James Ryan is a South African actor, writer and director best known for his role as a martial arts fighter in the alternate world film Kill or Be Killed (1980) and its sequel, Kill and Kill Again, in 1981.
The sequel proved a major box office success for a low-budget South African feature, reaching No. 2 on the American box office and grossing $802,900 after two weeks in American theatres.
In 1989, he starred in Space Mutiny, a South African science-fiction action film. A year later he appeared alongside Susan Sarandon and Harvey Keitel in The January Man. In 1991, he wrote and starred in The Last Hero.
In 1994 he landed a role as in Halifax f.p: Hard Corps, an Australian television drama that won two Australian Film Institute awards. A year later he returned to the Martial Arts film genre, with a role in Kickboxer 5.
In 1998, he appeared in the Australian television drama and sequel Halifax f.p: Afraid of the Dark, the acclaimed drama earned several Logie and Australian Film Institute nominations.
The following year he appeared in the From Dusk Till Dawn sequel, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money.
In 2007 he acted in the kykNET comedy-drama television series Geraldina die Tweede.