Morgan, Ralph, 1883-1956

Alternative names
Birth 1883-07-06
Death 1956-06-11

Biographical notes:

Ralph Morgan (Raphael Kuhner Wuppermann) was born on July 6, 1883 in New York City, NY. Despite earning a law degree from Columbia University, Ralph Morgan decided to turn his back on the courtroom and become an actor on stage and in film. In Hollywood, he played leading roles in such productions as Strange Interlude and Rasputin and the Empress before settling into secondary character parts-e.g. Randolph in Magnificent Obsession . Ralph Morgan is known for playing the "surprise" killer in Hollywood murder mystery films.

In addition to acting, Ralph Morgan focused on the politics and labor relations of actors within the film / stage industries. He was "largely concerned with issues of extras, and enacting the first Agency Regulations. As a President (1933 and 1938-1940), as well as one of the founders and charter members, of the Screen Actors Guild, he successfully fought a second attempt of IATSE President, George Browne and his 'personal representative' in Hollywood, Willie Bioff (from Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti's Chicago mob), to take over the jurisdiction of ALL actor unions"¹.

Ralph Morgan was the brother of Frank Morgan (who played the title role in The Wizard of Oz 1939), the husband to Grace Arnold (stage actress) and father of Claudia Morgan (an actress best known for her portrayal of Nora Charles on the Thin Man radio series).

Ralph Morgan died on June 11, 1956 in New York, NY.

Source: ¹


From the guide to the Claudia and Ralph Morgan papers, 1906-1962, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Motion picture actors and actresses--United States
  • Radio actors and actresses--United States
  • Actresses--United States
  • Actresses
  • Actors--United States
  • Actors
  • Radio actors and actresses


  • Scripts (documents)
  • Actors
  • Actresses
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Telegrams
  • Radio actors and actresses
  • Certificates


  • United States (as recorded)