Ryan, a self-admitted Army brat, grew up near bases ranging from Germany to Hawaii. She was born in Munich, Germany and after re-locating to bases in Kansas, Maryland, Georgia and Texas, her family settled down in Paduch, Kentucky when she was 11. After graduating from Northwestern University in Chicago as a National Merit Scholar with a B.S. in theater, she came to Los Angeles. As a former series regular on NBC's Dark Skies, Ryan is no stranger to the world of science fiction. She portrayed Juliet, a mysterious government agent who helped in a secret program against hostile extraterrestrials. Prior to landing that role, she guest-starred on several television series including Matlock, Who's the Boss?, Murder, She Wrote, Reasonable Doubts and Diagnosis Murder. Additionally, Ryan appeared in two episodes of Melrose Place, as a lesbian soap opera actress who endured a staged marriage to a gay bridegroom.
Ryan's television experience also roles in a variety of telefilms including Coed Call Girl, Nightmare in Columbia County, NBC's In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco and UPN's The Sentinel. Her feature film credits include the independent films "The Last Man" and "Men Cry Bullets." Ryan resides in the Los Angeles area with her four-year-old son, Alex.