Meg Ryan (born Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra, 19.11.1961)
Meg Ryan is an internationally-renowned Hollywood actress. Amongst her most famous films are When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle.
Meg Ryan: Childhood
Meg Ryan was born in Fairfield, Connecticut, to Susan Hyra Jordan (formerly Ryan) and Harry Hyra. Her mother was an actress and casting director and her father was a maths teacher. Meg has two sisters, Dana and Annie, as well as a brother, Andrew. Andrew is one half of the folk rock duo Billy Pilgrim.
In 1979, Meg Ryan graduated from Bethel High School and went on to study journalism, firstly at the University of Connecticut and then at New York University. To earn extra money whilst she studied, she acted in television commercials for products such as 'Tickle' deodorant. The commercials led to further work as an actress and she subsequently dropped out of university just before she should have graduated.
Meg Ryan: Acting Career
One of Meg Ryan's first acting roles came in the 1981 film Rich and Famous, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergen.
This was followed by an ongoing role in the daytime drama As The World Turns. Between 1982 and 1984, Meg Ryan played the role of Betsy Stewart. Ryan then landed a number of small film and TV roles in productions including Promised Land (for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination) and Amityville 3-D.
In the lead-up to her big break, Meg Ryan had a role in Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise, playing the wife of Nick Bradshaw, played by Anthony Edwards. She also played the role of Lydia Maxwell in Innerspace, which starred Dennis Quaid and Martin Short.
Meg Ryan's crossover into mainstream recognition came in 1989 when she was awarded the lead role in When Harry Met Sally. The film became an international hit and also starred Billy Crystal. Ryan played the role of Sally Albright and she was earned herself a Golden Globe nomination. The performance has become memorable over time, for the scene in which she fakes an orgasm in an overly theatrical manner.
In 1991, Meg Ryan appeared alongside Val Kilmer in The Doors, a biopic about Jim Morrison, singer of the rock band, The Doors. The film also starred Billy Idol, Kyle MacLachan and Kevin Dillon. The following year, Ryan appeared in an adaptation of Craig Lucas play Prelude to a Kiss. She took the female lead, opposite Alec Baldwin.
Meg Ryan's career took another upturn when she starred in 1993's Sleepless in Seattle. Working once more with Tom Hanks (she had first worked with him in Joe Versus the Volcano), the film became a huge global hit, grossing over $225 million worldwide.
By this point in her career, Ryan was in danger of being typecast in romantic comedies and lighthearted films, so she next chose to work on When A Man Loves A Woman, in which she plays an alcoholic, alongside Andy Garcia and Philip Seymour Hoffman. This was followed by Courage Under Fire. This critically acclaimed drama also starred Denzel Washington, Matt Damon and Lou Diamond Phillips.
1997 was a hugely successful year for Meg Ryan. Firstly, she appeared in City of Angels, with Nicolas Cage. Although the film was not favoured by film critics, it was a huge financial success, grossing almost $200 million at the box office. Following City of Angels was You've Got Mail. This film saw her paired with Tom Hanks once more and also brought her third Golden Globe nomination. Again, the film was financially triumphant, and grossed over $250 million across the globe.
In 2000, Meg Ryan was reportedly paid $15 million to star in Proof Of Life opposite Russell Crowe. The film was unpopular with movie critics and did not perform well at the box office.
Meg Ryan then went on to star in a few low profile movies such as Hanging Up, Kate & Leopold and In the Cut. It was this latter movie that brought Meg Ryan some negative press as well as controversy - partly due to her decision to appear nude in the film and partly due to her much-talked about interview with Michael Parkinson on British TV.
In June 2009, Meg Ryan confirmed that she will appear in the seventh series of Curb Your Enthusiasm - the US comedy show starring Larry David.
Meg Ryan: Personal Life
Meg Ryan was married to the actor Dennis Quaid between 1991 and 2001. They had a son together. She was also briefly involved with Russell Crowe. In January 2006, Meg Ryan adopted a Chinese girl named Daisy True.