Ryan Phillippe has emerged as one of Hollywood's most versatile young actors. At 17 years old, Matthew Ryan Phillippe (born September 10, 1974 in New Castle, Delaware) was discovered by a casting agent at a local barbershop and was immediately sent to New York for auditions. He landed his first role in 1992 on the daytime drama One Life to Live, where he courted controversy by Billy Douglas, the first gay teenager in a daily soap opera. He remained with the show for a year and then moved on to small parts in various television shows and movies.
In 1997, Ryan was cast alongside fellow teen actors Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the successful horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer. His good looks and convincing performance in the thriller led to parts in 54 and Cruel Intentions, a modern retelling of
Dangerous Liaisons, starring Gellar, Selma Blair and Ryan's future wife, Reese Witherspoon. Ryan first met Reese at her 21st birthday party in 1997. They began to date and became engaged in December 1998, eventually marrying on June 5, 1999, in a small ceremony on a plantation near North Charleston, South Carolina. The couple has two children, Ava Elizabeth (born September 9, 1999) and Deacon Reese (born October 23, 2003.) After over seven years of marriage, Reese filed
for divorce from her husband on November 8, 2006, citing irreconcilable differences.
Ryan's career continued to gain momentum, and he took on supporting roles in the critically-acclaimed films Gosford Park, Igby Goes Down and Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture of 2005. In 2006, Ryan played real-life Navy corpsman John Bradley, one of the Marines who hoisted the American flag during the WWII battle of Iwo Jima in the film Flags of Our Fathers, directed by Clint Eastwood. He recently played a veteran of the Iraq war called back into service in the film Stop-Loss. With his striking looks and wise career choices, Ryan is winning the battles in the war to achieve superstardom.