Feature: What Happened To Meg Ryan?

Meg Ryan was at the top of her game in the 80s and 90s. But where did she go?

As we’ve seen, over time some actors fade into the background and other actors remain on the big screen in some shape or form. Meg Ryan is no exception, she was extremely popular in the mid 80s through until the late 90s in the romantic comedy genre. Although Ryan did move through other genres during her career, the one that stuck with her best was romantic comedies. We take a look at a few of her films and roles amongst some random facts and film stills.


Top Gun (1986)

Ryan played Carole Bradshaw, the wife of Nick Bradshaw aka “Goose”. Ryan wasn’t a top billed member of the cast of Top Gun, and she wasn’t involved too heavily with the main character, Maverick played by Tom Cruise. So although Top Gun was an extremely popular film, this isn’t the role that shot Ryan into the spotlight. Nooooo, Goose!


When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When Harry Met Sally is the film that thrusted Ryan into fame. Starring along side Billy Crystal, the film sees the two meet and how their relationship evolves across the years. The most famous scene from this film takes place in Katz’s Delicatessen where Ryan demonstrates, rather theatrically how easy it is for her to fake an orgasm. This iconic moment in the film is still to this day referred to world wide. Ryan was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Sally Albright, however she didn’t win.


Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Starring opposite Tom Hanks, Ryan plays Annie Reed a newspaper writer in Baltimore who is infactuated with the story of a grieving widow (Hanks). Strangely enough Ryan studied Journalism but dropped out of college a semester before she was meant to graduate, believing she would have more success as in acting. Good call! This film was the second Ryan and Hanks had worked on together, the first being Joe Versus the Volcano, which was commercially disappointing. Sleepless in Seattle on the other hand was a hugely successful romantic comedy that is seen as a classic. Again Ryan was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role, but didn’t win.


Anastasia (1997)

Ryan voiced the role of Anastasia, which still to this date is the only animated movie she has been involved in. She has however voiced a character in an episode of The Simpsons in its eighteenth season. This isn’t a surprise as everyone and their mother has appeared in The Simpsons at some stage or another. Ryan also voiced as Villian Dr. Blight on the television animated series of Captain Planet and the Planeteers back in 1990.


You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Back for the third time with Tom Hanks, Ryan plays Kathleen Kelly – the owner of an independant childrens book shop in New York. You’ve Got Mail could possibly be the first film about some form of online dating, something that we’ve become so accustomed to these days. Ryan was nominated for her third Golden Globe for her role, but true to suit wasn’t crowned the winner.


The Women (2008)

Ryan starred along side Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith and Annette Bening, in a remake of the 1939 film The Women. Although, over all the film was seen as below average scoring a mere 4.8 on IMDb, it was a financial success grossing US$50 million worldwide. Ryan won an award for her role in the film, for Best Actress – International at the 2008 Bambi Awards. The entire cast of The Women were nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress but missed the crown which went to Paris Hilton in The Hottie and The Nottie.

Since 2000, Ryan has appeared in ten films. How many of them can you name without googling it or checking on IMDb?

It’s rumoured Ryan will be following the likes of Drew Barrymore and Ben Affleck in the transition of actor to director. However, when we see something from that is unknown. This is something that has been in the pipeline for some time.

Who knows what effected Meg Ryan’s movie career. Maybe it was something to do with her face changing, or maybe her technique of answering questions in interviews (see here). Whatever it was, we should always remember the good times we’ve had with Meg Ryan.

Zara enjoys random chit-chat, so why not have a natter with her on Twitter? You know you want to.

Author: Zara Waqar

Associate Editor (Films) and veteran of PopBucket, gamer girl and resident film guru. She loves anything zombie and laughs roughly 80% of the time.

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  • Elissa

    Meg Ryan has not made a movie ‘every year’, in fact, she has not made a movie in 5 years (Serious Moonlight was made in 2007), instead she focussed on her private life, raising her kids, moving to NYC in 2010, spending time with her rocker boyfriend.

    There are some great interviews with her out there. Shame you had to mention the one with that awful sexist Parky, who so obviously has a problem with the fact that she’s not like her ditzy movie characters. Why not point out the InStyle 2008 interview instead?

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