Hi folks. It’s been a while since we got to know our favourite actors so I thought we’ll try a female act this time. Blonde, blue eyes, girl next door type with an effervescent personality which garnered her fame in romantic comedies of the 1980s and ’90s … I’m sure you guessed right. It’s none other than Meg Ryan. Hurrah! Almost everyone loves a Meg Ryan movie… OK, mostly the ladies but there’s no doubt she’s one of Hollywood’s great acts. So sit back, relax as we get to know her.
Born Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra on November 19, 1961 to parents, Susan Jordan (née Duggan), a former actress and English teacher, and Harry Hyra, a math teacher. Meg is both an actor and a producer with Polish, Irish, and German ancestry. She was raised in Fairfield, Connecticut as a Roman Catholic and has two sisters, Dana and Annie, and a brother, the musician Andrew Hyra, a member of the former bandBilly Pilgrim. Her parents divorced in 1976, when she was 15 years old.
After graduating from 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 acting in television commercials while in college to earn extra money. A semester before she would have graduated, Meg dropped out of college and has said the decision was the result of her success as an actress. When she registered with the Screen Actors Guild, she used the surname “Ryan“, her grandmother’s maiden name.
Her first lead role was in the romantic comedy film “When Harry met Sally” (1989), where she achieved international recognition for her performance and earned her first Golden Globe nomination. She subsequently established herself as one of the most successful actresses of the 1990s, particularly in romantic comedy films that were hits not only in North America, but also internationally like Joe Versus The Volcano (1990), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), French Kiss (1995) and You’ve Got Mail (1998).
In 1994, Ryan wanted to break away from being typecast and chose to take on several roles that were different from the romantic comedy ingénue character for which she had become famous and starred in Luis Mandoki’s “When a Man Loves a Woman”, a romantic social drama film also starring Andy Garcia, where she played an alcoholic high-school guidance counselor. The film and her performance were both well received by critics, with one critic calling it “a first-class production, accentuated by fine performances and an unflinching script”, while another praised Ryan for her “roller-coaster role. The film was a notable success, grossing $50 million in the United States alone and garnered the actress her first Screen Actors Guild Award.
In 1994, Ryan won Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year, and People’s Magazine dubbed her one of “the 50 most beautiful people in the world.” In 1995, critic Richard Corliss called her “the current soul of romantic comedy.” That same year, she appeared opposite Kevin Kline in “French Kiss”, a romantic comedy that catered to her “America’s Sweetheart” image, and Ryan was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award; an award given to “outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.” In 1997, Ryan voiced the lead role in the animated film Anastasia, which garnered good reviews and enjoyed box office success. In 1998, she starred in two films. “City of Angels” which drew positive reviews and became a financial success, topping nearly $200 million worldwide. And “You’ve Got Mail” which once again paired her with Hanks, earning her a third Golden Globe nomination and making over $250 million worldwide.
From 2000 till date most of Ryan’s films have received negative reviews and failed at the box office. Films like “The Women” (2008) and “In the Cut” (2003), where Ryan dropped her “girl next door” act and appeared in a lengthy nude scene for the first time in her career. The film only earned $23m in theaters… (should have kept your clothes on Meg). Kate &Leopold (2001) with a total gross of $70 million remains her highest-grossing film of the decade.
Ryan married actor Dennis Quaid on Valentine’s Day 1991, after starring in three films with him (D,O,A, Innerspace and Flesh and Bones) They are said to have fallen in love during the shooting of their second film together, D.O.A but she agreed to marry him only after he kicked his cocaine addiction . Quaid and Ryan have one child together, Jack Quaid. She and Quaid separated and their divorce became final on July 16, 2001, which the tabloids attributed to her affair with Russell Crowe….well if she couldn’t be with him the movie, why not in real life. In January 2006, she adopted a 14-month-old girl from China named Daisy True. In 2010 Ryan began a relationship with American rock singer-songwriter John Mellecamp but was reported in late 2014, that they ended their relationship after three years of dating. Just two known relationships… not bad for a Hollywood starlet.
Well that’s it for America’s sweetheart, surprised to find she isn’t so sweet after all. Well most idols have feet of clay, so don’t let it get to you. All the same we love her movies. So way to go Ryan! A big thank for reading with moi. Take care and remember not to stop watching the movies.