What the Hell Happened to Meg Ryan?


Once upon a time, Meg Ryan sat at the top of the A-list.  Her nearest competitor was Julia Roberts.  She was America’s Sweetheart.  Now, she seems to be retired after years of direct-to-video schlock.  It’s time to ask that age-old question: What the hell happened?

ryan rich and famous

Ryan first appeared on the big screen with a small role opposite Candice Bergen in the drama Rich and Famous in 1981.

The film got mixed reviews and didn’t do much at the box office, but it gave Ryan her start.

Is it just me or does young Meg Ryan look a lot like Alicia Silverstone?

Ryan - As the World Turns

Ryan first gained attention on day time soaps.  From 1982-1984, she played Betsy Stewart on As the World Turns.

Apparently her story arc was a popular one.  When I searched for pictures from this time period, I found Ryan in another wedding picture with a different groom.  Could have been a different actor playing the same character.  Or maybe Ryan played twins.  I don’t get soaps.  Sorry.

I also found this old Burger King commercial starring Ryan from about the same time.  Ryan is so perky!  Makes me want to eat a Whopper.

 ryan amityville 3d

Most actresses have at least one horror movie on their resume.  In Ryan’s case, she paid her dues in Amyityville 3-D in 1983.

Ryan played a girl who was obsessed with the Amityville Horror house.  She and her friend, played by Lori Loughlin snuck into the house with a couple of boys and started playing with a Ouija board.  I’m sure that ended well for them.

Amityville 3-D rode the tail end of a very brief 3-D craze that started and ended in 1983.  Reviews were terrible and the movie flopped.

ryan - top gun

Ryan returned to the big screen with a small role in the 1986 smash, Top Gun.

Ryan played the wife of the doomed fighter pilot, Goose.  The minute she shows up on-screen looking all cute and with a kid in tow, you just know Anthony Edward’s Goose is cooked.  (I’m not proud of that joke.)

It was a small part, but Ryan was winning in it.  Everyone remembered the charismatic pixie girl from the few scenes she was in.

Next: Innerspace and The Presidio


Posted on June 12, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 541 Comments.

  1. WHM Summer Rerun – Addicted to Love

    Original Air Date: April 9th, 2013

    As the guys take a few weeks off, WHM goes into Summer Reruns! First up: an episode from several years back on the insane romantic comedy, Addicted to Love! How are we supposed to feel sympathy for Ryan and Broderick’s characters here? Will anybody be wearing anyone’s skin any point in this film? And poor, poor Tchéky Karyo! PLUS: The guys are on vacation, but it sure is hot in the Asphalt Jungle!

    Addicted to Love stars Matthew Broderick, Meg Ryan, Tchéky Karyo, Kelly Preston, and Maureen Stapleton; directed by Griffin Dunne.


  2. ‘She hates me to death’: John Mellencamp talks strained relationship with ex Meg Ryan… but admits he loved her


  3. I’ll have what she’s having: Meg Ryan shows off her svelte figure in a white and black dress as she presents an award at the Bentonville Film Festival


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