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Debby Ryan

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For the college basketball coach, see Debbie Ryan.
Debby Ryan
Debby Ryan 2012.jpg
Debby Ryan at the Radio Rebel premiere in 2012.
Born Deborah Ann Ryan
(1993-05-13) May 13, 1993 (age 21)
Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer, songwriter, musician and record producer[1]
Years active 2006–present
Religion Christian
Musical career
Genres Pop, country, folk[2]
Labels Ryan River Studio
Associated acts The Never Ending

Deborah Ann "Debby" Ryan[3][4] (born May 13, 1993)[5] is an American actress, singer-songwriter, musician and record producer.[1] Ryan has starred in the Disney Channel Original Series Jessie since 2011. Ryan is also known for starring as Bailey Pickett in Disney Channel's The Suite Life on Deck. Ryan started acting in professional theatres at the age of seven; in 2007 she appeared in the Barney & Friends straight-to-DVD film Barney: Let's Go to the Firehouse and then was discovered in a nationwide search by Disney. She is also known for appearing in the 2008 feature film The Longshots as Edith.

In 2009, she guest starred in an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place in "Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana" as Bailey Pickett along with her other cast mates from The Suite Life on Deck. Then, in 2010, she starred in the film 16 Wishes, which was the most watched cable program on the day of its premiere on the Disney Channel. 16 Wishes introduced Ryan to new audiences; the movie received high viewership in the adults demographic (18-34).[6][7][8] Soon after that, Ryan starred in the independent theatrical film, What If..., which premiered on August 20, 2010. Ryan also starred in the 2012 Disney Channel Original Movie, Radio Rebel, where she portrays the role of Tara Adams, a shy 17-year-old girl who adopts the radio personality, Radio Rebel. In 2013, she formed the band The Never Ending.

Early life[edit]

Ryan was born in Huntsville, Alabama.[5][9] She has performed in various theater performance groups, and talent competitions.[10] Her father was in the military, so she moved to numerous places in Europe. She lived in Germany until she was 10 and can speak both English and German. She started performing in professional theaters at the age of seven on an American base in Germany.[11]

She returned to the United States at the age of 10, in 2003, and was raised in Texas.[11][12] She dreamed of acting full-time. In a 2009 People Magazine interview, she described herself as a "nerd" in school.[11] Ryan was bullied in middle school for being a mascot and a member of the school's chess club.[13]


2006–10: The Suite Life on Deck[edit]

Ryan at the premiere for Up in May 2009

Ryan began appearing in various television commercials in her early teenage years. She appeared in several commercials for iDog and various board games; she was in an iDog Dance commercial in 2008.[10] Ryan's first film role was in 2007 as a guest character in Barney: Let's Go to the Firehouse, she played the role of a teenager. Ryan also had a supporting role in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film The Longshots, alongside teen actress Keke Palmer and Ice Cube. Ryan played Edith in the feature film. Ryan played one of the main characters, Bailey Pickett, on the Disney Channel Original Series, The Suite Life on Deck, which is a sequel/spin-off to the hit Disney Channel series, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. The series's pilot aired on September 26, 2008 in the US [14] and drew in 5.7 million viewers,[15] and it became the most watched series premiere in Canada on the Family channel.[16] The series was 2008's #1 top scripted television series for children between the ages of 6 to 11 and pre-teens between the ages of 9 to 14, beating the veteran series Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place in the ratings.[17] The series was also 2009's top rated scripted series in the children and tween demographic (6-14), outpacing Hannah Montana and several other teenage shows.[18]

In 2009, it was announced that Ryan landed a starring role in the independent feature film, What If..., alongside Kevin Sorbo and Kristy Swanson. The film was shot in Grand Rapids and Manistee, Michigan in July 2009 and was released in theaters on August 20, 2010. The film is produced by Pure Flix Entertainment and centers on a Christian family.[19][20][21] In October 2009, Ryan hosted the first Tween Girl Summit Music Festival.[22] "Tween girls are drawn to talented performers who emanate the joy of life, and we are so happy to have teen favorite Debby Ryan as the first host of The Tween Summit Music Festival," said Denise Restauri, founder of The Tween Summit, and AK Tweens.[22] "The Tween Summit is a day of celebrating the excitement of youth and hope for the future. As my tween friends say,'This concert is going to Rock!'"[22]

