'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (2023)

There Private James Ryanis a World War II classic and one of the highlights ofSteven Spielbergit's an amazing career.Praised by veterans for its realism, much of the film's narrative was inspired byreal heroic stories🇧🇷 Spielberg dedicated the film to his father Arnold,who enlisted in the US Army1941 and served as a communications officer and radio operator for the 490th Bombardment Squadron. After taking home Best Picture and Best Director five years earlierSchindler's ListSpielberg won his second Academy Award for Best Director. The film famously lost the Best Picture award.Shakespeare in lovein a shocking emotion.

There Private James Ryanfollows a perilous mission to rescue young soldier James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), whose three brothers perished in the Omaha Beach attack that the film so realistically portrayed. Committed to preventing further tragedies for Ryan's parents, the United States War Department hires Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) to find his last surviving child. Miller is joined by a brave squadron accompanying his critical mission. Here's your guide to the heroes ofThere Private James Ryan, and the talented ensemble that portrays her.


Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (1)

Feature back-to-back Best Actor wins forPhiladelphiaeForrest Gump, Tom Hanks earned his fourth Oscar nomination for leading actor for his tenacious portrayal of Captain John Miller. Miller leads a daring squadron during the invasion of Normandy and is recognized by Allied Command for his quick thinking amidst the chaotic bloodbath of the battlefield. Miller is initially skeptical about the justifications for his assignment, but valiantly does his duty nonetheless. Miller is impressed by Ryan's willingness to stay with the squadron to defend his post on a critical bridge as German artillery closes in. He challenges Ryan to earn his survival, a message Ryan carries with him for the rest of his life.

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Technical Sergeant Mike Horvath (Tom Sizemore)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (2)
(Video) Saving Private Ryan 1998 ★ Cast Then and Now 2022 How They Changed

Tom Sizemoreappeared frequently in popular classics of the 90s, includingBorn on the 4th of July,born killers,Warm, etrue romance🇧🇷 He co-stars as Sergeant Mike Horvath, a friend of Miller's since the beginning of the war who aids him in his daring maneuvers on D-Day. The usually reserved Miller is open to discussions with Horvath and names him his second-in-command in the search. by Ryan. Horvath supports Ryan's decision to remain on the bridge, reasoning that if they secure the critical outpost, everyone will be sent home. He protects Upham during the young corporal's first fight, but Horvath is tragically killed when he is shot in the chest.

Sargento Timothy Upham (Jeremy Davies)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (3)

Better known as Daniel FaradayLost, Jeremy Davies also leads a diverse film career that includessaving the dawn,Robe not macaque,Solaris, eDogville🇧🇷 Davies plays Corporal Timothy Upham, whom Miller recruits because he is fluent in French and German, although he has never seen combat. Upham eagerly joins Miller's teams, though the other soldiers tease him for reading a book about the "bonds of brotherhood" soldiers (Davies would later star on HBOband of brothers🇧🇷 Upham is often fearful of combat and freezes during the squadron's skirmish with the German paratroopers. Similarly shocked during the Battle of the Bridge, Upham makes his first kill by executing the squadron's German prisoner, whom he nicknames "Steamboat Willie".

Private First Class Richard Reiben (Edward Burns)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (4)
(Video) Edward Burns on Being Casted in Saving Private Ryan (8/25/15)

Known for roles in action thrillers and romantic comedies,Eduard BurnsThe filmography ofman on a ledge,The holidays,27 dresses,life or like it, e15 minutes🇧🇷 Burns plays chain-smoking Private First Class Richard Reiben, who first appears alongside Miller and Horvath during the D-Day invasion. His uncompromising will makes him a candidate for Miller's team, though Reiben entertains his teammates during the trip with stories of their past romantic encounters. Trash fights Miller as he refuses to kill the Germans who kill one of his team members and takes Ryan aside before the final fight to explain to him what the squad went through to find him. Reaming strongly orders Ryan to survive and give his life during the climax.

Private Stanley "Fish" Mellish (Adam Goldberg)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (5)

A frequent actor in films such asa beautiful spirit,dazed and confused,zodiac, eBabe: Pig in the city,Adam Goldbergrecently appeared in TV series such asfargoeThe Jim Gaffigan Show🇧🇷 Goldberg private Stanley Mellish, nicknamed "Fish", is a Jewish marksman notable for his thick New York accent. Mellish survives heavy gunfire during the Normandy invasion and is given a Hitler Youth blade by his best friend Caparzo. Although they are humorous and add the greatest humor of allThere Private James RyanThe characters are hit hard by the death of their best friend Mellish. He then works valiantly to protect Upham during the bridge skirmish, surviving critical injuries. Mellish eventually loses his life after being impaled by a bayonet.

