Meg Ryan Explained

Meg Ryan
Born:1961 11, mf=yes
Birthplace:Bethel, Connecticut
Birthname:Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra
Spouse:Dennis Quaid (1991-2001)
Active:1981 - present
Americancomedyawards:Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)
1989 When Harry Met Sally...
1993 Sleepless in Seattle

Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra (born November 19, 1961), professionally known as Meg Ryan, is a Golden Globe-nominated American film actress whose lead roles in five 1990s romantic comedies - When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss, City of Angels and You've Got Mail - grossed over $870 million worldwide.[1]

Early years

Ryan was born Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra in Fairfield, Connecticut, the daughter of Susan Hyra Jordan (née Ryan), a former actress, casting director, and English-teacher, and Harry Hyra, a math teacher.[2] [3] She has two sisters, Dana and Annie, and a brother, musician Andrew Hyra, of Billy Pilgrim. The Hyra family relatives are from Canada.

Ryan was raised a Roman Catholic[4] and graduated from Saint Pius X Elementary School, in Fairfield, where her mother taught sixth grade. There, Ryan was confirmed into the Catholic Church, choosing the name, "Anne," as her confirmation name. Ryan's mother had appeared in one television commercial and later worked briefly as an assistant casting director in New York City. She supported and encouraged her young daughter's study of acting.

Ryan graduated from Bethel High School, in 1979. She went on to study journalism at the University of Connecticut and then at New York University, while acting in television commercials to earn extra money. Her success as an actress led her to drop out of college a semester before graduating.

Early career

At age 18, through her mother's connections, Ryan booked her first television commercial, doing chin-ups and giggling to promote "Tickle" deodorant.

After a role in Rich and Famous, Ryan played "Betsy Stewart" in the daytime drama As the World Turns, from 1982 to 1984; she was featured in a popular romantic story arc. Several TV film and smaller movie roles followed, including Amityville 3-D and Promised Land; for her role in the latter she received her first Independent Spirit Award nomination.

In 1986, she played, "Carole Bradshaw," (wife of naval aviator "Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw"; played by Anthony Edwards) in Top Gun, and appeared in several scenes. Ryan played "Lydia Maxwell" in the movie Innerspace, which also starred her former husband, Dennis Quaid. Ryan then appeared in a film-noir remake (D.O.A.) and an action film (The Presidio).

Hit films

Her first full-blown hit in a leading role was the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989) which paired her with comedic leading man Billy Crystal. Her portrayal of Sally Albright, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination, is memorable for her depiction of a theatrical faked orgasm in Katz's Delicatessen in Manhattan.

The film would be the first of three successful Nora Ephron films in which Ryan would be cast as a bubbly, feisty, incurable romantic.

Ryan then starred in The Doors and in Prelude to a Kiss. Both films were moderately successful. 1993 saw the release of the hugely successful romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, which paired Ryan with leading man Tom Hanks for the second of three times. (The first was in Joe Versus the Volcano, which earned a "cult following" but was a critical and commercial disappointment.)

She made several attempts to break away from the romantic comedy ingenue stereotype and garnered critical acclaim for her work in When a Man Loves a Woman, in which she played an alcoholic and in Courage Under Fire, portraying a captain in the Gulf War. Both films were substantial successes at the box office. Many of her films of the 1990s were hits not only in North America, but also abroad. In 1994, Ryan won Harvard's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year. That same year, People Magazine dubbed her one of "the 50 most beautiful people in the world." In 1995, critic Richard Corliss called her the, "the current soul of romantic comedy."[5] That same year, she appeared opposite Kevin Kline in Lawrence Kasdan's, French Kiss, a romantic comedy that catered to her America's Sweetheart persona. The film was a huge success worldwide, grossing slightly over $101 million.

In 1997, Ryan voiced the lead role in the animated film, Anastasia, which garnered good reviews and enjoyed box office success. In 1998, Ryan starred in two films. The first, City of Angels, drew negative reviews, but became a huge financial success, topping nearly $200 million worldwide. You've Got Mail, which once again paired Ryan with Tom Hanks, earned her a third Golden Globe nomination and made over $250 million worldwide.

