Ryan at the premiere of Changeling in 2008
May 3, 1968
New York City, U.S.
Amy Beth Dziewiontkowski (born May 3, 1968), known professionally as Amy Ryan, is an American actress of stage and screen. A graduate of New York's High School of Performing Arts, she is an Academy Award nominee and two-time Tony Award nominee.
Ryan began her professional stage career in 1987 and made her Broadway debut in 1993 as a replacement in the original production of The Sisters Rosensweig. She went on to receive Tony Award nominations for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the 2000 revival of Uncle Vanya and the 2005 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Helene McCready in the 2007 film Gone Baby Gone. The role also earned her a Golden Globe nomination and won her a Critics' Choice Award. Her other films include Changeling (2008), Win Win (2011) and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014). On television, she played Beadie Russell in HBO's The Wire (2002–2008), Holly Flax in NBC's The Office (2008–2011) and Adele Brousse in HBO's In Treatment (2010).
Ryan was born Amy Beth Dziewiontkowski in Flushing, Queens in New York City, the daughter of Pamela (née Ryan), a nurse, and John Dziewiontkowski, a trucking business owner. She is of Polish, Irish, and English descent. Growing up in the 1970s, Ryan and her sister Laura delivered the Daily News by bike. At a young age, Ryan attended the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Center in upstate New York. At 17, she graduated from New York's High School of Performing Arts. Hired for the national tour of Biloxi Blues right out of high school, Ryan worked steadily off-Broadway for the next decade. She chose her mother's maiden name as her stage name.
Ryan made her off-Broadway debut in the Westside Theatre's 1987 production of A Shayna Maidel, playing the role of Hanna. The following year she was seen in the Second Stage Theatre Company's revival of The Rimers of Eldritch. Additional off-Broadway credits include As Bees In Honey Drown, Crimes of the Heart and Saved. She also worked in regional theater, where she originated roles in new plays by Neil LaBute, Arthur Miller and Neil Simon. On Broadway she has appeared as Tess in The Sisters Rosensweig, Natasha in the 1997 revival of The Three Sisters, and Peggy in the 2001–2002 revival of The Women.
Ryan was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play twice: in 2000, for her portrayal of Sonya Alexandrovna in Uncle Vanya, and in 2005, for her performance as Stella Kowalski opposite John C. Reilly in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Ryan received some of the best reviews of her career for her leading role in the Roundabout Theater Company's 2016 production of Love, Love, Love. Ben Brantley of The New York Times praised her "smashing comic performance," The Hollywood Reporter called her work "emotionally vital," and The Associated Press raved that "Ryan is absolutely magnetic ... nailing her charming, unpredictable character with perfect comedic timing." In an article exploring various famous actresses working on the stage, The Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks highlighted Ryan's work in the play:
The revelation is not that Amy Ryan is good. It's that she's this good ... Ryan, whose range has been apparent for years, in dramatic performances nominated for Tonys (Uncle Vanya) and Oscars (Gone Baby Gone), as well as in nuanced comic turns on television shows like The Office, manages a feat in Love, Love, Love that she's never accomplished so fluidly before: taking charge. She delivers a front-and-center performance of such beguiling dynamism (in a thoroughly convincing English accent) that you feel this Roundabout Theatre Company production has done for her precisely what was intended. It exposes a new facet of her talent — and leaves us with that uplifting itch, to be there the next time she's on a stage.
For her performance in Love, Love, Love, Ryan won the Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress, and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.
Following a brief stint playing a runaway on As the World Turns, Ryan was cast in television series such as I'll Fly Away, After roles on ER and Chicago Hope, Ryan became a series regular on The Naked Truth as Téa Leoni's spoiled stepdaughter. In 1993, she made her first appearance on NBC's Law & Order, appearing in several episodes over the years.
By 2001, director Sidney Lumet cast her in 100 Centre Street playing three different roles (Ellen, Paris and Rebecca). Ryan went on to feature prominently in the second season of HBO's The Wire, playing Port Authority Officer Beadie Russell. She appeared for a six-episode arc on The Office as dorky HR rep Holly Flax. She reprised her role on The Office in seasons 5 and 7.
Because of the deletion of the scene where she played Eric Stoltz's wife in Allison Anders's Grace of My Heart, Ryan made her 1999 film debut in Roberta. She then briefly appeared in You Can Count on Me, which starred Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo, and the mystery/thriller Keane. Albert Brooks chose her to play his wife in Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World in 2005, and 2007 brought both Dan in Real Life and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Her role as a star-struck sheriff's wife in Capote earned her positive reviews, but it was playing a hardened welfare mom in Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone that finally brought her national attention.
