Ralph Rexford Bellamy was an American actor with a career that spanned sixty-two years.
Bellamy was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Lilla Louise, a native of Canada, and Charles Rexford Bellamy. He ran away from home when he was fifteen and managed to get into a road show. He toured with road shows before finally landing in New York. He began acting on stage there and by 1927 owned his own theatre company. In 1931, he made his film debut and worked constantly throughout the decade first as a lead then as a capable supporting actor. Bellamy was cast in the lead role in the 1936 film Straight from the Shoulder and also in the 1937 film It Can't Last Forever with Edward J. Pawley.
He received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Awful Truth with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant, and played a similar part, that of a naive boyfriend competing with the sophisticated Grant character, in His Girl Friday. He portrayed detective Ellery Queen in a few films during the 1940s, but as his film career did not progress, he returned to the stage, where he continued to perform throughout the fifties. Highly regarded within the industry, he was a founder of the Screen Actors Guild and served as President of Actors' Equity from 1952-1964.
Throughout the 1930s and '40's, Bellamy was regularly seen socially with a select circle of friends known affectionately as the Irish Mafia. This group consisted of a group of Hollywood A-listers who were mainly of Irish descent. Others included James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Spencer Tracy, Lynne Overman, Frank Morgan and Frank McHugh.