Ryan Phillippe (pronounced Fil-lih-pee) (born September 10, 1974 in New Castle, Delaware, USA) is an American actor.
Ryan was initially spotted by an agent and soon landed the role of Billy Douglas, daytime television's first gay teenager, in the soap opera One Life to Live. Upon leaving the show he moved to Los Angeles where he struggled for a time before landing a number of television guest roles and some small parts in various television and theatrical movies, including White Squall (1996). Unable to afford a car, he would often use public transport or a skateboard to get to auditions.
On March 22, 1997, Ryan and a friend attended the 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.
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 lead to a starring role in 54 in 1998, alongside Salma Hayek, Mike Meyers 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. Ryan and the film's director had to literally beg for Witherspoon to appear in the movie, but she finally conceded.
Ryan and Reese Witherspoon married in the summer of 1999. Phillippe and Witherspoon have a baby daughter.
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 director Robert Altman's critically-acclaimed Gosford Park, with some of England's most revered acting talent, 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.