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Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra -- known as Meg or Peggy to family and friends -- was born November 19, 1961, in Fairfield, Connecticut. The daughter of Harry, a teacher, and Susan, a teacher, former actress and casting director, Meg did not intend to become the Hollywood cutie she is known as today.

With original intentions of pursuing a journalistic career, one would think that perhaps Meg inherited the acting bug from her mother, who left a 15-year-old Meg, her two sisters and her brother to become an actress.

Once Meg graduated from Bethel High School, she followed up her academic studies at the University of Connecticut. In order to pay for her tuition, Meg landed some acting gigs in several commercials. Her mother helped her become a member of the Screen Actors Guild, under her maiden name, and thus "Meg Ryan", as we know her today, was born.

Meg was cast in her feature film debut alongside Candice Bergen in the film, Rich and Famous in 1981, and decided to leave behind her journalistic studies to try her hand at acting. The former homecoming queen got her start on the small-screen, with roles in an After School Special, Amy the Angel, and appearances on the comedy Charles in Charge. She also became a regular on the daytime soap, As the World Turns, until 1984.

The series Wildside was the last of Meg's television career; one that would quickly be overshadowed by her present status as Hollywood's Sweetheart. After a role in 1983's Amityville III: The Demon, moviegoers would catch a glimpse of the blonde, perky actress in Top Gun, as Goose's wife (played by Anthony Edwards).

But her claim to fame came with a starring role in 1989's, When Harry Met Sally..., co-starring Billy Crystal. Her scene-stealing fake orgasm in the middle of a restaurant went down in movie history, and practically locked Meg into Hollywood's list of up-and-comers. The Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks team started when the two paired up to star in Joe Versus the Volcano (which did not erupt at the box-office) -- and the two were paired again in 1993's chick flick (but sleeper hit), Sleepless in Seattle.
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