Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra (born November 19, 1961), professionally known as Meg Ryan, is an American actress and producer. Raised in Bethel, Connecticut, 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. Subsequently, she began to appear in supporting roles in big screen films during the mid-1980s, achieving recognition in several independent films such as Promised Land (1987), before her performance in the Rob Reiner-directed romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989) brought her widespread attention and her first Golden Globe nomination.
In the 1990s, Ryan starred in a string of popular romantic dramas and comedy films, including Sleepless in Seattle (1993), French Kiss (1995), Addicted to Love (1997), City of Angels (1998), and You've Got Mail (1998), grossing a total of over $870 million worldwide. At that time, TIME critic Richard Corliss called her "the current soul of romantic comedy." In addition to these romantic comedy roles, she garnered critical acclaim for her work in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), in which she played an alcoholic, and in Courage Under Fire (1996), portraying a captain in the Gulf War.