2010–present: Jessie and films[edit]

In 2010, she starred in the young adult film 16 Wishes, about a teenager named Abigail "Abby" Louise Jensen (Ryan) who has been planning for her sixteenth birthday party ever since she was a little girl with a list of secret wishes she wants to come true, and on the day of her 16th birthday, all of her wishes come true. 16 Wishes went on to become the most watched cable program on the day of its premiere on the Disney Channel and one of the most watched movies on television. In addition, the movie introduced Ryan to new audiences, such as the contemporary adult audience since the movie received high viewership in the adults demographic (18-34).[6][7][8] Ryan noted that to prepare for her role in 16 Wishes, she watched numerous Brat Pack movies, most occasionally Sixteen Candles which she stated is very similar to 16 Wishes. When asked how she prepared for the role, she said "It's, at the end of the day it depends on the script. You can do a comedy and it's completely different than a different comedy. I watch a lot of movies. 16 Wishes, when I went up to do that I watched Sixteen Candles (rated PG) and a couple of coming-of-age films. I love Molly Ringwald. So getting into the feel of that...."[23] Ryan starred in The Suite Life Movie, based on the show she had starred in. The show finished its run on May 6, 2011.

Ryan at the Hollywood Premiere of Disney Channel's "Let It Shine" in 2012

In March 2011, it was announced that Ryan landed her own Disney Channel series called Jessie, which debuted in September 2011.[24] The show follows a girl who moves from Texas to New York to become a star but becomes a nanny instead for a family with four children.[24] Jessie is a show she also helped create, relating that she wanted her character to relate to herself.[25] Ryan directed the season three episode "Coffee Talk," making her the youngest female to ever direct a Disney Channel production.[26]

Additionally, in a shift towards a more mature role, she guest starred in an episode of the Disney- owned ABC Studios show Private Practice as a recovering drug addict. In February 2012, she starred in another Disney Channel movie entitled Radio Rebel. On August 31, 2012 she voiced the character Spike in the Tinker Bell film Secret of the Wings. In 2013 Ryan filmed Last Chance Holiday, which will premiere in 2014.

Personal life[edit]

In a 2009 People Magazine interview, Ryan stated that her Suite Life co-star, Brenda Song, is her acting idol.[11] In a March 2009 interview, Ryan revealed she also looks up to Meryl Streep; Ryan claims Streep "is so profoundly thought-provoking and life-changing." Ryan has said that her other role models include Anne Hathaway, Rachel McAdams and Tobey Maguire. When asked about musical tastes, she has said, "I love jazz! I love singing it. I also love country! My brother loves rock; he also has this chill Jason Mraz-like style. So basically, my answer is: jazz-country-rock-alternative? I have no idea! But I honestly would love to make country music." Ryan is a Christian.[27][28]

Ryan was in a relationship with Twenty One Pilots' drummer Josh Dun from May 2013 to September 2014.[29][30]

In a March 10th, 2015 Teen Vogue interview, Ryan revealed that she was in an abusive relationship. [31] In the interview, Ryan stated that has decided to partner with Mary Kay and Love is Respect for their "Don't Look Away" campaign. Ryan describes the relationship as not romantic, but they did have a professional relationship and that it was emotionally manipulative to the point where it got physical. Ryan is quoted as saying "... The second someone puts their hand on you, a boundary has been crossed. ..."

Other ventures[edit]

Ryan at the Gracie Awards in May 2011


Ryan is involved in Disney's Friends for Change. She was featured in a commercial on Disney Channel.[32] The charity helps explain how kids can help preserve the planet and invites them to go to the Friends for Change website to register and pledge, offering them the chance to help choose how Disney will invest $1 million in environmental programs.[33] Ryan will be taking part in Disney's Friends for Change Games, which will feature over 30 Disney Channel and Disney XD stars competing in fun and physical challenges inspired by good actions for the environment. The stars will be broken up into teams and each team will play on behalf of an environmental charity. Ryan had been taking part as Captain of the Blue Team playing to benefit Ocean Conservancy.[34]

