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About Ralph Morgan
Ralph Morgan (July 6, 1883 – June 11, 1956) was a Hollywood film, stage and character actor, and the older brother of Frank Morgan (who played the title role in The Wizard of Oz, 1939).
Born in New York City as Raphael Kuhner Wuppermann, Ralph Morgan graduated from Columbia University with a law degree. However, he abandoned the world of jurisprudence for the vocation of journeyman actor, having already appeared in Columbia's annual Varsity Show. Morgan became so successful in stock and on Broadway that his younger brother, Frank, was encouraged to give acting a try. Frank's career would eventually overshadow that of his elder brother.
Ralph Morgan made his film debut in silent films in 1915 appearing in several production made on the East Coast. In the early talkie era he played such leading roles in such productions as Strange Interlude in 1932 and Rasputin and the Empress also in 1932. He later settled into secondary character parts. His quiet, dignified demeanor on screen was often employed for murder mysteries in which, more often than not, he would be exposed in the last reel as the killer. One of his memorable roles was in the 1942 serial Gang Busters, in which he played a brilliant surgeon turned master criminal. Morgan later worked in television, frequently in religious dramas filmed for Family Theater.
Among off-camera activities, he was also a founder, charter member and first president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933 and was elected to two additional one-year terms in 1938 and 1939, serving until 1940.
Morgan was the father of Claudia Morgan (1911–1974), an actress best known for creating the role of Vera Claythorne on Broadway in the original production of Ten Little Indians, and for her portrayal of Nora Charles on the radio series The Thin Man.