“Clearly, romantic comedy is my franchise genre. I don’t mind saying that, it’s
true. I love doing them and hopefully always will do them. I don’t feel
particularly typecast because I think I do so many different kinds of things.
Whether they’re seen or not is another issue.” Meg Ryan
Hollywood actress/producer Meg Ryan not only gained the status of “America’s
Sweetheart” for her roles in romantic comedies, but also critical appreciation.
She won her first American Comedy Award for her titular role in the romantic
comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989) and took home the second one after playing
Annie Reed in the Nora Ephron-helmed Sleepless in Seattle (1993). Ryan soared
with the female lead part of Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail (1998), where her
bravura acting earned a Blockbuster Entertainment Award. For her all-out
performance, the screen actress was handed a Golden Apple for Female Discovery
of the Year, a Woman of the Year award from Hasty Pudding Theatricals, a Crystal
award from Women in Film Crystal, as well as a ShoWest Actress of the Year. As a
film producer, in 1993, she established a production company with colleague
Kathryn Galan, named Fandango Films. The company, later renamed Prufrock
Pictures, helped Ryan make several productions.
Off camera, the 57th celebrity in the 1999 Premiere (USA) magazine’s “The 100
Most Powerful People in Hollywood” list, Ryan became one of the jury members for
the Festival International de Cannes 2003. In March 2006, in an episode of the
“Oprah Winfrey Show,” she stated that she worked with CARE in India to empower
women in poor countries. On the other hand, in 2003, Ryan was accused by British
talk-show host Michael Parkinson as being a rude woman after deliberately giving
one-word answers and turning her back on other guests. Snapping back, she said
she was offended by the question about her drastic change from the romantic
comedy roles to her part in the 2003 In the Cut. The same year, she also
surprisingly screamed at a shop assistant in the New York store Barney’s. As for
her romantic life, after divorcing actor Dennis Quaid, Ryan was briefly
connected to her Proof of Life (2000) costar Russell Crowe and was reportedly
seeing Craig Bierko as of early 2002. Ryan is the mother of a son and an adopted
Childhood and Family:
On November 19, 1961, Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra (later famous as Meg Ryan)
was born in Fairfield, Connecticut. She is the daughter of Harry Hyra (teacher)
and Susan Hyra (teacher, former actress), as well as the sister of Andrew, Dana
and Annie. In 1976, her mother left the family for an acting career and later
married Pat Jordan. Young Margaret was usually called “Peggy,” and later “Meg.”
Initially keen on journalism, after graduating from the Choate Rosemary Hall in
Wallingford, Connecticut, Meg took a Journalism program at the New York
University in New York. She tried acting under the name “Meg Ryan” to earn some
money for her college fees.
Meg first met her husband, actor Dennis Quaid (born on April 9, 1954), while
filming the 1987 Innerspace. On February 14, 1991, the couple married and a year
later Meg gave birth to son Jack Henry Quaid (born on April 24, 1992). However,
the marriage ended in divorce on July 16, 2001. In January 2006, Meg adopted a
Chinese baby girl named Daisy True.
“I already had to change her name. I thought she was Charlotte and she’s just
not... she’s a Daisy.” Meg Ryan on her adopted daughter’s name
When Harry Met Sally...
With her mother’s help, college student Meg Ryan made her kickoff in acting with
the role of 18-year old Debby Blake, the daughter of Candice Bergen’s character,
in George Cukor’s big screen drama Rich and Famous (1981). The next year, Ryan
had her small screen debut as Denise in the TV film Amy and the Angel, and as
Jane in the sitcom “One of the Boys.” She then acquired a regular role as Betsy
Montgomery in the drama series “As the World Turns” (1982-1984).
