Meg Ryan life and biography

Meg Ryan picture, image, poster

Meg Ryan biography

Date of birth : 1961-11-19
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Bethel, Connecticut, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-09-23
Credited as : actress, Promised Land, Dennis Quaid

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Meg Ryan is an American actress and producer. Raised in Bethel, Connecticut, Ryan began her acting career in 1981 in minor roles, before joining the cast of the CBS soap opera As the World Turns in 1982. Subsequently, she began to appear in supporting roles in big screen films during the mid-1980s, achieving recognition in several independent films such as Promised Land (1987), before her performance in the Rob Reiner-directed romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989) brought her widespread attention and her first Golden Globe nomination.

She graduated from Bethel High School in 1979, where she was elected Homecoming Queen. 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. (If anyone ever says to you, "Oh, I just act in TV commercials to earn some extra cash," they're either lying, or you're talking to Meg Ryan) Her success led her to drop out of college only a semester shy of graduating.

After her first role in a feature film, Rich and Famous (1981), Ryan (then using her screen name) played Betsy Stewart in the daytime drama "As the World Turns" from 1982 to 1984. Several TV film and smaller movie roles followed. Ryan's first film role was a small role in Amityville 3-D, She appealed to much larger audiences in the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun (cue Kenny Loggins riff).

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 a Manhattan delicatessen, after which an old woman says, "I'll have what she's having!" It's priceless! Because then you get this image in your head of the old woman in the throes of passion and you're all like, "Gross!" and then you're like, "Yet hilarious!" And thus Meg Ryan inadvertently introduced the world to "Mature Porno Comedy." When Harry Met Sally... (1989) would be the first of three successful Nora Ephron films in which Ryan would be typecast as a bubbly, feisty, incurable romantic.

She had much success with her on-screen pairing with Tom Hanks. They starred in three films together: Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless In Seattle and You've Got Mail. 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 Courage Under Fire, portraying a captain in the Gulf War. Many of her films of the 1990s were hits not only in North America, but also abroad, which can also be said for Pauly Shore.

In 2000 Ryan starred in the action thriller Proof of Life opposite Russell Crowe. The two actors carried on a clandestine love affair during filming. The media then pounced on the story, and critics and audiences scorned the movie (aside from the fact that it was really just Predator without the Predator, or Carl Weathers' biceps). That same year Ryan returned to her Romantic comedy roots in the film Kate & Leopold. The film was well-received by critics, but failed to find an audience.

In 2003, she consciously broke away from her usual roles. Ryan had generally refused to do nude scenes during her career, but at the age of 42 starred in Jane Campion's In the Cut, an erotic crime thriller in which Ryan appeared in love scenes featuring full-frontal nudity (now, do yourself a favor and re-read that last sentence, but stressing the word "erotic" and saying it like Sean Connery). That decision got Ryan much attention, but movie still proved to be a failure with both critics and audiences.

Ryan talked with Oprah Winfrey (March 1, 2006, The Oprah Winfrey Show) about her work with CARE in India and empowering women in poor countries. At the end of the show, Oprah gave each one of her audience members a newly empowered Indian woman.

Ryan's most recent project, George Gallo's My Mom's New Boyfriend, was shot in the fall of 2006 in Shreveport, Louisiana and is due to be released in 2008. The romantic comedy stars Ryan opposite Antonio Banderas. Ryan is joined by former co-star Tom Hanks's son, Colin, who plays her son in the film, and who, we're guessing, is the "My" in the title of the film. Antonio Banderas would probably be "The Boyfriend." Either that, or a hilarious "ethnic" supporting character who has a passion for life, comedy and dancing.

Ryan's next project is a remake of the 1939 classic film The Women, which is slated to begin filming in New York City in August 2007. The $18 million remake of the George Cukor classic is being directed by Murphy Brown creator Diane English and produced by Mick Jagger. It's slated for release in 2008. Ryan will play 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 are also slated to star in the remake.

Ryan married actor Dennis Quaid on Valentine's Day in 1991, after starring in two films with him. It was during Ryan's engagement to Quaid that she had a falling out with her mother over his alleged drug abuse. Ryan agreed to marry him only after he kicked his drug and alcohol addiction. Quaid and Ryan have one child together, Jack Henry, born April 24, 1992. The couple divorced on July 16, 2001. Although Ryan had a relationship with actor Russell Crowe, with whom she made a movie, both she and Quaid deny it was a factor in their divorce. In a 2006 interview with Allure, Ryan indicated that Quaid had not been faithful to her during their marriage.

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