Movieland Mystery Photos – Special Edition [Updated]

Mystery Photo 1

Mystery Photo 1
Mystery Photo No. 4
Mystery Photo 1
Mystery Photo No. 4
Mystery Photo 1

[Update: I thought it might be helpful if I enlarged the faces of our mystery gents. My hunch is that the fellow on the right is Laurence Olivier.

[I have also received three more photos and I now suspect that our friends in Photo 1 are also in Photo 4. One could infer that since Man 1 and Man 2 are dressed much the same in Photos 1 and 4, they were taken at the same time.

[Photo No. 6 obviously shows a young Pat Boone. The rest are unidentified.]

I received an email from congressional candidate Vincent Flaherty, seeking identities on these three photos. He says they show Ray Ryan, a member of the syndicate headed by Ralph E. Stolkin that bought Howard Hughes’ share of RKO in 1952. The stock was returned to Hughes in 1953 at a reported loss of more than $1 million.

Mystery Photo No. 2

Mystery Photo No. 3

Mystery Photo No. 3 Mystery Photo No. 3
Mystery Photo No. 3 Mystery Photo No. 3

Mystery Photo No. 4

Mystery Photo No. 4

Mystery Photo No. 4

Mystery Photo No. 5

Mystery Photo No. 6

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1952, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, Photography, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photos – Special Edition [Updated]

  1. B.J. Merholz says:

    Ah, the good old days of Irish mobsters and their molls at play.


  2. Mary Mallory says:

    Is that Dick Lane on the right in photo one?


  3. Mike Hawks says:

    The man on the right of the first photo is Pat O’Brien, can’t help with the others.


  4. dewey webb says:

    White-haired guy with bushy eyebrows and loud tie in Photo #2 might be Duncan Hines


  5. Benito says:

    In the first photo, the man on the left in a light colored suit sure looks like Douglas Fairbanks Jr.


  6. Lee Rivas says:

    Is it George Jessel in photo 3, left?


  7. RJ says:

    Is this the same Ray Ryan who bought the El Mirador Hotel in Palm Springs and eventually was blown up in his car in the 1970’s? He also started the Mt Kenya Safari Club with William Holden in the 1950’s. I’ve read about him, he had quite the life, hung out with lots of movie stars, was a huge high roller gambler, real estate developer. Also was part of a bizarre kidnapping plot (as the victim) in the 1960’s.


  8. Mary Mallory says:

    I think Ralph Stolkin might be on the left in photo 1. There’s a photo of him for sale on ebay right now.


  9. Possible that James Dunn is the fellow on the left with Lawrence Olivier and Pat O’Brien.


  10. MattH says:

    In the top photo, the guy in the middle talking with Pat O’Brien might be cinematographer George S. Barnes. Not positive about it, but it is plausible since they worked together a few times during the 30’s, and he was briefly married to Joan Blondell, a frequent Pat O’Brien costar.


  11. Mary Mallory says:

    I’ll check on Monday if we have any stills of Ryan and Stolkin.


  12. Mary Mallory says:

    Olivier is nowhere in that first shot, he would look older than any of the men in it. Mike is right that O’Brien is at the right and Ralph Stolkin is on the left, look at this shot from ebay, which mentions he’s the new RKO head.


  13. Mary Mallory says:

    I believe that’s also Stolkin jacketless in the second photo and in the light dinner jacket in photo 3.


  14. Mary Mallory says:

    I think that’s Olivia DeHavilland with Stolkin and others today.


  15. Mary Mallory says:

    Actually Stolkin isn’t in the first photo. That is cinematographer George Barnes with the mustache. He was the cinematographer on the 1935 Warner Bros. film THE IRISH IN US, starring Pat O’Brien (on the right) and Olivia DeHavilland ( in photo 4). That could be Samuel Bischoff she’s embracing, but director Lloyd Bacon isn’t in the photo. I will check that file tomorrow.


  16. Mary Mallory says:

    Mike Hawks says that is Phil Regan, one from the right in photo 5.


  17. Earl Boebert says:

    OK, to sort this out, I’m using the picture numbers that you get when you hover over the picture, and ignoring the enlarged heads which have duplicate numbers. I am assigning the individuals letters from left to right as you look at the picture. The information in square brackets is my justification for the identification.

    1A: Ray Ryan [eyebrows, hairline, earlobe, pinky ring, reference photo at

    1B: George Barnes [Mary Mallory comment]

    1C: Pat O’Brien [Mary Mallory comment]

    2B: Ryan, tentative [eyebrows, but no pinkie ring]

    3A: George Jessel [ears, Life Magazine]

    3C: Ryan [eyebrows, pinkie ring]

    4A: George Barnes [same tie and shirt as 1B]

    4B: Olivia DeHavilland [Mary Mallory comment]

    4C: Ryan [same tie as 1A]

    Summary of identifying features of Ray Ryan:

    Short earlobes.

    Wears pinkie ring on left hand.

    Eyebrows extend to bridge of nose.

    Eyebrows thicker toward nose, especiallty left one.


  18. Mary Mallory says:

    From the photo on the Flaherty website, Ray ryan is the man on the left in the first photograph, second from the left in the second photograph, wearing the light dinner jacket in the third photo, on the far right in the fourth shot, in profile in the fifth shot, and on the far left in the sixth shot.


  19. Jack says:

    @Mary, you’re very good. That IS Olivia DeHavilland in 4. Picture 1 then would be Ryan on left, and O’Brien right. Middle person probably Howard Higgin who directed Davis and O’Brien in Hells House, 1932. Picture 6 with Boone probably Palm Springs. 2, 3 and 5 may be Chicago. I don’t think Ralph Stolkin is in any of the mystery photos unless #4 with Higgin, DeHavilland and Ryan. Here’s a picture of Stolkin and I believe his wife with the Ryans. So Mr. and Mrs. Ryan can be eliminated from the rest of the individual photos.


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