Meg Ryan, the quintessential girl-next-door of Hollywood, has been a beloved figure in the film industry for decades. Known for her effervescent personality and striking blue eyes, Ryan has delivered memorable performances in a slew of iconic films. But what ever happened to this charming actress who once dominated the silver screen? Let’s dive into her story.
Born as Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra on November 19, 1961, in Fairfield, Connecticut, Meg Ryan was the daughter of Susan Jordan, a former actress and teacher, and Harry Hyra, a math teacher. She was raised alongside her two sisters, Dana and Annie. Ryan’s passion for acting was evident from an early age, and she pursued this passion relentlessly, leading her to the glamorous world of Hollywood.
Ryan made her acting debut in 1981 in the drama film “Rich and Famous.” She then joined the cast of the CBS soap opera “As the World Turns” in 1982. As she worked toward her major in journalism at New York University, Ryan launched her acting career with small roles in television shows and commercials, with a regular role in the long-running soap opera As the World Turns. Her early work included Top Gun (1986), which got renewed interest upon the release of Top Gun: Maverick in 2022. However, none of the original female characters were brought back in the sequel.
Peak Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan is best known for her roles in romantic comedies, particularly those she starred in alongside Tom Hanks. These include “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail.” Her portrayal of romantic characters on screen has endeared her to audiences worldwide. Ryan’s film career began to heat up in the mid-1980s, and she quickly became a household name.
What Happened To Meg Ryan’s Career?
After establishing herself as America’s sweetheart in a string of romantic comedies in the 1990s, Meg Ryan experienced a decline in her career in the early 2000s. She took on more serious dramatic roles, but many of the films failed to connect with audiences.
In 2000, she co-starred with Russell Crowe in the action thriller Proof of Life, which bombed at the box office. More damaging was her highly publicized extramarital affair with Crowe during filming, which tarnished her wholesome image.
Ryan continued to take risks, such as her provocative role in the 2003 erotic thriller In the Cut alongside Mark Ruffalo. Despite Ryan’s strong performance, the film received negative reviews and performed poorly commercially. Her nude scenes in the film further damaged her career prospects.
Other ambitious but unsuccessful projects followed, like the boxing drama Against the Ropes in 2004. After a three-year hiatus, Ryan returned in the indie drama In the Land of Women, which garnered positive reviews but lukewarm box office receipts.
While Ryan remained known for her iconic romantic comedies, her attempts at more mature work floundered in the 2000s. She seemed unable to capture the same levels of critical and commercial success.
In 2015, Ryan made her directorial debut with the period drama Ithaca, in which she also starred. But the film failed to make an impact. Ryan has worked sparingly since then, though she has an upcoming romantic comedy planned for 2023 called What Happens Later.
What She Is Meg Ryan Doing Now
In November 2021, Ryan celebrated her 60th birthday, still away from the spotlight. At the time, an insider told Closer Weekly that amid her Hollywood hiatus, the star was spending time hiking, gardening, and shopping for antiques, and wasn’t planning a comeback unless a “great project with quality people attached” happened to come her way. That project seemingly came her way.
After a 13-year hiatus from romantic comedies, it has been announced that the 60-year-old actress will be returning to the genre with a new movie titled “What Happens Later.” The news has excited fans who have been eagerly waiting for her return to the silver screen. Also, In March 2022, Netflix announced that Ryan will direct the streaming platform’s upcoming movie, “A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out.” The film will mark Ryan’s second time as a director — and her return to the rom-com genre.
Meg Ryan was married to Dennis Quaid from 1991 to 2001, and they have a son named Jack Quaid. In 2006, she adopted a 14-month-old girl from China whom she named Daisy True.
Ryan was in a relationship with American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp from 2010 to 2014, and they reunited in 2017. Ryan announced their engagement on November 8, 2018, but it was reported that Ryan had ended their engagement in October 2019.
Ryan has also been vocal about her political views, publicly supporting the Democratic Party, especially its environmental protection programs and initiatives.