Was called Peggy by family and friends while growing up in Connecticut, where she was homecoming queen at Bethel High School.
Took Ryan, her mother's maiden name, as her surname when she got her Screen Actors Guild card in the late 1970s.
Was studying journalism at NYU when her mother, a casting agent, got her an audition for the role of Candice Bergen's daughter in George Cukor's last film, Rich and Famous (1981); her film debut led to a two-year stint on the soap As the World Turns.
In the fall of 2005, became an ambassador for the humanitarian organization CARE International to help raise awareness of women's issues.
1990, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
1994, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
1999, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
1994, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
1989, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Female Lead: Nominee
Daisy True — Daughter
Pat Jordan — Stepfather
Dana Hyra — Sister
Annie Hyra — Sister
Andrew Hyra — Brother
Anthony Edwards — Ex-significant Other
Harry Hyra — Father
Susan Ryan Jordan — Mother
Dennis Quaid — Ex-husband
Jack Henry Quaid — Son
John Mellencamp — Ex-significant Other
Attended University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, United States; attended New York University, New York, New York, United States
Birth Name: Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra
Birth Place: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States