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Oscar Should-Be Winners: Amy Ryan

February 21, 2008
by findingDulcinea Staff
Though she’s been described as ordinary looking—so ordinary that police didn’t believe she was part of the cast of “Gone Baby Gone” when she tried to walk on the set—the elegant Amy Ryan is just an expert at playing so-called ordinary people.

Essential Facts on Amy Ryan

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Amy Ryan rose to the top in late 2007 as a supporting actress in “Gone Baby Gone,” but she’s a seasoned actress of stage, small screen, and big screen. Most recently, Ryan played a cop on HBO’s “The Wire,” the ex-wife of Ethan Hawke’s character in “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” and a drug-abusing young mother in Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone.” Ryan is nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the role, and is considered by many critics to be the front-runner.
  • Ryan was born in Queens, New York, and attended the High School of Performing Arts and Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center. Rather than attending New York University, Ryan chose to tour the country in a production of Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues” in the late 1980s. Learn more about Ryan’s early career, as well as some milestones leading up to present day, from Fancast’s excellent bio of the actress.
  • Ryan has been in more than 40 television and film productions, including TV’s “The Wire” and “Law and Order,” and the films “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” “Gone Baby Gone,” and “You Can Count on Me.” (More from IMDB’s bio of Amy Ryan.)
  • Ryan played three separate characters in Sidney Lumet’s television show, “100 Center Street.”
  • Ryan has been nominated for two Tony Awards: in 2000 for her role in “Uncle Vanya,” and in 2005 for her role as Stella in a revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
  • Up next, Ryan will be starring alongside Angelina Jolie in Clint Eastwood’s “The Changeling,” slated for release later in 2008.
  • She lives in New York City.

Q&A with Amy Ryan

The Studious Ryan

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