Amy Ryan (born 30 November 1969) is an Academy Award-nominated American actress. She stars as Beadie Russell in the second season of The Wire and reprises the role in season 3 to 5 as a recurring guest star.
Hired for the National Tour of Biloxi Blues right out of high school, Ryan worked steadily for the next decade Off-Broadway and in regional theater, where she originated roles in new plays by Neil LaBute, Arthur Miller and Neil Simon. Her Broadway debut came in 1993, as Tess in The Sisters Rosensweig. She replaced Calista Flockhart as Natasha in a 1997 revival of The Three Sisters when Flockhart left the play to do the television series Ally McBeal. In 2000, Ryan received the first of two Best Supporting Actress Tony Award nominations for playing the love starved Sonya in Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov. An appearance as Peggy in the 2001 Broadway revival of The Women followed, and she was again nominated for a Tony for playing Stella Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire in 2005.
Following a brief stint playing a runaway on As the World Turns, Ryan began to be cast in prestigious television series such as I'll Fly Away, in which she played a high school temptress, and Brooklyn Bridge, where she played Marion Ross in flashbacks. After roles on ER and Chicago Hope, Ryan became a series regular on The Naked Truth as Tea Leoni's spoiled stepdaughter. By 2001, director Sidney Lumet was so impressed by Ryan that he cast her in 100 Centre Street playing three entirely different roles (Ellen, Paris and Rebecca). Ryan went on to feature prominently in the second season of HBO's The Wire, playing Port Authority Officer Beadie Russell, and has appeared in several episodes of NBC's Law & Order. Ryan is set to return to HBO, appearing in the third season of In Treatment.
After her 1999 movie debut in Roberta, Ryan appeared in You Can Count on Me and Keane. Albert Brooks chose her to play his wife in Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World in 2005, and 2007 brought both Dan in Real Life and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Her role as a star-struck sheriff's wife in Capote earned her positive reviews, but it was playing a hardened Welfare mom in Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone that finally brought her national attention.
After being voted Best Supporting Actress for Gone Baby Gone by the National Board of Review as well as the critics circles in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, DC, Ryan's performance was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar.
Ryan's film Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood, premiered in the fall of 2008, she also starred in Paul Greengrass's project Green Zone, opposite Matt Damon.