Meg Ryan (born Margaret Mary Emily Hyra; November 19, 1961) is an American actress and producer. 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. She made her film debut in George Cukor‘s Rich and Famous (1981), with Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergen. She also appeared in Richard Fleischer’s Amityville 3-D (1983), with Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark, and Lori Loughlin.
Subsequently, she began to appear in supporting roles in films during the mid 1980s like Tony Scott‘s box office hit Top Gun (1986), with Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt; achieving recognition in independent films such as Michael Hoffman’s Promised Land (1987) with Kiefer Sutherland; before her performance in the Rob Reiner-directed romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally… (1989), with Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, and Bruno Kirby; brought her widespread attention and her first Golden Globe nomination.
Other films in the 1980s include Armed and Dangerous (1986), with John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Robert Loggia; Joe Dante’s Innerspace (1987), with Dennis Quaid (whom she later married), Martin Short, Robert Picardo, and Kevin McCarthy; D.O.A. (1988), with Quaid, Daniel Stern, and Charlotte Rampling; and The Presidio (1988), with Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, and Jack Warden.
Ryan subsequently established herself, both nationally and internationally, as one of the most successful actresses in the 1990s and early 2000s, particularly in romantic comedy films such as John Patrick Shanley’s Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), with Tom Hanks, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda, Dan Hedaya, Barry McGovern, and Ossie Davis; Nora Ephron‘s Sleepless in Seattle (1993), with Hanks, Bill Pullman, Ross Malinger, Rob Reiner, Rosie O’Donnell, Gaby Hoffmann, Victor Garber, and Rita Wilson; Lawrence Kasdan’s French Kiss (1995), with Kevin Kline, Timothy Hutton, Jean Reno, François Cluzet, and Susan Anbeh; Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail (1998), with Hanks, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton, Dave Chappelle, Steve Zahn, Greg Kinnear; and James Mangold’s Kate & Leopold (2001), with Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Breckin Meyer, Natasha Lyonne, Bradley Whitfod, Philip Bosco.
Her other films in the 1990s include Oliver Stone‘s The Doors (1991), with Kilmer, Kevin Dillon, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley, Michael Madsen, Billy Idol, and Kathleen Quinlan; When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), with Andy García, Tina Majorino, Mae Whitman, Ellen Burstyn, Lauren Tom and Philip Seymour Hoffman; I.Q. (1994), with Tim Robbins, Walter Matthau, and Charles Durning; Restoration (1995), with Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill, David Thewlis, Polly Walker, Ian McKellen, and Hugh Grant.
Films in the mid to late 1990s include Edward Zwick’s Courage Under Fire (1996), with Denzel Washington, Lou Diamond Phillips, Michael Moriarty, Matt Damon, Seth Gilliam, Bronson Pinchot, and Scott Glenn; Addicted to Love (1997), with Matthew Broderick, Tchéky Karyo, and Kelly Preston; City of Angels (1998), with Nicolas Cage, Dennis Franz, and Andre Braugher; and Hurlyburly (1998), with Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Chazz Palminteri, Garry Shandling, and Anna Paquin. She also voiced the title character in the animated musical Anastasia (1997), with John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Hank Azaria, Christopher Lloyd, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst, and Angela Lansbury.
Films in the early 2000s include Hanging Up (2000), with Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, Matthau, and Adam Arkin; Taylor Hackford’s Proof of Life (2000), with Russell Crowe, David Morse, Pamela Reed, and David Caruso; Jane Campion’s In the Cut (2003), with Mark Ruffalo, and Jennifer Jason Leigh; Against the Ropes (2004), with Omar Epps, Tony Shalhoub, Tim Daly, Kerry Washington, and Charles S. Dutton (who also directed); Jon Kazdan’s In the Land of Women (2007), with Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart, Olympia Dukakis, and Makenzie Vega; The Deal (2008), with William H. Macy, Jason Ritter, Elliott Gould, and LL Cool J; Mom’s New Boyfriend (2008), with Colin Hanks, Antonio Banderas, and Selma Blair; The Women (2008), with Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Carrie Fisher, Cloris Leachman, Debi Mazar, Bette Midler, and Bergen; and Serious Moonlight (2009), with Timothy Hutton, Kristen Bell, and Justin Long. She made her directorial debut with Ithaca (2016), a film in which she also acted in, along with Alex Neustaedter, Jack Quaid, Sam Shepard, Hamish Linklater, and Tom Hanks.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Rich and Famous (1981) – directed by George Cukor
- Amityville 3-D (1983) – directed by Richard Fleischer – aka Amityville III: The Demon
- Top Gun (1986)** – directed by Tony Scott
- Armed and Dangerous (1986) – directed by Mark L. Lester
- Innerspace (1987) – directed by Joe Dante
- Promised Land (1987) – directed by Michael Hoffman
- D.O.A. (1988) – directed by Rocky Morton & Annabel Jankel
- The Presidio (1988) – directed by Peter Hyams
- When Harry Met Sally… (1989) – directed by Rob Reiner
- Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) – directed by John Patrick Shanley
- The Doors (1991) – directed by Oliver Stone
- Prelude to a Kiss (1992) – directed by Norman René
- Sleepless in Seattle (1993) – directed by Nora Ephron
- Flesh and Bone (1993) – directed by Steve Kloves
- When a Man Loves a Woman (1994) – directed by Luis Mandoki
- I.Q. (1994) – directed by Fred Schepisi
- French Kiss (1995) – directed by Lawrence Kasdan – also co-producer
- Restoration (1995) – directed by Michael Hoffman
- Courage Under Fire (1996) – directed by Edward Zwick
- Addicted to Love (1997) – directed by Griffin Dunne
- Anastasia (1997)* – directed by Don Bluth & Gary Goldman
- City of Angels (1998) – directed by Brad Silberling
- Hurlyburly (1998) – directed by Anthony Drazan
- You’ve Got Mail (1998) – directed by Nora Ephron
- Hanging Up (2000) – directed by Diane Keaton
- Proof of Life (2000) – directed by Taylor Hackford
- Kate & Leopold (2001) – directed by James Mangold
- In the Cut (2003) – directed by Jane Campion
- Against the Ropes (2004) – directed by Charles S. Dutton
- In the Land of Women (2007) – directed by Jon Kasdan
- The Deal (2008) – directed by Steven Schachter
- My Mom’s New Boyfriend (2008) – directed by George Gallo
- The Women (2008)* – directed by Diane English
- Serious Moonlight (2009) – directed by Cheryl Hines
- Fan Girl (2015) – directed by Paul Jarrett – TV movie
- Ithaca (2016) – also director