Morgan, Ralph, 1883-1956

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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: ¹http://www.sag.org/history/presidents/morgan.html

Source: http://www.sag.org/history/presidents/claudia.html

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

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Morgan, Ralph, 1883-1956. Claudia and Ralph Morgan papers, 1906-1962. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The five million at the Garrick caricatures, [1919]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Claudia and Ralph Morgan scrapbooks, 1880-1940. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Claudia and Ralph Morgan papers, 1880-1940. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Theatre Arts Monthly, collection of portraits, ca., ca., 1924-1939 (bulk), 1916-1964 (inclusive). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Claudia and Ralph Morgan papers, 1906-1962 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Arnold, Grace. person
associatedWith Hart, Moss, 1904-1961. person
associatedWith Kaufman, George S. (George Simon), 1889-1961. person
associatedWith Morgan, Claudia person
associatedWith Morgan, Claudia. person
associatedWith Morgan, Frank, 1890-1949. person
associatedWith Schlesinger, Grace Arnold person
associatedWith Screen Actors Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
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
Occupation
Scripts (documents)
Actors
Actresses
Motion picture actors and actresses
Telegrams
Radio actors and actresses
Certificates
Function

Person

Birth 1883-07-06

Death 1956-06-11

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