Private First Class Adrian Caparzo (Vin Diesel)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (6)

Vin Dieselwas cast in one of his first rolesThere Private James Ryan after Spielberg saw Diesel's directorial debutdispersed, in which he also played the lead role. Diesel's Private First Class, Adrian Caparzo, gives Mellish his nickname "Fish" and is chosen by Miller after helping to breach the dam on D-Day. compassionate. He attempts to rescue a young girl the squad encounters when venturing into enemy territory, and tells his squadmates that the child reminds him of his niece. Caparzo's shocking death while trying to protect the girl is among the most heartbreaking sequences in the entire film.

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Privado Daniel Jackson (Barry Pepper)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (7)

Barry Pfefferhas been a part of many classic films, includingthe green mile,25 hours,flags of our fathers, etrue courage🇧🇷 He won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his role as Robert KennedyDie Kennedys🇧🇷 Pepper's character, Private Daniel Jackson, is an accomplished marksman and the first to volunteer for Miller's team. Noted for his strong religious beliefs, Jackson prays before taking each photo. He wears a rosary and often quotes scripture, much to the dismay of some of his comrades. Jackson ambitiously claims that he can single-handedly defeat Adolf Hitler, but his confidence is justified. He is able to lead the squadron through the final fight, taking out over a dozen Germans, but his life is claimed by an exploding Tiger tank.

T/4 Medic Irwin Wade (Giovanni Ribisi)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (8)

A popular actor whose extensive filmography spansavatar,lost in translation,abandoned highway,Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, eSelmaamong many others,Giovanni Ribisifinally landed a lead role with Amazon's latest seriesSneaky Pete🇧🇷 Ribisi stars as Medical Officer Irwin Wade, who works diligently to save dying men during and after the attack on Omaha. Wade takes human life seriously and berates the squad for making dark jokes as he goes through the dog tags of dead soldiers. Wade faces his own death after trying to neutralize a machine gun and reflects on his mother's memories as he dies.

(Video) List Of Saving Private Ryan Characters 💚

Private James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon)

'Saving Private Ryan' cast and character guide (9)

Spielberg specifically cast Matt Damon as young soldier Ryanbecause he wanted an unknown for the role🇧🇷 He didn't foresee that Damon would become a breakout star and win an Oscar for it.goodwill huntduringThere Private James Ryanfilmado. Spielbergspecifically declined Damon's requestjoining the rest of the cast in training camp practice so that the team's bitterness towards Ryan seems realistic. Ryan is heartbroken when Miller informs him of his brothers' deaths, but understands the strategic importance of his post and refuses to leave. He shares a touching final moment with Miller as the Captain dies and tells Ryan to "earn this". The older Ryan, who appears in the film's opening and closing moments, is played byHarrison Jung.

There Private James RyanThe extensive cast also includesPaulo Giamattias Sergeant William Hill,Bryan Cranstonas Colonel Mac,Ted Dansonas Captain Fred Hamill andDennis Farinas Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Anderson. futurefireflypopaNathan Fillionappears for a memorable scene as Private Frederick Ryan, who is mistaken for Ryan and is falsely told that it was his brothers who were killed.

(Video) Saving Private Ryan (1998) Cast: Then and Now [24 Years After]

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Who is the character at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan? ›

Harrison Richard Young (March 13, 1930 – July 3, 2005) was an American character actor and known for playing old Ryan in Saving Private Ryan.

What disease did Captain Miller have in Saving Private Ryan? ›

It is clear that Captain Miller has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yet he must launch himself into battle regardless. This early scene serves to establish the trauma of war, initiating an emotional response in the audience that will only be perpetuated more intensely as the film progresses.

Who played the sharp shooter in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Barry Robert Pepper (born April 4, 1970) is a Canadian actor. He played Private Daniel Jackson in Saving Private Ryan (1998), Corrections Officer Dean Stanton in The Green Mile (1999), Roger Maris in 61* (2001), Joseph L.

Who are the three granddaughters in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Taylor Murphy - Sergeant Blaine (uncredited) Abbe Muschallik - Ryan's Granddaughter (uncredited) Nina Muschallik - Ryan's Granddaughter (uncredited)

Who turned down the role of Saving Private Ryan? ›

Billy Bob Thornton turned down the role of Sergeant Horvath, because he did not want to film the Normandy beach scenes, due to a phobia of water. Writer Robert Rodat first came up with the film's story in 1994, when he saw a monument dedicated to four sons of Agnes Allison of Port Carbon, PA.

Who is the girl in the purple shirt in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Nina Muschallik. Is an actress and model who attended the Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead, with Kate Winslett. Her screen debut was in 1992, in Kappatoo. In 1998 she played Ryan's granddaughter in Saving Private Ryan, and in 1999 was cast as Verushka in the Bond film The World Is Not Enough.

