Who Is Ryan Reynolds?

Actor Ryan Reynolds started out in television before becoming a big-screen success in Hollywood. His first major breakthrough came with the 2002 comedy National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. Since then, Reynolds has become known for his starring role in Deadpool and for his high-profile relationship with wife Blake Lively.

Early Life and Career

Ryan Rodney Reynolds was born on October 23, 1976, in Vancouver, Canada. The youngest of four boys, Reynolds “was a really nervous kid,” he told GQ magazine. “I was extremely sensitive … I was so aware of everything around me.” He found sanctuary in school productions where his vulnerability could be an asset rather than a problem. At the age of 12, Reynolds landed his first professional acting job. He was cast in a Canadian teen drama first called Hillside and later renamed Fifteen when it aired in the United States. The show ran from 1991 to 1993.

After Fifteen, Reynolds struggled to get his career off the ground. He was cast in a few small roles, including a guest spot on The X-Files. Still Reynolds needed to take odd jobs to make ends meet after completing high school. For a time, he worked a late-night shift at a supermarket.

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Traveling with a friend, Reynolds moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990s. He got his first major television job in 1998, playing a medical student on the sitcom Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (later renamed Two Guys and a Girl). After the show finished in 2001, Reynolds soon made the leap to feature films. He starred in the comedy National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002) as a perennial, fun-loving college student. While the film did poorly at the box office, it eventually became a cult classic.


For several years, Reynolds appeared in a string of lackluster films — both critically and commercially. He played a vampire hunter in Blade: Trinity (2004) opposite Wesley Snipes and Jessica Biel and starred in the 2005 remake The Amityville Horror. While his movies may not have been wowing audiences, Reynolds enjoyed great popularity nonetheless. He was featured in People magazine’s “Sexiest People” issue in 2007, earning the title “Sexiest Renaissance Man” from the publication.

‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’

In 2009, Reynolds’ film career took off. He played the mercenary Deadpool in the box office hit X-Men Origins: Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman. Teaming up with Sandra Bullock, Reynolds showed his comedic talents in The Proposal. He continued to thrive professionally, expanding his range with the independent drama Buried in 2010. In the film, Reynolds played an American working in Iraq who gets kidnapped and buried alive.

‘The Green Lantern’

Reynolds made a triumphant return to the big screen in 2011. Taking on a comic book hero, he starred in The Green Lantern with Blake Lively. Reynolds then showed off his comedic talents in The Change-Up with Jason Bateman, and took on a dramatic role as an agent in Safe House (2012), starring opposite Denzel Washington.

Not one to slow down, he has also lent his voice to animated movies, The Croods and Turbo, both released in 2013, and appeared in indie films like The Voices (2014), The Captive (2014), and Mississippi Grind (2015). He took on a supporting role in the biopic Woman in Gold (2015) and starred in the thriller Self/Less.

‘Deadpool’ Franchise

The year 2016 turned out to be even better for Reynolds when his labor of love, Deadpool, finally came to be after being in development for 16 years. The offbeat superhero film became the highest-grossing R-rated feature of all time, and led to a Golden Globe nomination for its star. Deadpool 2 enjoyed similar success after hitting theaters in May 2018, grossing nearly $800 million at the global box office.

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‘Detective Pikachu’ and ‘Underground 6’

Reynolds next took his comedic talents to the live-action/animated Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019), as the voice of the titular fuzzy yellow character. Later that year it was on to an action role in Netflix’s Underground 6, as the leader of a group of rogue operatives determined to take down the world’s most dangerous villains.

Personal Life

Reynolds has garnered a lot of attention for his personal life. He dated singer Alanis Morissette for several years. The pair got engaged in 2004, but they broke up in 2007. That same year, Reynolds became involved with actress Scarlett Johansson. The couple wed in a small ceremony in 2008.

Reynolds experienced some personal heartbreak when he and Johansson announced in December 2010 that they were separating. “After long and careful consideration on both our parts, we’ve decided to end our marriage,” the couple said in a joint statement. “We entered our relationship with love and it’s with love and kindness we leave it.”

The talented actor found love again with Green Lantern co-star Lively. The couple wed on September 9, 2012, near Charleston, South Carolina, after dating for less than a year. Reynolds and Lively welcomed their first child, a daughter they named James, in December 2014. On September 30, 2016, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter they named Ines.

Later that year, Reynolds was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In May 2019, Lively revealed that she was expecting the couple’s third child when she debuted her baby bump while walking the red carpet at the premiere of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. She gave birth to their daughter Betty that summer, with Us Weekly reporting in early October that the baby was about 2 months old.

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Aviation Gin

In 2017, Reynolds became co-owner of the gin brand Aviation, which he often promoted on his social media channels. In August 2020, it was reported that the brand was sold to liquor company Diageo for up to $610 million.


  • Name: Ryan Rodney Reynolds
  • Birth Year: 1976
  • Birth date: October 23, 1976
  • Birth City: Vancouver
  • Birth Country: Canada
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known For: Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is mainly known for his comedic performances, particularly as the star of the superhero franchise ‘Deadpool.’
  • Astrological Sign: Scorpio

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  • Article Title: Ryan Reynolds Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/actors/ryan-reynolds
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: August 19, 2020
  • Original Published Date: April 2, 2014