Old Movie Teams

Weren’t they also in that other movie?

Irene Ryan & Tim Ryan

Married in real life in 1922 and collaborating as a team professionally even beyond the end of their 20-year marriage, Tim Ryan and Irene Ryan prospered on the vaudville stage and in multiple radio broadcasts doing the so-called “Dumb Dora” schtick, which consisted of, in its simplest form, a portrayal of an exasperated man suffering through the logic of his illogical female mate. The team of George Burns and Gracie Allen are perhaps the best remembered “Dumb Dora” team. For two years (1935-37), Mr. and Mrs. Ryan made a total of 11 comedy shorts for the big screen, posing each time as mates impossibly, yet invariably, entangled by friendship, romance, and/or marriage. Ironically, feature-length film collaborations came after their divorce in 1943, a period of little more than a year in which they appeared together in five films. Following their break-up, both in private and in public, Mr. Ryan advanced to perhaps his most substantial and dramatic roles as an actor, e.g. Sgt. Pete Karlsen in From Here To Eternity (1953). He died at the age of 57 in 1956. Irene Ryan also continued to advance her career, eventually landing the role of Granny in the TV sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-71). She died in 1973 not long after suffering a stroke and collapsing on stage while in the middle of performing the role of Berthe in the Broadway musical Pippin.

Here is a list of their collaborations:

One Big Happy Family (1935 Short Film)
The Wacky Family (1936 Short Film)
Just Plain Folks (1936 Short Film)
It Happened All Right (1936 Short Film)
Modern Home (1936 Short Film)
Peaceful Relations (1936 Short Film)
Will You Stop! (1937 Short Film)
Hamlet and Eggs (1937 Short Film)
The Big Courtship (1937 Short Film)
Heir Today (1937 Short Film)
His Pest Girl (1937 Short Film)
Reveille with Beverly (1943)
Sarong Girl (1943)
Melody Parade (1943)
Hot Rhythm (1944)
The Sultan’s Daughter (1944)

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