Relocating to Los Angeles, Ryan appeared as Megan Harper in an episode of the
family sitcom “Charles in Charge” (1985), before receiving the role of Carole
Bradshaw in the action drama Top Gun (1986). The newcomer picked up a bigger
part and costarred as Lydia Maxwell in the sci-fi action Innerspace (1987),
where she shared the screen with future husband Dennis Quaid. Ryan-Quaid’s
second collaboration in D.O.A. (1988) led the actress to her first screen
Director Rob Reiner, who was impressed by Ryan’s lovely performance, chose her
to play Sally Albright in his romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989).
Delivering a witty and lovely portrayal, Ryan netted an American Comedy for
Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role), as well as received a
Golden Globe nomination. The same year, she was also handed a Golden Apple for
Female Discovery of the Year.
In her first collaboration with Tom Hanks, Ryan played the multiple roles of
DeDe/Angelica Graynamore/Patricia Graynamore in the romantic comedy Joe Versus
the Volcano (1990). She also took a part as Pamela Courson in Oliver Stone’s
biopic The Doors (1991) and played the pessimistic Rita Boyle in the romantic
comedy Prelude to a Kiss (1992).
Ryan gained further recognition when she was cast as newspaper journalist Annie
Reed in the Nora Ephron-helmed Sleepless in Seattle (1993), which was also her
second time costarring with Tom Hanks. Her amazing performance later won a 1998
American Comedy for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role). For the
same role, she earned a Golden Globe and two MTV Movie nominations. She next
became a Best Actress nominee at the Screen Actors Guild and MTV Movie for her
dramatic turn as alcoholic wife and mother Alice Green in the drama When a Man
Loves a Woman (1994). Ryan’s mind-blowing performances granted her a 1994 Woman
of the Year award from Hasty Pudding Theatricals as well as a 1995 Crystal award
from Women in Film Crystal.
In 1995, the actress took a hand at producing Lawrence Kasdan’s romantic comedy
French Kiss, in which she also starred as Kate. Altering to the genre of war
drama action, Ryan had the female lead role of Captain Karen Emma Walden in
Courage Under Fire (1996). A year later, she lent her voice for the titular
character in the animated Anastasia (as Anya/Anastasia Nicholaevna Romanov) and
executive produced the made-for-TV drama Northern Lights.
The reputation of “America’s Sweetheart” was cemented when Ryan superbly took
the turn of Kathleen Kelly in her third partnership with Tom Hanks in You’ve Got
Mail (1998). In Nora Ephron’s adaptation of the 1940 classic movie The Shop
Around the Corner, Ryan’s bravura acting garnered a Blockbuster Entertainment
award and brought her a Golden Globe and American Comedy nominations. The
victory was ensued with an MTV Movie-nominated role of Dr. Maggie Rice in City
of Angels (1998).
The recipient of the 1999 ShoWest Actress of the Year, Ryan costarred with
Russell Crowe in the action drama Proof of Life (2000) before continuing her
production work. She served as the producer for the horror thriller Lost Souls
(2000), The Wedding Planner (2001, as executive producer, starring Jennifer
Lopez) and Richard Greenberg’s action movie Desert Saints (2002). The following
year, Ryan gave a surprise by starring as professor Fannie, who encounters the
darker side of passion, in Jane Campion’s psychological thriller titled In the
Cut. She also took part in the biopic drama Against the Ropes (2004), playing
North America’s infamous female boxing promoter Jackie Kallen.
After a three-year hiatus, the actress is set to play the supporting role of
Sarah Hardwicke in the romantic comedy In the Land of Women (2007), for director
Jon Kasdan. The fighting-back-after-the-breakup movie will also feature Olympia
Dukakis, Adam Brody and Spanish rising actress Elena Anaya.
Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Actress - Comedy/Romance, You’ve Got
ShoWest: Actress of the Year, 1999
American Comedy: Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role),
Sleepless In Seattle, 1998
Women in Film Crystal: Crystal Award, 1995
Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Woman of the Year, 1994
American Comedy: Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role),
When Harry Met Sally, 1990
Golden Apple: Female Discovery of the Year, 1989