Jeri Ryan made her acting debut on an episode of Who’s the Boss? and parlayed that into a career guest-starring on shows like Matlock and Melrose Place. It was in 1997 though that she became a legitimate celebrity, when she was cast as Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager.
The Star Trek: Voyager Years
Jeri Ryan became an instant phenomenon when she joined the cast of Star Trek: Voyager. She’d been acting in television for years by the time she landed the role of Seven so sure, she knew her way around in front of the camera. Her character soon became the primary focus of the entire show, and Ryan was up to the challenge.
It wasn’t easy though. Talking about the challenges of playing Seven of Nine, Jeri Ryan says the worst thing about it was the costume. She explains, “The corset wasn’t a lot of fun. Not being able to go to the bathroom without the entire crew knowing it, and having to make production shut down. That was a bit of a downside.“
Going to the bathroom was, apparently, really a huge problem. Jeri says, “If I had to go, it was on the radio, ‘Jeri’s going. 10-1. That’s 20.’ Because, you know, I had to have somebody dress me and undress me. It was a 20-minute thing to get me undressed, go to the bathroom, get dressed, go back to set. It was a thing.“
Jeri Ryan’s first season on the show she hit a real snag when she got so ill they had to shut down the entire production. Ryan reveals, “I actually got so sick my first season on the show because I felt so bad that it was a production shutdown, so I would just not drink all day. And I got really ill. [Laughs.] It’s not a good thing to do.“
Jeri Ryan After Voyager
After Voyager ended in 2001 Jeri Ryan got work in movies like Dracula 2000, but she primarily found success on television. There she became a steadily working character actor, doing guest spots on Boston Legal, Leverage, Psych, Law & Order, NCIS, and a host of other well known dramas.
Jeri Ryan became a series regular on the show Shark, doing 34 episodes as Jessica Devlin. Later she became a regular on show Body of Proof doing 42 episodes as Kate Murphy. Jeri even got to express her passion for cooking, appearing on the show Iron Chef: America as a judge.
Jeri Ryan Involved In Controversy
After Star Trek, Jeri Ryan was thrust back into the limelight for less happy reasons. In 1999 she divorced her husband Jack Ryan. They have a son together, Alex Ryan born in 1994. Unfortunately, the drama around their marriage wouldn’t end with their divorce.
In 2004 Jeri Ryan’s ex-husband Jack Ryan went on to run for the US Senate and during his campaign court documents from his divorce with Jeri were unearthed. Those documents revealed that Jeri and Jack had frequented swingers clubs in New York, New Orleans, and Paris. Jeri described one of the locations as “a bizarre club with cages, whips, and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling.”
Jeri Ryan claimed she didn’t really want to go to these swinger clubs, and that Jack coerced her to go and participate in public sex acts. The revelation ended Jack Ryan’s political career.
Jeri Ryan Now
In recent years Jeri Ryan’s career has found a resurgance. She has found more steady work on television as a series regular on the reboot of MacGyver. She has also returned to the world of Star Trek, appearing on Star Trek: Picard as Seven of Nine, where she’s set to become a regular in Star Trek: Picard season 2.
In 2003 Jeri Ryan met a French chef named Christophe Émé. The couple married in 2007 and in 2008 Jeri gave birth to their daughter. They currently live in Los Angeles, CA.
Now 52-years-old, these days Jeri Ryan is really into gourmet cooking. In 2005 she opened a gourmet restaurant in LA called Ortolan with her then future French Chef husband. The restaurant closed its doors in 2011, but Ryan remains a devotee of gourmet cooking.