenant Kimbro in the short-lived World War II ABC series The Gallant Men. After the series was cancelled he continued with guest appearances in such programs as Bonanza, WKRP in Cincinnati, Coach, Night Court and Designing Women. He also appeared in many movies, especially Mel Brooks productions such as Blazing Saddles (1974), High Anxiety (1977), Life Stinks (1991), and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), and also had roles in films such as Chrome and Hot Leather (1971), American Raspberry (1977), The Wild Life (1984), Something Wild (1986), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Philadelphia (1993), The Ref (1994), Hard Eight (1996), Multiplicity (1996), Fire Down Below (1997) and Boogie Nights (1997), and played Wally "Mr. Love" Williams, host of the fictional game show Easy Street in the 1980 movie Melvin and Howard. He was cast as the announcer of The Hollywood Television Showcase in the 1996 film, That Thing You Do. In the late 1960s, Ridgely acted as co-host to talk show host Woody Woodbury. He also appeared in many commercials, including a classic McDonalds commercial, staged as a Broadway production number, where he sings "There is nothin' so clean - as my burger machine". The commercial is available on YouTube.

Ridgely put his strong voice to use in voice-over roles in movies like Down and Dirty Duck (1974), television specials such as Thanksgiving in the Land of Oz, (aka Dorothy in the Land of Oz) (1980), and the video game Blazing Dragons (1996). He did a great deal of voice work on television as well. From 1985 until 1996, Ridgely was one of the main primetime show promo voiceovers at ABC. Among Ridgely's most easily recognizable voice roles were:


On February 8, 1997, Ridgely died of cancer at his Toluca Lake, Los Angeles home.[1] His death occurred only two days after that of his longtime ABC announcing colleague, Ernie Anderson, who also succumbed to cancer. Both Anderson and Ridgely were last heard on ABC only months apart, in 1995 and early 1996, respectively. In addition to his wife, he was survived by a brother, Dr. William Ritterbusch of Germany.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Staff. "Robert Ridgely, 65, Film and TV Actor", The New York Times, February 16, 1997. Accessed December 4, 2013. "Mr. Ridgely, a native of Teaneck, N.J., began as a cabaret entertainer."

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ron Ely
Actors to portray Tarzan
Succeeded by
Miles O'Keeffe