After being voted Best Supporting Actress for Gone Baby Gone by the National Board of Review, as well as the critics circles in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Ryan's performance was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting role at the 80th Academy Awards.
Ryan appeared in Changeling (2008), directed by Clint Eastwood, and opposite Matt Damon in Paul Greengrass's Green Zone (2010). In September 2010, she completed filming a role in Philip Seymour Hoffman's directorial film debut, Jack Goes Boating, taking over the role of Connie originally played by Beth Cole in the stage version. Ryan received strong notices for her performance in Tom McCarthy's Win Win the next year, winning Best Supporting Actress awards from multiple regional critics groups.
Ryan was a part of the core ensemble of the 2014 Best Picture Academy Award winning film Birdman, sharing in the cast's Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture victory. In 2015, she starred as Mary Donovan opposite Tom Hanks in the film Bridge of Spies, and reunited with her In Treatment co-star Gabriel Byrne in Louder Than Bombs, the English-language debut of Joachim Trier. Early the next year, Ryan was cast as Tracy, her first on-screen leading role, in Abundant Acreage Available, a rural family drama from Junebug screenwriter Angus MacLachlan. Upon the film's premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, Ryan drew universal acclaim for her performance, with The Wrap noting that she "holds the screen no matter what she's doing and who she's with" and Flavorwire raving that Ryan "sounds notes that are quietly dazzling in their complexity." Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge dubbed the performance a career highlight:
It's a pleasure to see such a fine actress navigate the nuances of her role ... Only on the big screen are we able to fully appreciate the minutely detailed nature of Ryan's performance, revealing Tracy's soul via the slightest narrowing of the eyes or the almost-subliminal tensing of her cheekbones. As we know, Junebug earned Amy Adams an Oscar nomination, and if the world were fair, this role would bring another Amy similar attention.
In 2018, Ryan co-starred in Beautiful Boy for Amazon Studios, a dark family drama, with her The Office co-star Steve Carell, and Timothée Chalamet. She was then among the ensemble cast of 2019's Late Night, the Mindy Kaling-penned comedy about a female late-night talk show host (Emma Thompson); and Strange but True, a noir-thriller based on the novel by John Searles. In 2020, Ryan starred as Mari Gilbert, a real life woman searching for her missing daughter, in Netflix's mystery thriller Lost Girls.
|2000||You Can Count on Me||Rachel Louise Prescott|
|A Pork Chop for Larry||Beth||Short film|
|2005||War of the Worlds||Neighbor with Toddler|
|Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World||Emily Brooks|
|2007||Gone Baby Gone||Helene McCready|
|Neal Cassady||Carolyn Cassady|
|Before the Devil Knows You're Dead||Martha Hanson|
|Dan in Real Life||Eileen Burns|
|2009||The Missing Person||Miss Charley||Also executive producer|
|2010||Jack Goes Boating||Connie|
|Green Zone||Lawrie Dayne|
|2011||Win Win||Jackie Flaherty|
|2013||Breathe In||Megan Reynolds|
|Escape Plan||Abigail Ross|
|Devil's Knot||Margaret Lax|
|2014||Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)||Sylvia|
|Louder Than Bombs||Hannah|
|Bridge of Spies||Mary McKenna Donovan|
|2016||Central Intelligence||Agent Pamela Harris|
|The Infiltrator||Bonni Tischler|
|Monster Trucks||Cindy Coley|
|2017||Abundant Acreage Available||Tracy Ledbetter|
|2018||Beautiful Boy||Vicki Sheff|
|2019||Late Night||Caroline Morton|
|Strange but True||Charlene Chase|
|Lost Girls||Mari Gilbert|
|1990||As the World Turns||Renee||Unknown episodes|
|1991||Quantum Leap||Libby McBain||Episode: "Raped - June 20, 1980"|
|Brooklyn Bridge||Young Sophie||Episode: "Old Fools"|
|1992||Home Improvement||Robin||Episode: "Luck Be a Taylor Tonight"|
|I'll Fly Away||Parkie Sasser||6 episodes|
|1993; 2006||Law & Order||Amy / Valerie Messick||2 episodes|
|1995||Sirens||April Ward||Episode: "The Abduction"|
|ER||Sister||Episode: "Love Among the Ruins"|
|1995–1996||The Naked Truth||Chloe Banks||20 episodes|
|1998||Chicago Hope||Helen Sherwood||Episode: "Liver, Hold the Mushrooms"|
|A Will of Their Own||Carrie Baker||Miniseries|
|1999||Homicide: Life on the Street||Erika Cullen||Episode: "A Case of Do or Die"|
|2000||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Lorraine Hansen||Episode: "Bad Blood"|
|2001–2002||100 Centre Street||Rebecca Rifkind / Ellen||7 episodes|
|2003; 2007||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Julie Turner / Edie Nelson||2 episodes|
|2003–2008||The Wire||Beadie Russell||20 episodes|
|2004||Third Watch||Dr. Jenny Hanson||Episode: "Last Will and Testament"|
|2006||American Experience||Luzena Wilson||Episode: "The Gold Rush"|
|2006–2007||Kidnapped||Maureen Campbell||2 episodes|
|2008||Independent Lens||Anita Hoffman||Episode: "Chicago 10"|
|2008–2011||The Office||Holly Flax||17 episodes|
|2010||In Treatment||Adele||8 episodes|
|2013||Clear History||Wendy the Waitress||Television film|
|2015–2017||Broad City||Heidi Strand||2 episodes|
|2016–2019||High Maintenance||Gigi||2 episodes|
|2018||Robot Chicken||Lobster Lady / Liesl von Trapp||Voice|
Episode: "Shall I Visit the Dinosaurs?"
