Born in 1916, he became a prolific radio, television and feature actor who appeared in virtually every American cult television series ever made with more than hundred acting credits from 1944 to 1980. He was married to actress Kim Stanley (by whom he had a child), from 1957 until 1964. He was the older brother of actress Olive Deering (who appeared in 1956 as Miriam, in "The Ten Commandments").
During World War II he served in the United States Army Air Forces and appeared in the Air Forces' Broadway play and film "Winged Victory". He appeared in Anthony Mann's 1947 film noir classic, "T-Men" as the unforgettable character Tony Genaro, one of his best performances.
In films he is perhaps best known as the defense attorney who cross-examines John Wayne in "True Grit". On the stage, Ryder had the singular honor of being cast as the standby for Sir Laurence Olivier in one of the legendary actor's greatest roles, that of Archie Rice, in the 1958 Broadway production of John Osborne's "The Entertainer".
Despite his many achievements on the stage, film and radio, Ryder is mostly remembered as a prolific and versatile character actor, often cast as an intelligent and resourceful antagonist with a dark past or secret agenda.
He made over numerous appeareances on many classic television series, including memorable turns on "Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond" (in the 1959 episode "The Devil's Laughter", as a British criminal who could not be killed), "Star Trek; The Original Series" (where he appeared in 1966 as Prof. Robert Crater in the first broadcast episode on the series, "The Man Trap"), "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" (two appearances on 1964 as the ghost of Nazi U-boat commander Capt. Gerhardt Krueger), "The Invaders" (appearing in 1967 as The Alien Leader), "The Man From U.N.C.L.E", "Mission: Impossible" and "The F.B.I.".
His last acting credit was in "Bogie", a made-for-television movie made in 1980.
Ryder retired gradually from screen acting in the late 70's to concentrate on the stage, both as an actor and director.
He died on April 16, 1995 in Englewood, NJ, at the age of 79.