In May 2012, Ryan traveled to Udaipur, India, as part of Disney's Friends for Change's partnership with international charity Free The Children.[35] The trip was hosted by Me to We, a social enterprise and partner of Free The Children. During her visit she volunteered to help build a new school in Lai Gow and met with local community members to learn about their culture.[35] Her experience was filmed and aired between programs on Disney Channel starting on June 28, 2012.[36]


Ryan plays several instruments including the guitar, piano, and keyboard. She is also a songwriter and writes music alongside her older brother.[37] Ryan has showed interest in several types of music and her music genres are mainly jazz and country pop with a blend of alternative rock. Ryan was set to headline the "Terrific Teen Tour", a concert series which co-headlined Mitchel Musso, Jasmine Richards and Savannah Outen, that would start on July 9, 2009 and end on July 14 but the tour was canceled due to schedule conflicts.[38] The tour would have been Ryan's debut as a live musician.[39] Ryan debuted her musical talents in The Suite Life on Deck episode, "Beauty and the Fleeced". She then went on to record songs for the movies 16 Wishes and Radio Rebel, both of which she starred in. She also recorded the theme song "Hey Jessie" from the Disney Channel Original Series Jessie, which she also stars in, and in a first-season episode performed the country single "Texas Guys". In 2013 Ryan formed her band The Never Ending.


In July 2012, Ryan started work on a clothing line for 2013. She said she was in the beginning stages of building herself a fashion brand and revealed that she has been looking into designers and interviewing brands she might like to work with.[40]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Barney: Let's Go to the Firehouse Teenager
2008 The Longshots Edith Smith
2010 What If... Kimberly "Kim" Walker
2010 16 Wishes Abigail "Abby" Jensen Television film
2011 The Suite Life Movie Bailey Pickett Television film
2012 Radio Rebel Tara Adams Television film
2012 Secret of the Wings Spike Voice; Television film
2013 Kristin's Christmas Past Haddie
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Savana[41]
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Barney and Friends Debby "Rabbits/Ducks and Fish" (season 10: episode 15)
2008–11 The Suite Life on Deck Bailey Pickett Main role
2008 Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream Herself "Hello Hollywood" (Season 1, Episode 7)
2009 Wizards of Waverly Place Bailey Pickett "Cast Away (To Another Show)" (Season 2, Episode 25)
2009 Hannah Montana Bailey Pickett "Super(stitious) Girl" (Season 3, Episode 19)
2011 R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour Stefani Howard "Wrong Number" (Season 1, Episode 16)
2011 PrankStars Herself "Something to Chew on" (season 1: episode 1)
2011–present Jessie Jessie Prescott Lead role
2011 Private Practice Hayley "The Breaking Point" (season 5: episode 9)
2012 Zeke and Luther Courtney Mills "There's No Business Like Bro Business: Part 1" (season 3: episode 25)
2012 The Glades Christa Johnson "Fountain of Youth" (season 3: episode 8)
2012 Make Your Mark Presenter
2012 Austin & Ally Jessie Prescott "Austin & Jessie & Ally All Star New Year" (season 2: episode 6)
2013 We Day Presenter Special television
2013 Good Luck Charlie Jessie Prescott "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas" (season 4: episode 17)
2014 Mighty Med Jade/Remix "Guitar Superhero" (season 1: episode 19)
2014 Ultimate Spider-Man Jessie Prescott Only Voice/"Halloween Night at the Museum" (Season 3 Episode 21)


Main article: The Never Ending


Single Year Album
"We Ended Right"[42]
(featuring Chad Hively & Chase Ryan)
2011 N/A

Promotional singles[edit]

Single Year Album
"Made of Matches" 2011 N/A
"We Got the Beat" 2012 Radio Rebel

Other appearances[edit]

Song Year Other(s) artist(s) Album
"Hakuna Matata" 2010 N/A Disneymania 7
"Deck the Halls" 2010 The Search for Santa Paws
"Hey, Jessie" 2012 Make Your Mark: Ultimate Playlist
"Favorite Time of Year" 2013 Holidays Unwrapped
"Face 2 Face" Ross Lynch Austin & Ally: Turn It Up
"Best Year" 2014 N/A Disney Channel: Play It Loud