What did the captain say to Private Ryan before he died? ›

As the army captain, Captain Miller (portrayed by Tom Hanks), is dying on the bridge, he leans over to Private Ryan (portrayed by Matt Damon) and whispers in a dying gasp — “earn this”.

What did Tom Hanks whisper to Private Ryan? ›

In the epic World War II film, Saving Private Ryan (1998), Army Captain and Ranger John Miller (Tom Hanks) lies dying on the battlefield from gunshot wounds, as Private James Ryan (Matt Damon) looks on in horror and grief. Miller pulls Ryan close and exhorts him with his dying breaths, saying, “Earn this! Earn it!

Who kills Captain Miller in Saving Private Ryan? ›

He and his unit fight alongside the 101st, but the German armor advantage takes a toll on the Americans. Jackson, Mellish and Horvath are killed in the fighting, and Steamboat Willie shoots Miller as he attempts to blow up the bridge with pre-placed explosives.

What does the sniper yell in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Be not that far from me, for trouble is near; haste Thee to help me. Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Why do you think the German soldier leaves Upham alive? ›

As other people have noted, the German spares Upham because the former is a human being who has just survived an encounter with Mellish that would traumatise even the most battle hardened soldier, and we can assume that quite understandably, he has no desire to commit further close-quarters violence once he judges that ...

Who Kills Private Mellish? ›

Mellish is not killed by Steamboat Willie, but instead by a Waffen-SS soldier. Because all of the Germans in the film have shaved heads (an historically inaccurate portrayal), it is not difficult to get these two characters mixed up.

What does Upham say in German? ›

The words he says in German at the end of the film when conversing with the group of German soldiers are as followed: Upham: "Drop your weapons - hands up, drop your weapons!..... And shut your mouths!”

Is Private Ryan Based on a true story? ›

So, while Saving Private Ryan is unquestionably inspired by true events, the film's story of Captain Miller's risky mission to save one man is entirely fictional.

Was Ben Affleck in Private Ryan? ›

The two friends seemed inseparable during this era, which might be one reason viewers recall Ben Affleck being part of Saving Private Ryan. People often mix up Affleck with actor Edward Burns in the movie, who plays Private Reiben.

What does the German soldier say to private Mellish? ›

↑ Translates from German to: "Give up, you don't stand a chance! Let's end this here! It will be easier for you, much easier. You'll see it will be over quickly."

What did the Czech soldiers say in Saving Private Ryan? ›

They were saying, "Please don't shoot me, I am not German, I am Czech, I didn't kill anyone, I am Czech!" They were members of what the Germans called Ost (East) Battalions, men, mostly Czech and Polish, taken prisoner in eastern European countries invaded by Germany and forced into the German army.

Where was the last scene of Saving Private Ryan filmed? ›

The Bridge on the River Kwai is one example, and the 'Alamo Bridge' in Steven Spielberg's 1997 five-times Oscar winning blockbuster 'Saving Private Ryan' is another. The bridge was the centre piece for the final dramatic scenes of the movie, which grossed $481m worldwide at cinemas.

Who was the little German girl in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Anna Maguire(I)

Why was Miller crying in Saving Private Ryan? ›

However, Miller hides his vulnerable side from his men, particularly the moment when he privately cried at having lost medic Wade due to his rather rare error to attack the machine gun nest because he "didn't feel good about anything" after having lost many soldiers over his service.

Who does Upham shoot? ›

Upham appeared out of a crater between the Germans and their escape route, shouting to put their weapons down. They obliged, and Willie recognized Upham, smiling and saying Upham's name. Upham pauses for a moment before executing him, revenge for killing Miller, finally understanding the horrors of war.

How many people have died from Saving Private Ryan? ›

Approaching the climactic battle, Spielberg billets his soldiers in an abandoned church. While his men talk about their own mothers, Captain Miller defends the loss of 94 soldiers, one by one, under his command.

Was the final battle in Saving Private Ryan real? ›

The Battle of Ramelle at the end of Saving Private Ryan is fictional. There was no real-life town of Ramelle. Did Fritz Niland stay in the Army after he was extracted and went home to the United States?

What did Miller mean when he said earn this? ›

John Miller looked up at Matt Damon's young title character in “Saving Private Ryan” and whispered in a raspy voice, “Earn this.” In essence, Miller was speaking about the great debt owed to the men and women of the armed forces — of any war — who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Why does Captain Miller shake? ›

Miller's uncontrollably shaking hands is a result of post-traumatic stress disorder thanks to the film's dialogue and what is known of PTSD today.

What did Ryan say on the bridge? ›

His dying words to Ryan are, "Earn this. Earn it." Over and out. But Miller's command is very profound. Six men died trying to save this baby-faced private, and that's a big debt to repay.

