Nov. 19th, 1961
Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
Meg Ryan's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra (born November 19, 1961), known professionally as (Meg Ryan), is an American actress and producer. After playing several minor roles in film and television, Ryan became a star in 1989, when she appeared in When Harry Met Sally... Over the next 15 years, she played leading roles in several romantic-comedy films, including Sleepless in Seattle (1993), French Kiss (1995), Addicted to Love (1997), City of Angels (1998), You've Got Mail (1998), and Kate & Leopold (2001), films which together grossed a total of more than $870 million worldwide. In 1995, Time critic Richard Corliss called her "the current soul of romantic comedy".
Ryan was born in Fairfield, Connecticut, the daughter of Susan Jordan (née Ryan) a former actress and English teacher and Harry Hyra, a math teacher. Both Susan and Harry were raised in Fairfield, Connecticut. Ryan's mother had appeared in a television commercial and had later briefly worked as an assistant casting director in New York City. She supported and encouraged her young daughter's acting studies. Ryan has two sisters, Dana and Annie, and a brother, the musician Andrew Hyra, a member of the band Billy Pilgrim. Her parents divorced in 1976, when she was 15 years old. Ryan has Irish and Polish ancestry (her surname, "Hyra", originates in Poland). She was raised a Roman Catholic and graduated from St. Pius X Elementary School in Fairfield, where her mother taught sixth grade.
Ryan graduated from Bethel High School in 1979. She went on to study journalism as an undergraduate, first at the University of Connecticut and then at New York University. During college, she acted in television commercials to earn extra money. She dropped out of college a semester before she would have graduated and has said this decision was due to her success as an actress.
In 1981, she had her big screen debut as 'Candice Bergen' daughter in 'George Cukor' last film Rich and Famous (1981). She tried out and was cast as Betsy in the day time television soap As the World Turns (1956). She was part of the cast from 1982 to 1984. Meg also had a part in the television series One of the Boys (1982), but this show was soon cancelled.
In 1984, she moved to tinsel town and landed a job in the western Television Series Wildside (1985). With her part in the highly successful movie Top Gun (1986) Meg became a star with "take me to bed or lose me forever". This led to Meg being cast in 'Steven Spielberg' movie Innerspace (1987) where she co-starred with 'Dennis Quaid'. She again co-starred with Quaid in the remake of D.O.A. (1988).
In 1989, Meg appeared in another blockbuster called When Harry Met Sally... (1989) and the scene at the restaurant became famous. Meg was nominated for both the Golden Globe and the BAFTA. In 1990, she co-starred with 'Tom Hanks' in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and this time she played three roles as DeDe/Angelica/Patricia. She appeared again with Tom in the very successful Sleepless in Seattle (1993) for which she was again nominated for the Golden Globe.
In 1994, Ryan wanted to break away from being typecast and chose to take on several roles that were different from the romantic-comedy ingenue character for which she had become famous. In Luis Mandoki's When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), a romantic social drama film also starring Andy Garcia, she played an alcoholic high-school guidance counselor. The film and her performance were both well received by critics.
After that, she went back to "cute" with both I.Q. (1994) and French Kiss (1995). In 1994, Meg won the Harvard Hasty Pudding Award as "Woman of the Year" and was voted as being one of "The 50 most beautiful people in the world 1994" by People Magazine.
Ryan married actor Dennis Quaid on Valentine's Day 1991, after starring in two films with him (D.O.A. and Innerspace). She agreed to marry him only after he kicked his cocaine addiction. Quaid and Ryan have one child together, Jack Quaid, born April 24, 1992. In 2000, she became involved with 'Russell Crowe' on the set of Proof of Life. She and Quaid separated and their divorce became final on July 16, 2001. In September 2008, Ryan stated that Quaid had been unfaithful to her for a long time while they were married. In January 2006, Ryan adopted a 14-month-old girl from China named Daisy True. As of November 2011, she is in a relationship with American rock singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, who announced on December 30, 2010 that he and his wife, Elaine Irwin Mellencamp were divorcing after 18 years of marriage.
- Turned down the 'Sharon Stone (I)' (qv) role in _Basic Instinct (1992)_ (qv)
- Measurements: 34B/C-24-33 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
- (1979) Graduated from Bethel High School. Was Prom Queen.
- Was offered the role of Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie in _Steel Magnolias (1989)_ (qv), but she turned it down in order to film _When Harry Met Sally... (1989)_ (qv). 'Julia Roberts (I)' (qv), who went on to receive a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
- Made a memorably unforthcoming appearance on a British chat show hosted by 'Michael Parkinson (II)' (qv). The October 2003 episode of Parkinson's chat show has become part of British television history due to the actress' bizarre behavior in which she gave only one word answers to questions and stared icily at the host. Ryan appeared on the program to promote her erotic thriller, _In the Cut (2003)_ (qv), but refused to answer Parkinson's questions about the drastic change from her typical romantic comedy roles. At one point, Parkinson said in exasperation, "What would you do now if you were me?" to which Ryan replied, "Why not wrap it up?" About the televised debacle, Parkinson later said that Ryan was his "most difficult TV moment." He felt her rude behavior toward his fellow guests, 'Trinny Woodall' (qv) and 'Susannah Constantine' (qv), whom she deliberately turned her back on, was unforgivable. Parkinson said, "I should have closed it. But listen, it happens. She was an unhappy woman. I felt sorry for her. What I couldn't forgive her for was that she was rude to the other guests." In a 2006 interview with "Marie Claire" magazine, Ryan blamed Parkinson's paternal manner for the failure of the interview. Ryan said, "I don't even know the man. That guy was like some disapproving father! It's crazy. I don't know what he is to you guys, but he's a nut. I felt like he was berating me for being naked in the movie. He said something like: 'You should go back to doing what you were doing.' And I thought, are you like a disapproving dad right now? I'm not even related to you. Back off, buddy. I was so offended by him." Ryan also underscored the difference between American and British TV interviewing styles. "I realized it's not like an American talk show where it's seven minutes and then there's a commercial break. I had to do 20 minutes straight with this guy, and I could either walk off -- which wouldn't be good -- or try to disagree with him very respectfully".
- Was offered the role of "Molly Jensen" in _Ghost (1990)_ (qv), but turned it down. The part later went to 'Demi Moore' (qv).
- Has twice played Candice Bergen's daughter, first in Rich and Famous (1981) and again in The Women (2008).
- Has been linked romantically to actors 'Russell Crowe' (qv), 'John Cusack' (qv), 'Breckin Meyer' (qv), 'Matt Dillon (I)' (qv) & 'Craig Bierko' (qv); as well as Aussie underwear model 'Travis Fimmel' (qv).