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Amy Ryan

Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan has made her mark working with some of today's most prolific directors, writers and actors. Whether in film, on television or on stage, Ryan continues to turn heads with chameleon-like character turns and compelling performances.

In October 2007, Ryan impressed audiences and critics alike, starring in Miramax's Gone Baby Gone as Helene McCready, a drug-addict mother from Boston's working-class Dorchester neighborhood, whose child is kidnapped. In this film directed by Ben Affleck, Ryan co-starred with Casey Affleck, Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris in what The New York Times called a gutsy, sensational performance. Her sympathetic portrayal of an otherwise despicable character was recognized with Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Additionally, she won Best Supporting Actress awards from the National Board of Review, the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards), the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, among others.

In the fall of 2007, Ryan also appeared opposite Ethan Hawke in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, directed by Sidney Lumet. Her work was recognized with Best Ensemble awards from IFP's Gotham Awards, the New York Film Critics Online and the Boston Society of Film Critics, and she was nominated for a BFCA Critics' Choice Award.

Following these two profoundly dramatic performances, Ryan opted for a lighter turn, guest starring in the season-four finale of NBC's The Office. Showing off her comedic chops, Ryan was introduced to the group at Dunder Mifflin as Holly, the new head of human resources. Applauded by New York magazine for raising the show's game and given a cheers by TV Guide, she returned for several episodes in season five, in which sparks continued to fly between her and Michael (Steve Carell).

In October 2008, Ryan returned to the big screen in Clint Eastwood's Changeling, for Universal and Imagine Entertainment. Ryan starred opposite Angelina Jolie as a prostitute who is wrongly confined to a mental institution as revenge for speaking out against LAPD atrocities in 1920s Los Angeles.

This year, Ryan will star alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin- Vega in Jack Goes Boating, adapted from the well-received off-Broadway production written by Bob Glaudini and originally produced by LAByrinth Theater Company. The film is currently in production and will also mark the directorial debut of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

In 2005, Ryan garnered attention for her work in Capote, directed by Bennett Miller, playing the wife of the Holcomb County sheriff (Chris Cooper) who welcomes Truman (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to the small Kansas town. Her other film work includes Dan in Real Life, directed by Peter Hedges; War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg; Keane, directed by Lodge Kerrigan; and You Can Count on Me, directed by Kenneth Lonergan. Ryan also completed two independent films: Bob Funk, by writer/director Craig Carlisle, and The Missing Person, by writer Noah Buschel, both released in 2009.

In addition to her film credits, Ryan has achieved major success on the Broadway stage. In 2000, she was nominated for her first Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Uncle Vanya. In 2005, she astounded critics with her moving portrayal of Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. Directed by Edward Hall and starring opposite John C. Reilly, Ryan was nominated for her second Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. She also starred in Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here in London's West End.

Ryan's television credits are extensive, with more than 30 guest-star performances and eight series-regular or recurring parts on prime-time television shows. Most notably, she starred for five seasons as Officer Beatrice Beadie Russell in HBO's critically acclaimed series The Wire.

Ryan was raised in Queens, New York, where she attended the High School of the Performing Arts. She resides in New York City.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Amy Ryan Facts

BirthdayNovember 30, 1969 (54)
BirthplaceQueens, New York, New York, USA
Height5' 4½" (1m64)  How tall is Amy Ryan compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.