Mitchell Ryan played a small but memorable part in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Mitchell Ryan might be best known for his role as the high-handed father on Dharma & Greg, the villanous general on the first Lethal Weapon movie, and the former criminal on Dark Shadows. But, to Star Trek fans, the actor, who passed away at the age of 88, was known as the father to Commander William T. Riker, portrayed by Jonathan Frakes on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ryan
Back in 2018, when Mitchell was interviewed by Startrek.com, he called the episode “The Icarus Factor,” “a really fun, absolute amazing episode.”
"All the armor, whatever it was, at the end, and the battle with Jonathan. And working with Diana. They were great. They’re both great kids, or kids I call them."
Mitchell Ryan was in the running to become Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
Before accepting the offer as Kyle Riker on The Next Generation, Ryan was up for the part of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The actor said that he was told he was really being considered and that things looked good at the time, meaning he was close to obtaining the part. But then Patrick Stewart came along, according to Ryan, and we all know how that went.
Still, Ryan played a memorable role as Riker’s father, and although the actor thought it might lead to follow-up appearances on the series, those never materialized. That didn’t stop Ryan’s career from going full-steam ahead. At the time of his death, he had 136 television and film credits under his belt, with his final, Valley of the Shadows, currently in post-production. And he added writer to his resume with the publication of his memoir, “Fall of a Sparrow,” that chronicles his acting career, in 2021.