Born Margaret Hyra in 1961, Meg Ryan’s first acting success came with a role on the soap opera As The World Turns from 1982 to 1984. Her big film break was in the 1986 hit Top Gun. Ryan became America’s sweetheart when she starred in a string of hit romantic comedies in the 1990s, including When Harry Met Sally (1989), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and You’ve Got Mail (1998).
After taking a break from the spotlight, Ryan re-emerged in 2006 with the announcement of her adoption of a little girl from China. At first she named her daughter Charlotte, but soon changed it to Daisy to better fit the child’s personality. During her time away from Hollywood, Ryan has been working with CARE, a charitable organization dedicated to ending poverty by helping women work together.
Below is a collection of 20 fascinating photographs of Meg Ryan from her heyday career.