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Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan

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Also Known As: Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra Died:
Born: November 19, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Profession: actor, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

During the 1990s, Meg Ryan was the queen of American romantic comedy - an updated Doris Day relentlessly touted as "America's Sweetheart" for her wholesome heroines in a steady string of mating mix-ups. Ryan embodied the cute, bubbly but befuddled objects of desire in Nora Ephron-penned hits "When Harry Met Sally" (1989), "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) and "You've Got Mail" (1998) - films which earned her the rare following of both male and female fans who either wanted to take her home to mom or be her best shopping buddy. Ryan regularly sought to explore new territory outside of her well-worn but popular persona as a dizzy romantic stereotype, and she garnered some positive feedback for a SAG-winning performance as an alcoholic in "When a Man Loves a Woman" (1994) and a U.S. Army captain in "Courage Under Fire" (1996). Ryan's Hollywood A-List status took a dip in the new century when an extramarital affair with co-star Russell Crowe tarnished her girl-next-door image and spelled the end of her marriage to actor Dennis Quaid. When the scandal blew over and enough time had passed, she sought to reclaim her leading actress status, but by reinventing herself in more mature roles as middle-aged moms in...

During the 1990s, Meg Ryan was the queen of American romantic comedy - an updated Doris Day relentlessly touted as "America's Sweetheart" for her wholesome heroines in a steady string of mating mix-ups. Ryan embodied the cute, bubbly but befuddled objects of desire in Nora Ephron-penned hits "When Harry Met Sally" (1989), "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) and "You've Got Mail" (1998) - films which earned her the rare following of both male and female fans who either wanted to take her home to mom or be her best shopping buddy. Ryan regularly sought to explore new territory outside of her well-worn but popular persona as a dizzy romantic stereotype, and she garnered some positive feedback for a SAG-winning performance as an alcoholic in "When a Man Loves a Woman" (1994) and a U.S. Army captain in "Courage Under Fire" (1996). Ryan's Hollywood A-List status took a dip in the new century when an extramarital affair with co-star Russell Crowe tarnished her girl-next-door image and spelled the end of her marriage to actor Dennis Quaid. When the scandal blew over and enough time had passed, she sought to reclaim her leading actress status, but by reinventing herself in more mature roles as middle-aged moms in comedic crisis.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Ithaca (2015)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Ithaca (2015)
2.
4.
 The Women (2008)
5.
 Deal, The (2008)
6.
7.
 Against the Ropes (2004) Jackie Kallen
8.
 Searching for Debra Winger (2003) Herself
9.
 In the Cut (2003) Frannie Thorstin
10.
 Kate & Leopold (2001) Kate Mckay
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1981:
Made film debut in George Cukor's "Rich and Famous" as Candice Bergen's daughter
1982:
TV debut in the ABC Afterschool Special, "Amy and the Angel"
1982:
Cast in a regular role as Betsy Stewart in the CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns"
1985:
Appeared in Richard Fleischer's "Amityville 3D"
1986:
First adult role in features, "Top Gun"; played wife of naval aviator Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw (played by Anthony Edwards)
1987:
First oncreen pairing with future husband Dennis Quaid, "Innerspace"
1998:
Re-teamed with Quaid for the contemporary remake of "D.O.A."
1989:
Breakthrough lead role opposite Billy Crystal in "When Harry Met Sally..."; film written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress
1990:
First screen pairing with Tom Hanks in "Joe Versus the Volcano"; played multiple roles
1991:
Portrayed Pamela Morrison in Oliver Stone's biopic "The Doors"
1992:
Starred opposite Alec Baldwin in Craig Lucas' feature adaptation of his play, "Prelude to a Kiss"
1993:
Re-teamed with husband, Dennis Quaid for the dramatic "Flesh and Bone"
1993:
Again paired with Tom Hanks in the hit romantic comedy "Sleepless in Seattle"; second collaboration with writer/director Ephron; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress
1993:
Formed Fandango Films (renamed Prufrock Pictures), a production company based at FOX with business partner Kathryn Galan
1994:
Offered a fine dramatic turn as an alcoholic wife and mother in "When a Man Loves a Woman"; received a SAG nomination for Best Female Lead
1995:
Feature producing debut, "French Kiss" (also starred)
1995:
Renewed first-look production deal with FOX; Kathryn Galen replaced by Nina Sadowsky as president of Prufrock Pictures
1996:
Portrayed an Army captain under investigation in the Persian Gulf drama "Courage Under Fire"
1997:
Attempted to change her screen persona by playing a cynical photographer in "Addicted to Love"
1997:
Provided the speaking voice of the title character in the animated feature "Anastasia"
1998:
Played a pragmatic heart surgeon opposite Nicholas Cage in "City of Angels," a remake of Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire"
1998:
Third teaming with Tom Hanks and writer/director Ephron in "You've Got Mail"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress
1998:
Had dramatic supporting role in Anthony Drazan's "Hurlyburly"
2000:
Began an off-screen affair with co-star Russell Crowe when they starred together in Taylor Hackford's "Proof of Life"
2001:
Starred opposite Hugh Jackman in the romantic comedy "Kate & Leopold"
2003:
Directed by Jane Campion in the erotic thriller "In the Cut"
2004:
Portrayed the first female boxing manager in the film "Against the Ropes"
2007:
Cast as a struggling mother of two daughters in Jonathan Kasdan's directorial debut "In the Land of Women"
2008:
Played the central character of a woman whose husband has left her in Diane English's female ensemble "The Women," a remake of the 1936 play by Clare Boothe Luce
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Connecticut: Storrs , Connecticut -
New York University: New York , New York -
Bethel High School: Bethel , Connecticut - 1979