How much did Tom Hanks make for Saving Private Ryan? ›

17. Tom Hanks as Captain John Miller in "Saving Private Ryan" Hanks has struck "act now, get paid later" deals on multiple films, in which he would receive a portion of the box office earnings. That got him at least $40 million for "Saving Private Ryan," but it's not his most lucrative deal.

Why did Reiben survive Saving Private Ryan? ›

Joining the Army and D-day invasion

Reiben survived the costly assault on Omaha Beach after finding another gun and assisting in taking the bunkers.

Why did Miller decide to let the German soldier go free? ›

Captain Miller does not kill the soldier because “every man [he] kill[s] the further away from home [he] feels (Saving Private Ryan, 1998). Captain Miller's decision to let the german soldier free ultimately puts his ethical dilemmas over the lives of his soldiers and exemplifies his poor leadership decision.

How does Wade died in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Death and Burial

While trying to get closer, he was fatally wounded by a machine gun nest after Captain Miller orders them to neutralise it. He had been shot three times in the chest by an MG-42. Wade's comrades try in vain to save his life. His friends tried to clear the blood and stem the bleeding but to no avail.

What language does the squad tell Upham that fubar is? ›

Mellish also tells Upham that FUBAR is German.

What nickname does caparzo call Mellish? ›

Private First Class Adrian Caparzo (Vin Diesel)

Diesel's Private First Class Adrian Caparzo gives Mellish his nickname “Fish,” and is selected by Miller after he helps breach the sea wall during D-Day.

What rank was Upham? ›

Timothy Upham
DiedNovember 2, 1855 (aged 72) Charlestown, Massachusetts
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
RankLieutenant Colonel U.S. Army; Major General of Militia
4 more rows

Why is Charles Upham a hero? ›

Upham was the only man in the Second World War to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice for courage under fire. In the years after the war he became one of the nation's heroes. The modesty, dependability and steely resolve of this Canterbury farmer personified characteristics that the nation admired.

Why is Charles Upham important? ›

Charles Hazlitt Upham is probably New Zealand's most famous soldier. He became one of only three people ever to win the Victoria Cross twice for his actions in Crete in 1941 and Egypt in 1942. He is the only person to have achieved this as a combat soldier.

Why does Upham shoot Steamboat Willie? ›

In the end, Upham shot 'Steamboat Willie' not because he wanted to “prove” that he was not a coward… but because his idealism had perished alongside the rest of his unit.

Who is the man at the cemetery in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Career. Young gained recognition for his role as the elderly Private James Ryan in Steven Spielberg's war epic Saving Private Ryan (1998). Having starred in over 100 films and television episodes, Young's other credits include Passions, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses.

Why is Mellish called fish? ›

He trained at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, which was where the 2nd Rangers were developed. There, he became friends with Private Adrian Caparzo, who nicknamed him "Fish".

Who played the coward in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Jeremy Davies
BornJeremy Boring October 8, 1969 Traverse City, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1991–present
ParentMel Boring
2 more rows

What does Upham mean in English? ›

English (Devon and Somerset): habitational name from Upham Farm in Farringdon (Devon) Upham in Aldbourne (Wiltshire) or Upham (Hampshire) from Old English upp 'upper' + hām 'village homestead' or hamm 'water meadow'. Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022.

Is the German they let go in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Despite the displeasure of the soldiers, Captain Miller made the right choice to let the German free. The German soldier wasn't armed, and didn't pose any threat to the American soldiers.

Where was Private Ryan buried? ›

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Where was Private Ryan filmed? ›

It was released on July 24, 1998, earned $482.3 million worldwide and won 5 Oscars including "Best Director". Saving Private Ryan was filmed in Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe, Co. Wexford, Ireland. Filming also took place in Normandy as well as in Hatfield, Thame Park, Hertfordshire, Wiltshire, and Oxfordshire.

How accurate is the D-Day scene in Saving Private Ryan? ›

Very accurate. Several WWII veterans invited to the opening night by Tom Hanks left the movie, cried, or suffered from anxiety attacks during the scene. There was even a hotline set up for veterans suffering from PTSD to call because the scene was so accurate to the D-Day invasion and war itself.


1. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998) | Behind the scenes of Steven Spielberg WWII Movie
(FilmIsNow Movie Bloopers & Extras)
2. Navy Seal Trevor Thompson on the Realism of Saving Private Ryan | Joe Rogan
(JRE Clips)
3. Full Cast Of Saving Private Ryan Actors/Actresses 🌞 🌝
4. Matt Damon Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters | GQ
5. Saving Private Ryan: Tom Hanks Exclusive Interview | ScreenSlam
6. History Buffs: Saving Private Ryan
(History Buffs)


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