Music videos[edit]

Song Year Director Notes
"A Wish Comes True Every Day" 2010 Peter DeLuise
"Open Eyes"
"Deck the Halls" N/A
"Made of Matches" 2011 Neill Fearnley
"We Got the Beat" 2012 Peter Howitt
"Ever Enough" 2013 Mark Staubach[43] A Rocket To The Moon's music video

Production and songwriting discography[edit]

Song Year Artist(s) Album Notes
"Feel My Heart" 2009 Chase Ryan Feel My Heart Co-producer[44]
"Saying Goodbye"
"Still Need You"
"Dream This Town"
"Open Eyes" 2010 Debby Ryan 16 Wishes Songwriter[45]
"Made of Matches" N/A Songwriter, Producer[1]
"Innocent Love" Chase Ryan Innocent Love Co-producer[46]
"We Ended Right" 2011 Debby Ryan, Chase Ryan and Cad Hively Radio Rebel Songwriter, Co-producer[47]
"Mulholland Drive 2014 The Never Ending One Co-producer[46]
"Before I Go Upstairs"
"Call Me Up"
"When the Dark Falls"
"Best Year" Debby Ryan Disney Channel: Play It Loud

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2008 Celebrity Love Awards Favorite Actress The Suite Life on Deck Nominated [48]
2009 Favorite Actress Nominated [48]
Poptastic Awards Favorite Television Actress Nominated [49]
Female Newcomer Won [49]
2010 Celebrity Love Awards Favorite Actress Nominated [48]
Hollywood Teen TV Awards Teen Pick Actress: Comedy Nominated [50]
Body Peace Award Outstanding Advocate Won [51]
Jetix Awards Best Television Star Nominated
Poptastic Awards TV Actress Won
Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Best Television Actress Won [48]
Italy Kids Choice Awards Favorite TV Star Nominated
Favorite International Star Nominated
2011 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special Leading or Supporting Young Actress 16 Wishes Nominated [52]
2012 Popstar Awards TV Actress Jessie Won [53]
Female Style Idol Herself Nominated [53]
Teen Icon Awards[54] "Iconic Heart" Nominated
2014 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress Jessie Nominated [55]
2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Comedy Jessie Nominated [56]


