Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra (born November 19, 1961), professionally known as Meg Ryan, is a Golden Globe-nominated American film actress whose lead roles in five 1990s romantic comedies - When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss, City of Angels and You've Got Mail - grossed over $870 million worldwide.
Ryan was born Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra in Fairfield, Connecticut, the daughter of Susan Hyra Jordan (née Ryan), a former actress, casting director, and English-teacher, and Harry Hyra, a math teacher. She has two sisters, Dana and Annie, and a brother, musician Andrew Hyra, of Billy Pilgrim. The Hyra family relatives are from Canada.
Ryan was raised a Roman Catholic and graduated from Saint Pius X Elementary School, in Fairfield, where her mother taught sixth grade. There, Ryan was confirmed into the Catholic Church, choosing the name, "Anne," as her confirmation name. Ryan's mother had appeared in one television commercial and later worked briefly as an assistant casting director in New York City. She supported and encouraged her young daughter's study of acting.
Ryan graduated from Bethel High School, in 1979. 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. Her success as an actress led her to drop out of college a semester before graduating.
After a role in Rich and Famous, Ryan played "Betsy Stewart" in the daytime drama As the World Turns, from 1982 to 1984; she was featured in a popular romantic story arc. Several TV film and smaller movie roles followed, including Amityville 3-D and Promised Land; for her role in the latter she received her first Independent Spirit Award nomination.
In 1986, she played, "Carole Bradshaw," (wife of naval aviator "Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw"; played by Anthony Edwards) in Top Gun, and appeared in several scenes. Ryan played "Lydia Maxwell" in the movie Innerspace, which also starred her former husband, Dennis Quaid. Ryan then appeared in a film-noir remake (D.O.A.) and an action film (The Presidio).
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