Ryan Phillippe: Snapshot

Ryan Phillippe
Date of Birth
September 10, 1974
Birth Place
New Castle, Del.
Ryan Phillippe's boyish good looks landed him in popular teen flicks I Know What You Did Last Summer and Cruel Intentions, where he costarred with Reese Witherspoon. The two young, budding stars married and welcomed daughter Ava in 1999, followed by Deacon in 2003.

While his wife shot to superstardom, Phillippe built a steady career, choosing supporting roles in films like Gosford Park and Crash, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2006, he took a commanding lead turn in Clint Eastwood's historical epic, Flags of our Fathers.

After seven years of marriage, Phillippe and Witherspoon divorced in 2007, with the actor eventually moving on with actresses Abbie Cornish and Amanda Seyfried. In July 2011, the father of two became a dad again when a former flame welcomed daughter Kailani.

Ryan Phillippe: Five Fun Facts

  1. Growing up, Ryan Phillippe fought off bullies with his black belt in tae kwon do.
  2. "I have no qualms," Ryan Phillippe told USA Weekend of being exposed to the mysteries of womanhood. "I watched three sisters go through puberty, being dumped by boyfriends, PMS, everything."
  3. As a senior in high school, Ryan Phillippe was voted "Best Smile."
  4. While struggling to find work in Los Angeles, Ryan Phillippe would engage in youthful hijinks with fellow up-and-comers Breckin Meyer and Seth Green. "We would break into malls at night. We'd go on top of buildings and unplug things," Phillippe told Paper magazine.
  5. Ryan Phillippe was on the short list to play Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. "I got to test with Natalie Portman," he told the BBC. "I'm seven years older than her, which was dubbed too old. At 29, I was an over-the-hill Anakin." The part went to 21-year-old Hayden Christensen.

Ryan Phillippe: Biography


Ryan Phillippe

Hair-Raising Discovery

Phillippe, 15, makes an impromptu call to an agent recommended to him by a woman at a local barbershop in Delaware. For two years, Phillippe hits auditions in Philadelphia and lands some small modeling jobs.


Ryan Phillippe

June 26

Stirring Up the Soaps

At 17, Phillippe plays gay teenager Billy Douglas on the ABC soap One Life to Live. The character pushes the limits of daytime television with storylines about coming out and homophobia. "Soaps are a powerful way to reach people who live these sheltered, closed-off lives," Phillippe tells Paper magazine in 2001. He leaves the show in 1992 after disagreements with ABC regarding his character's development and moves to L.A. to pursue a film career.


Ryan Phillippe

March 22

Party Crasher

Phillippe attends Reese Witherspoon's 21st birthday party for the free drinks. At the party, she tells him, "I think you're my birthday present." Both acknowledge an intense initial emotional connection; after five weeks of phone calls, the two go out on their first date.

Read More on Ryan Phillippe's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Martin McNeil/WireImage

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): CLASSMATES YEARBOOK ARCHIVES; Steve Granitz/WireImage

Edited by Julia Wang

Ryan Phillippe

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