  1. ^ a b c "Debby Ryan – Made of Matches". Cartoon Doll. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  2. ^ "Taylor Swift, Katy Perry Helped Inspire Debby Ryan's Debut Album". MTV. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  3. ^ "Debby Ryan (TheDebbyRyan) on Twitter". Retrieved 2009-11-17. it's Deborah; call me Debs. 
  4. ^ Fan's Dayyy!. Debby Ryan's official YouTube channel. September 16, 2009. Event occurs at 2:19. Retrieved October 28, 2012. My full name is Deborah Ann... 
  5. ^ a b "Debby Ryan "Jessie"". Disney Channel Media Net. Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. 
  6. ^ a b "World Premiere Of ’16 Wishes’ Is Friday Cable’s No. 1 Telecast In Total Viewers". Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  7. ^ a b "Friday Cable Ratings: 16 Wishes Premieres Big; Party Down, Gravity Finales Finish Small - Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  8. ^ a b "Cable TV Top 25: BET Awards, 16 Wishes, USA/Algeria Match Top Week’s Cable Shows". Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  9. ^ "Meet Debby Ryan". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 2, 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Debby Ryan: The Dream". Archived from the original on 2008-08-21. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Meet the co-stars: Debby Ryan" (May 2009). People Magazine. "I’m a nerd. I was in chess club. I went to mascot camp. In eighth grade I was the mascot of my school: a wildcat. I still have the old costume in my dressing room. It reminds me every day to go big and have energy"
  12. ^ Debby Ryan Teen Magazine interview[dead link]
  13. ^ "Debby Ryan's important message". Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  14. ^ "Disney Channel MediaNet". Disney Channel MediaNet. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  15. ^ Gary Levin (September 30, 2008). "Nielsens: Presidential debate fights for numbers". USA Today. Accessed 2008-12-12.
  16. ^ Scott Campbell (October 20, 2008). The Suite Life on Deck sets sail on Family Channel with record-breaking premiere ratings. Accessed 2008-12-12.
  17. ^ "Disney Channel/ Highlights For 2008". Business Wire. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  18. ^ "The Suite Life on Deck Season 3". Disney Channel Media Net. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  19. ^ "Debby Ryan on the set of What If!". Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  20. ^ "Debby Ryan films What If in Michigan". Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  21. ^ "What If Movie wraps filming". Associated Content. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  22. ^ a b c "Disney Channel's Debby Ryan Set to Host the First Allykatzz Tween Summit Music Festival". Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  23. ^ "Debby Ryan gets ''16 Wishes''". 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  24. ^ a b Lacey Rose, Los Angeles Times. "Suite Life starlet gets own Disney Channel series." March 16, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  25. ^ Sheets, Jill (July 2011). "Chit Chatting with Debby Ryan". Relate Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. 
  26. ^ Abel, Alex (2014-08-21). "How I Did It: Debby Ryan On Being The Youngest Ever Disney Director". Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  27. ^ "Debby Ryan's Religion and Political Views". Hollowverse. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  28. ^ "Debby Ryan's "Suite" Life Leads to "What If" Role". 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  29. ^ "Debby Ryan Instagram: 'Jessie' Star and Boyfriend Josh Dun Named Hot, Young Couple of 2014?". Fashion & Style. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  30. ^ "Debby Ryan’s New Year’s Eve Kiss With Boyfriend Joshua Dun". Disney Dreaming. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  31. ^ Firman, Tehrene (March 2015). "Exclusive: Debby Ryan Is Campaigning Against Dating Violence—and Opening Up About Her Own Abuse". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  32. ^ "Disney Friends For Change | Disney". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  33. ^ "The Walt Disney Company launches Disney's Friends for Change". Disney Channel. May 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  34. ^ Username *. "Tiffany Thornton and Jason Earles Host The Disney Friends for Change Games". Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  35. ^ a b "Free The Children - Disney". Free The Children. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  36. ^ "Debby Ryan in India for Friends For Change". YouTube. 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  37. ^ Debby Ryan - Lyrics sketchpad[dead link]
  38. ^ "Wachovia Center -TTT- CANCELLED". Wachovia Center. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  39. ^ "Terrific Teen Tour". Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  40. ^ "Debby Ryan Is Working On A Clothing Line". Disney Dreaming. May 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  41. ^ "'Muppets Most Wanted' Teaser Trailer Features Slew Of Celebrity Cameos In Upcoming 'Muppets' Sequel". International Business Time. March 21, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  42. ^ "We Ended Right (feat. Chad Hively & Chase Ryan) - Single". iTunes. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  43. ^ Gottlieb, Steven (22 February 2013). "A Rocket To The Moon "Never Enough" (Mark Staubach, Dir.)". VideoStatic. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  44. ^ "Chase Ryan – Feel My Heart - EP". iTunes. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  45. ^ "Debby Ryan – Open Eyes". Allmusic. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  46. ^ a b "Chase Ryan – Innocent Love". iTunes. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  47. ^ "Original Soundtrack Radio Rebel". AllMusic. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  48. ^ a b c d "Zack & Cody Cast Awards". Fanstream. 2010-07-13. 
  49. ^ a b "POPSTAR! POPTASTIC AWARDS NOMINEES!". Popstar Online. 2010-07-13. 
  50. ^ Hollywood Teen TV Awards Accessed 2010-07-13.
  51. ^ "Body Peace Awards". 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  52. ^ Young Artist Awards Accessed 2011-02-19.
  53. ^ a b "POPSTAR! POPTASTIC AWARDS NOMINEES! 2012". Popstar Online. 2010-07-13. 
  54. ^ "Vote for J-14's Teen Icon Awards! - J-14 Magazine". 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  55. ^ "Kids Everywhere Have Spoken and the Nominees Are in for Nickelodeon's 27th Annual Kids' Choice Awards!". Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  56. ^ "Teen Choice News". Retrieved 12 July 2014. 

External links[edit]