Matthew Ryan Phillippe was born
on September 10th, 1974 in New Castle, Delaware. He was the
only son of Richard and Susan Phillippe and is the only boy
amongst three sisters - Kirsten, Lindsay and Katelyn.
His acting career began in 1992
when he landed the role of Billy Douglas on daytime TV's "One
Life To Live". His character was the first openly gay
teenager on daytime television and Ryan was praised for his
portrayal. He stayed with the show for a year before moving
on to "Lake Success" and other small TV roles.
He gradually made his move into
film with small parts in big hits such as "Crimson Tide"
alongside Denzel Wahington and Gene Hackman. It wasn't until
1994 that Ryan really started to get noticed. He was cast
in the part of the ill-fated Gil Martin in "White Squall" starring Scott Wolf and Jeff Bridges. The film was about a
crew of young students who attended a unique school on board
a ship and the troubles they encounter. Although the film
didn't make Ryan an overnight success, it can still be considered
his big break into Hollywood.
With the release of the successful
teen horror flick "I Know What You Did Last Summer," Ryan became a very recognizable name to many young fans. The
role of Barry Cox, boyfriend to Sarah Michelle Gellar's character,
was a big step in Ryans career. His popularity with the film
led to more substantial and quality roles.
After appearing in a few independent
films ("Homegrown," "Little Boy Blue,"
and "Nowhere") he was cast in the leading role in
"54." He played Shane O'Shea, an employee at the
infamous '70's nightclub. Then came the role of Keenan in
"Playing By Heart" with Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands.
His next big hit was in "Cruel
Intentions" with Reese Witherspoon. He played the part
of Sabastian Valmont, a too rich, too bored teen in Manhattan.
His off screen romance with Reese blossomed and in December
of 1988 became engaged. The couple announced their engagement
and the fact that they were expecting a baby in the fall of
1999. Although planning a wedding and pulling if off wasn't
easy, the couple was married in South Carolina at the Wide
Awake Plantation on June 5th, 1999.
His fame has been growing steadily
and tinseltown is taking notice. Some studio's consider him
the next Leonardo DiCapprio.