Ryan Phillippe, born September 10, 1974 in New Castle, Delaware as Matthew Ryan Phillippe, is an American actor.
His first role was as Billy Douglas, daytime television's first gay teenager, in the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. After leaving the show, he moved to Los Angeles, where he struggled for a time before landing a number of small parts in various television shows and movies, including White Squall (1996).
Later that year he played the part of Barry Cox in I Know What You Did Last Summer with Jennifer Love Hewitt. The movie was a summer hit and led to a starring role in 54 in 1998, alongside Salma Hayek, Mike Myers, and Breckin Meyer.
In 1999, Phillippe landed the role of Sebastian Valmont in Cruel Intentions, a modern retelling of the Choderlos de Laclos' novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The movie was both a critical and box office hit amongst its intended teenage audience. This was the second time that Phillippe had worked alongside television's Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, Sarah Michelle Gellar. He also appeared alongside his future wife, Reese Witherspoon.
In 2000, Phillippe starred opposite Benicio Del Toro in The Way of the Gun, followed with his role as a wizard software engineer in the high-tech thriller Antitrust. In 2001, Ryan co-starred in Robert Altman's critically-acclaimed Gosford Park, with several of England's most respected actors, including Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, and Emily Watson.
Ryan plans to forge a career as a producer with his production company, Lucid Films.
Ryan hails from a fairly ordinary background; his father works as a chemist for DuPont and his mother manages a day care center.
In 1997, Ryan attended a party given for Reese Witherspoon's 21st birthday. Upon meeting the guest of honor, Phillippe was immediately mesmerized and spent all night talking to the young actress. The two began a long distance courtship by mail, e-mail, and telephone.
Phillippe and Witherspoon married in the summer of 1999 and had a daughter named Ava later that year. Their son Deacon was born in 2003.
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