Ralph Meeker

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Stage Actor
Date of Birth November 21, 1920
Place of Birth Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Death Aug 5, 1988 (67)
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Ralph Meeker was an American film, stage, and television actor. He first rose to prominence for his roles in the Broadway productions of Mister Roberts and Picnic, the former of which earned him a Theatre World Award for his performance. In film, Meeker is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Mike Hammer in Robert Aldrich's 1955 film noir cult classic Kiss Me Deadly. Meeker went on to play a series of roles that used his husky and macho screen presence, including a lead role in Stanley Kubrick's military courtroom drama Paths of Glory, as a troubled mechanic opposite Carroll Baker in Something Wild, as a World War II captain in The Dirty Dozen, and in the gangster film The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Other credits include supporting roles in I Walk the Line and Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes. He also had a prolific career in television, appearing as Sergeant Steve Dekker on the series Not for Hire, and in the television horror film The Night Stalker.

Born: Ralph Rathgeber, November 21, 1920, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Died: August 5, 1988, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation: Actor
Years active: 1951–1980
Spouse(s): Millicent Meeker, (m. 19?)
IMDb: Ralph Meeker's IMDb

About Ralph Meeker

Renowned stage actor who starred on Broadway in the 1953 production of Picnic. Also a screen actor, he played the leading role in Kiss Me Deadly, a 1955 film noir.

Before Fame

He studied theater and music at Northwestern University.


He appeared on such television series as Going My Way, Breaking Point, and The Texan.

Family Life

He was married to actress Salome Jens from 1964-1966. He was married two more times between 1966 and his death in 1988.


He worked with renowned director Elia Kazan on a 1964 production of Arthur Miller's After the Fall.

Information related to Ralph Meeker

  • http://www.afi.com/members/catalog/SearchResult.aspx?s=&retailCheck=&Type=PN&CatID=DATABIN_CAST&ID=127121&AN_ID=&searchedFor=Ralph_Meeker_ Ralph Meeker at the American Film Institute
  • http://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b9f6c62a5 Ralph Meeker at the British Film Institute
  • http://collections.oscars.org/link/papers/88 Ralph Meeker papers , donated by Meeker in 1983 to the Margaret Herrick Library
  • https://archive.org/details/TownOfTheTimes Town of the Times , 1963 United States Department of Defense informational film at Internet Archive starring Ralph Meeker
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Latest information about Ralph Meeker updated on November 23, 2020.

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