|2020||I'll Be Gone In the Dark||Voice of Michelle McNamara's Word|
Awards and nominations
-  Archived October 31, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
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- Marks, Peter (October 10, 2010). "Amy Ryan: A journeyman's actress co-stars in 'Jack Goes Boating'". The Washington Post.
- Gross, Terry (2010). "Amy Ryan: From 'The Office' To The 'Green Zone'". NPR. Archived from the original on March 14, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- "Amy Ryan". Hello. Archived from the original on September 23, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
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- "The Rimers of Eldritch". Lortel Archives—the Internet off-Broadway database. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- Review/Theater; Brooding Look at Dismal Lives in Wilson Revival, NY Times
- "Amy Ryan". Lortel Archives—the Internet off-Broadway database. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- As Bees in Honey Drown. (Lucille Lortel Theater, New York), Variety July 28, 1997.
- Crimes of the Heart, CurtainUp
- "Saved, a CurtainUp review". Curtainup.com. February 25, 2001. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "Amy Ryan". ibdb.com. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- "A Streetcar Named Desire, Studio 54". ibdb.com. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- "IBDB Person Awards". ibdb.com. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- Brantley, Ben (October 19, 2016). "Review: In 'Love, Love, Love,' All You Need Is Selfishness". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- Scheck, Frank (October 19, 2016). "'Love, Love, Love': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- Farrar, Jennifer (October 20, 2016). "Review: The Kids Are Not Alright in Play 'Love, Love, Love'". Associated Press. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- Marks, Peter (November 7, 2016). "When Casting About for Famous Actresses for the Stage, Choose Carefully". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Cox, Gordon (April 27, 2017). "'Hello, Dolly!' Dominates 2017 Drama Desk Nominations (Full List)". Variety. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- Cox, Gordon (April 19, 2017). "Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Allison Janney Nominated for Drama League Awards". Variety. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
- Tucker, Ken (November 3, 1995). "The Naked Truth". Entertainment Weekly.
- Amy Ryan Archived February 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Spotlight on Amy Ryan, Comingsoon.net
- Speakeasy AMY RYAN two.one.five magazine
- Actress Amy Ryan keeps things interesting, taking parts on stage, on screen and on TV Archived March 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Monterey Herald
- Amy Ryan Returning to The Office, TVGuide.com
- "Amy Ryan Books Role on In Treatment". TV Guide.
- "Past Awards". National Board of Review. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
- Amy Ryan, Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Archived July 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- [dead link]
- Q&A – Amy Ryan on What Affleck, Eastwood, and the Green Zone Director Have in Common Archived July 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, FilmCritic.com
- Pond, Steve (April 20, 2017). "Abundant Acreage Available Tribeca Review: Amy Ryan Owns This Quiet Family Drama". The Wrap. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Bailey, Jason (May 1, 2017). "The Best and Worst Movies of the Tribeca Film Festival". Flavorwire. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Debruge, Peter (April 21, 2017). "Tribeca Film Review: Abundant Acreage Available". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Hipes, Patrick (March 15, 2017). "Amy Ryan Reunites With Steve Carell For Amazon's Beautiful Boy". Deadline. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Mitchell, Robert (May 17, 2017). "La La Land's Fred Berger to Produce Noir Thriller Strange but True". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Mottram, James (October 28, 2011). "Amy Ryan: Hollywood, motherhood and being unemployed". The Independent. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- Everett, Cristina (October 21, 2009). "Amy Ryan and fiance Eric Slovin welcome baby girl, Georgia Gracie". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on October 24, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
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