In 2000, Ryan starred in the action thriller Proof of Life, opposite Russell Crowe. Though the film was a critical and commercial flop, her $15 million paycheck established her as one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood.

That same year, Ryan starred opposite Diane Keaton in the comedy, Hanging Up, which received poor reviews, but grossed over $51 million. A year later, she once again returned to her romantic comedy roots in the film, Kate & Leopold. The film was well-received by some critics, but failed to find an audience. In 2003, she broke away from her usual roles, starring in Jane Campion's erotic crime thriller In the Cut. Though Ryan's decision to appear nude in a lengthy and rather graphic love scene for the first time in her career earned her much media attention, the movie failed with critics and grossed only $23 million in theaters. In October 2003, while in the UK to promote, "In the Cut," Ryan's controversial interview with Michael Parkinson on the long-running television talk show Parkinson brought her some negative publicity in the British press.[6]

Recent projects

Ryan's most recent project, George Gallo's My Mom's New Boyfriend (Originally titled, Homeland Security, and released in Australia and New Zealand as, My Spy), was shot in the fall of 2006, in Shreveport, Louisiana, and was released in 2008. The romantic comedy stars Ryan opposite Antonio Banderas. Ryan was joined by former co-star Tom Hanks's son, Colin, who plays her son in the film.[7] [8] In 2007 she played the role of Sarah Hardwicke in In the Land of Women, co-starring Adam Brody and Kristen Stewart, and won over critics and the public.

Ryan's next project was a remake of the 1939 film, The Women, and began filming in New York City, in August 2007. The $18 million remake of the George Cukor classic was directed by Murphy Brown creator Diane English and produced by the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and released in 2008. Ryan played the central character, "Mary Haines," a wealthy woman who is one of the last to find out that her husband is cheating on her with a shop girl. The leading role was originally made famous by actress Norma Shearer. Annette Bening, Eva Mendes and Candice Bergen also starred in the remake.[9]

Ryan also appeared in, The Deal, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The film was never distributed but is scheduled for DVD release on January 20, 2009.

Marriage and children

Ryan married actor Dennis Quaid on St. Valentine's Day (February 14), 1991, after starring in two films with him. Ryan agreed to marry him only after he kicked his cocaine addiction.[5] Quaid and Ryan had one child together, John Henry, born on April 24, 1992. The couple separated in 2000, their divorce became final on July 16, 2001. In September 2008, Ryan revealed Quaid had been unfaithful to her for a long time while they were married.[10]

Meg Ryan had a relationship with actor Russell Crowe for a few months in 2000 before divorcing her husband; however, the relationship did not last.[11]

In January 2006, Ryan adopted a 14-month-old girl from China named Daisy True.[12]

Political involvement

Ryan tends to support the U.S. Democratic Party, especially for its environmental protection programs and initiatives. In 2003, she supported Wesley Clark's campaign for U.S. president. She supported John Kerry during the 2004 presidential elections.[13]

Film and television work


Notes and References

  1. Meg Ryan
  2. Graham, Caroline. "Meg and Dennis: It's All Over" You. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  3. Meg Ryan Biography (1961-)
  4. Davidson, Sara. "Meg Ryan: Isn't She Romantic?" Reader's Digest. February 2002.
  5.,9171,982974,00.html Star Lite, Star Bright
  6. "Michael Parkinson interviews Meg Ryan - part 1"
  7. Laporte, Nicole. "Macy Gets 'Deal:' Actor Co-Wrote Ryan Starrer" Variety. 13 February 2007.
  8. More Than You Know at IMDB
  9. Schwartz, Missy. "Wonder 'Women.'" Entertainment Weekly. 15 June 2007.
  10.,,20219137_20227125_20510786,00.html Meg's Back - Public Pain
  11.,,622104,00.html Meg Dumped Russell, Not Vice-Versa - Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe :
  12.,,1152861,00.html Meg Ryan Adopts a Girl - Birth, Meg Ryan :
  13. - Bon Jovi hosts $1 million fundraiser for John Kerry