Amy Ryan

Born in Queens, N.Y., on Nov. 30, 1969, Amy Ryan attended the High School of the Performing Arts, the institution featured in Fame (1980) and its subsequent TV spinoff. She declined acceptance to New York University in favor of the life of a working actor and spent the first part of her career building her résumé on the New York stage, eventually earning Tony nominations for "Uncle Vanya" (2000) and "A Streetcar Named Desire" (2005).

At the height of her Broadway fame, Ryan left the theater world to pursue work in TV and feature films, landing a recurring role on the hit HBO series "The Wire" (2003-08) before scoring high-profile supporting turns in War of the Worlds (2005) and Capote (2005).

But it was Ryan's raw portrayal of a negligent mother in Gone Baby Gone (2007) that truly caught Hollywood's attention and earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nods for Best Supporting Actress, among other accolades.