Notes

Named Woman of the Year by Harvard's Hasty Puddding Theatricals in 1994.

"She is not 'pert' or 'perky' or soft at all. ... Meg is not to be messed around with. Some people havea tough job coming to terms with that." --Tom Hanks quoted in the London Times, June 14, 1998.

"I am just not a romantic. I am pragmatic or very sensible. But romantic? No. I can't think of the most romantic thing I've ever done or that has ever happened to me. I don't have my head in the clouds. My head is screwed on straight. I am not a sentimental person." --Meg Ryan to Garth Pearce in "She's a Fighter, Not a Lover" from the London Times, June 14, 1998.

"She has a rare gift. Even some great actors, even movie stars, don't have her gift. They rarely let people look right through them. What she is in films is what she is, which id a rare quality. She says to the audience, 'This is me, and I'm not phony and you can trust me.' She's not hiding behind her parts--she IS those parts. I like that. In her roles, she's saying 'I'm also giving of myself 100 percent'." --director Wim Wenders on Ryan quoted in Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1998.

"Fame is bizarre. As an end in itself, it's worthless. It's just a THING. It's also a test of character at times ... Sometimes I pass the test; sometimes I'm a pain in the ass. Sometimes I'm like, 'Oh, God! I just want to buy some tampons!'" --Meg Ryan to Vanity Fair, May 1995.

"I'm not sure being in hits is anything to aspire to. But I'm lucky, because I really like doing comedies, and they're usually an easier sell than a drama. I'm not a snob about it ... In fact, I think a television sitcom would be a great thing to do. I think it would be really fun to make your day all about finding the joke." --Ryan in Vanity Fair, May 1995.

"Nora Ephron ... called me America's Sweetheart, and, I don't know, I think that might have been a disservice. Not a disservice, but I would never in the world describe myself that way. I'm more ... I can be very relentless when I'm making a point, and sort of alienate people. I really have to catch that." --Ryan to Us, December 1994.

"I always think it's so shocking when couples break up and the men are instantly with other women. Women do't do that."-Ryan quoted in 1993 Premiere October 2, 2002

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Dennis Quaid. Actor. Met while filming "Innerspace" (1987); became engaged in 1989; married on February 14, 1991; also worked with Ryan on "D.O.A." (1988) and "Flesh and Bone" (1993); announced separation in June 2000; Quaid filed for divorce on July 12, 2000; Ryan countersued in August 2000; divorced on July 16, 2001.
companion:
Russell Crowe. Actor. Began highly publicized relationship during filming of "Proof of Life" in 2000; separated in December 2000.
companion:
Craig Bierko. Actor. Reportedly dating as of early 2002.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Harry Hyra. Teacher.
mother:
Susan Hyra. Teacher. Former actor and casting director; divorced from Ryan's father in 1976; reportedly got Ryan an audition for "Rich and Famous" (1981), director George Cukor's final film; estranged from Ryan since late 1980s.
step-father:
Pat Jordan. Journalist.
brother:
Andrew Hyra.
sister:
Dana Hyra.
sister:
Annie Hyra.
son:
Jack Henry Quaid. Born on April 24, 1992; father, Dennis Quaid.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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