Thursday, March 30, 2023

The dark story behind Jack Ryan, the creator of the first Barbie

United States of America.- As Warner Bros. prepares to release the film “Barbie” by Greta Gerwig starring Margot Robbie, set for release this summer, the true life saga of the iconic creator is more of a story. a Hollywood story.

The creator of a number of popular toys in addition to Barbie, including Hot Wheels and Chatty Cathy, Mattel Vice President Jack Ryan once threatened the life of one of his daughters in a paranoid, sneaky, fueled drive. COCAINE with LAPD SWAT present.

These and other shocking revelations about the brilliant but deeply troubled Ryan come from his eldest daughter, Ann Ryan, who hosts the “Dream House” podcast about her life growing up in the shadow of Barbie and her father.

My dad was drinking and doing drugs, cocaine and he was paranoid,” Ann, 68, said in an exclusive interview with the NY Post about the terrifying police appearance. “He thought people were chasing him because they were listening to him electronically. He trusted the people to listen to him and, at one important moment, he said that they would move against the walls. It’s not right.”

Margot Robbie stars in the upcoming movie “Barbie.” (Mattel)

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A wonderful fake castle

In the spring of 1977, Jack left Mattel, then the largest toy company, as chief designer.

It was at the height of the battle that he was suing to recover millions of dollars in royalties from the toy because Mattel had stopped paying him (Mattel Films is one of the producers of the $100 million “Barbie” movie).

According to Anna, her sister Diana, 20 at the time, spent some time out of college staying with her father in an amazing fake castle, complete with a bridge and moat, in the exclusive Bel Air section of Los Angeles, the NY Post told

My sister realized that my father would become a savior in some way and bring help to look around his life,” Ann said. “They had a meeting and I guess it was the enemy. Then it was like the Dresden castle after World War II.

A playboy and swinger who married five wives, including actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jack designed and built a castle where he hosted six infamous orgies, even while living there with his two daughters and Jack’s mother, his first wife, Barbie.

Jack Ryan (with his wife Barbie and their daughters Ann [al frente] and Diana) once held Diana hostage at gunpoint while Ann and LAPD officers attempted to dismantle the site. (Photo: Courtesy of Ann Ryan at NYP)


Ann was 22 years old when she received a call from one of her father’s colleagues working at the castle.

“He didn’t give any further details. He just said that something terrible was happening to my father and that he was going to the castle immediately,” he said.

Things started when Diana entered the small kitchen on the third floor adjacent to her father’s and found that one of the burners had been turned on and was heating the grill with shotgun shells.

Diana’s father called the police, thinking she was going to “blow up the castle.”

When I got there, there were tons of police cars outside the gate and SWAT vehicles. I was astonished. I don’t know what was going on,” Ann recalled. And his colleague ran and said: You must enter. Your father is holding Diana hostage.’ The officers thought they might be able to talk some sense into my father. They didn’t know what else to do. “

But soon she was driven into madness.

He had his daughter hostage with a gun to her head.

“He dragged me home, to the breakfast room, and the policemen put me under the table. “That room was facing the hallway where the father and Diana were at the top of the stairs,” Anno told the NYP. “The father was pointing a gun at Diana’s head, and the police officers were pointing their guns at her.”

“Diana was shaking and crying. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had seen it done before, but nothing so bitter and dangerous. I felt powerless. When the SWAT guy urged me to say something to my father, I could barely form the words, like in a dream when you want to scream but you can’t make a sound. It was an out of body experience. “

He eventually found the words and pleaded with his father to come down, he told the NY Post.

“I said, Father, it’s fine. Everything will be fine. Leave it to Diana… I don’t remember anything for sure after that, except that at some point he put the gun down and the cops came out from all over and arrested him and arrested my sister. I think it’s about passion.”

They gave him psychiatric treatment

Jack was taken into custody and soon admitted to Olive View UCLA Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation and treatment. From there, Ann said, she entered a detoxification program at a private hospital in Santa Monica.

According to Ann, the scary gun things weren’t unusual when her father, who kept a gun room under his bed, was high on cocaine: he took out some of the leaded glass windows in his bedroom and knocked holes in the roof, thinking. that the people would have him at home and under the roof.

One night, when one of his girlfriends was staying at the castle, Jack came into her room, woke her up and told her “they were in the attic,” Ann said. “He was naked and with guns,” and he told me to go up to the attic with him. She followed him, but no ghosts were found and she was finally calmed down.

Crazy about guns?

Anna said she didn’t know her father was a “gun nut,” but when she was 19 and moved into her first apartment in Beverly Hills, he gave her a shotgun as a housewarming gift.

If someone you don’t know knocks on the door, just put the gun away, this is going to run,” Ann remembers her father telling her.

When the toymaker discovered that police officers were often disarmed and taken away by criminals, he reportedly invented a ring that communicated electronically with the gun so that only the sadist wearing the ring could shoot.

His arrival at Mattel

After graduating from Yale and Harvard, Jack worked for a major US defense contractor, Raytheon, during the Cold War, helping to design both the Hawk surface-to-air missile and the Sparrow III air-to-air missile. ordered by the Pentagon.

Creative and inventive, she saw a profitable future in toy design and the Mattel startup, which was founded by husband and wife Ruth and Elliott Handler.

Mattel would become huge and rich thanks to Jack’s patented inventions, especially Barbie.

In the late 1970s, Ruth forced Jack out of the company for disrespecting her lifestyle and launched a campaign to claim that Barbie was her idea, not Jack’s credited creation.

What is Barbie born?

The inspiration for Barbie, America’s first truly female toy doll, was based on an adult novelty 10-rated doll named Bild-Lilli, a popular German cartoon character.

When Ruth saw it in the window on vacation in Europe, she brought it home, gave it to Jack, and told him to use a magic trick to turn it into a mechanical engine.

Despite Jack and Mattel’s financial success with Barbie, Ruth took it hard, scorning his laid-back life and a reputation for jealous shouting, which he received for many playful ideas, reports the outlet in New York.

In the late 1970s, Ruth drove Jack out of the company and stopped millions of dollars in royalties owed to her by Mattel, leading to severe financial difficulties and health problems.

Ironically, Ruth herself was forced to leave Mattel in 1975 after pleading not guilty to falsifying the company’s books and being sentenced to 2,500 hours of community service and a $57,000 fine.

The inspiration for Barbie, America’s first truly female toy doll, was based on a 10-rated adult novelty doll named Bild-Lilli (Image from the Internet)

A sad ending to a horror movie

Depressed by his dealings with Mattel and his debilitating health problems, in 1991 Jack committed suicide at the age of 64 by shooting himself. After this Handler published the egotistical book “Dream Doll” written by Anna, in which she claimed full credit for the creation and success of Barbie and barely mentioned Jack.

She died in 2002, aged 85, without direct registration.

“My father put his heart and soul into everything Mattel did, and he benefits from his contributions to this day, but he never got the credit he deserves,” Anno said. “It broke my father’s guts.”

Despite the fears of his father, Ann said in a solo interview with the NYP: “I want to be able to celebrate my father’s talent and creativity. I have made peace with him. I regret that during his life I could not know him and have such a relationship that I would like to have.”

Ryan in front of his castle in Bel Air. (Photo: Courtesy of Ann Ryan at NYP)

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