How close is Ryan to his nieces and nephews?
While I don't know much about how much time he gets to spend with the kids these days, the family is very close. When it comes to Shaun's older kids, Jake told Cheryl a few months ago how he and Ryan share interests such as Titanic memorbilia and law enforcement. Ryan is also Caitlin's godfather. I don't know much about Patrick's or David's children or Juliet at the moment.
Has Ryan ever had a full beard?
Not to my knowledge. While he has sported a moustache and goatee in recent years and he has recently grown it back after shaving it off a year ago. He says it is a seasonal thing and will be taking pictures with it.
Does Ryan smoke?
He's trying to cut back on his own now (no patch or nicorette gum). He smokes light cigarettes and will only smoke a few a day - sometimes none at all.
Is Ryan married or dating anyone?
No, he's not. But he'd be grateful if the right lady came along. When I asked what was one question he was tired of being asked, he said it was "Why don't you have a girlfriend?" He says he has had girlfriends - a lot of them - but for one reason or another things just don't work out. He would love to get married and start a family. He has seen a lot of divorce and it's a painful expereince he would obviously prefer to avoid and therefore won't take that step before he is ready. He nearly got engaged a few years ago but things didn't work out.
Does Ryan have any pets?
As he replied in the last questionnaire, he has a Boston terrier named Riley. Riley is evidently the Neighborhood Dog -- everyone knows and loves him. He's very friendly, thinks he is still a puppy and loves to play. How did he get Riley? His mother saw the pup at a pet store seven years ago and went back to buy him for Ryan as a birthday gift. Ever since Riley has been Ryan's number one buddy. When I asked about any strange habits, Ryan just laughed and said we could ask any boston terrier owner and they'd tell you.....and Riley has a tendency to bounce so that when you ring the doorbell, all you see in the window is this little head bouncing up and down. Ryan also mentioned that Riley reminds him of Jackie Gleason. (And he will be sending pictures!)
Is he still working on CBS' "King of Queens"?
No, he's now working on the WB series "Movie Stars". He had worked with one of their set dressers on a movie before and she brought him over. He really enjoys working on the show and talking with series "guests" Don Swayze, Joey Travolta and Frank Stallone as well as series star Jennifer Grant.
Ryan seemed kind of serious in the Fox Family Special. Would you describe him as serious?
He does describe himself as being "pensive" and has had people tell him that. Also keep in mind that the interview was edited and they were throwing some pretty heady questions at him about really personal memories (keeping in mind that what he saw in December 1976 was nightmarish and something no one, especially a ten year-old boy, should ever have to see). In earlier interviews (circa 1985) and even when he inadvertently ended up on camera on "The Arsenio Hall Show" in 1993, he was much more jovial and usually is quite entertaining when interviewed (and sending e-mails......). Ryan is quite a warm, sensitive guy...with a pretty sharp wit to him. It's almost becoming cliche to say he's "sweet" because that seems to be the exact opinion everyone has of him, including myself. There are few people I have talked to who are as genuine and, okay, sweet as this guy.
Since Ryan (presumably) no longer has an agent, is there a way to send him a letter?
Yes! Finally, I have something concrete for those on the internet! Send them to email@example.com! (You can also send them to me but this keeps everything together.) I will gather all the messages and send them along to him on a near-monthly basis. He is in the process of getting on-line and might eventually retrieve these himself but for right now count on me to get them delivered to his doorstep! He has assured me that he does read and enjoy the messages that have been sent over the past year. I can't guarantee a response, but he does get them!
Update: 1) He is looking for an agent right now and will keep us posted!
2) Ryan is working on getting autographed photos to all of you who have written asking for them. He wants everyone to know that he really appreciates all the support you've given him - he's not ignoring your messages or taking them for granted. We are working together to start getting responses out to you as soon as we possibly can!
Is there a story about the scar he seems to have over his eye -- or am I seeing things?
No, there is a slight story to it dating back to when he was a kid. One of the Hollywood rags of the time actually did a story about his mother that discussed this (slow news week?). However, it's just like the stories we all have from when we were kids. Evidently, when he was three or four years-old, he slipped and cut his head open on a shower attachment and it bled like a son of a gun. Shirley was alone -- it was during her separation from Jack -- and she had to remain calm to keep Ryan calm and got him to the hospital for stitches. Just my guess, but that's probably why his bangs were so long for so many years when he was a kid. No secret missions for the CIA or other bit of excitement -- just a regular kid's kind of accident. Personally, if I'm allowed an opinion, I rather like it -- it's distinctive and gives him some character. Besides, it's nothing near the lumps Patrick still bears from his fights with Shaun!
I know Patrick's pretty tall and Ryan seems to be close in height. How tall is he?
I have heard 6'0 and 6'1. He listed 6'1 in magazines in the '80s and I doubt the boy has grown since then.
Does Ryan have a "type" of woman that he dates?
Ryan said he was looking for a girl who was physically attractive to him and independant, self-assured and has her own set of goals. She should be compassionate, intelligent and love children. She would also be passionate, confident and honest. (I got a whole list from him.)
Does he have any nicknames?
I've heard of three. He's stated that his father used to call him "Charlie" (and hardly ever actually called him "Ryan" and that has been varified by his mom). Tiger Beat (take it for what you will as a reliable source) said that the family called him "Ry-Ry" when he was little. Also, while Ryan was doing Facts, Pat used to tease him by calling him "Harry Hollywood." I doubt he goes by any of these today, though.
Okay, then I have to ask, why was he called "Charlie"?
It seems no one really knows the reason. Shirley mentioned Ryan (who we were told was in the green room) while on the Donny and Marie Show a couple of months ago and said that Jack just really like that name and decided that that's what he would call Ryan. No other reason....
Is Ryan an athletic person?
I know that Patrick has mentioned working out at the gym with both Shaun and Ryan. I believe they also play racquetball together on occasion. Ryan has also mentioned running and liking to ski. Besides, he looks to be in pretty good form....at least from where I'm standing. (Am I allowed to say that?...)
Ryan himself says he likes to run and tries to do that as much as possible. He hasn't been able to do that much lately but at one point this year he was running about three or four times a week. He also loves to water ski.
Does Ryan have any plans or interest in returning to the stage or screen with his brothers?
Okay, I was wrong. When I talked with him on July 24, he said that he has been taking acting classes - but mostly just for himself. However, he is considering doing some acting on stage or in student films.
When I spoke with him on November 28, he said that he really wanted to get back into acting. When he first started acting years ago, he wasn't sure if he was doing it for himself or to please others - and at the same time felt some people thought he was doing it just because he was a Cassidy. Now he wants to do it for himself. He likes to be up on a stage and performing. He would love to do some films as well as stage work but television, he says, allows you to have a life which is part of the reason he likes doing the behind the scenes work right now. He's in a scene study class right now.
I love the main picture on the bulletin board. How can I get a copy?
I love that picture, too. It was taken in April of 1985 when Patrick opened in Leader of the Pack. There was a lot of press around (it's not often you get those guys together and it tends to gather media buzz). Many of the photos I use from that night were taken by Nancy Carlson but this was in a magazine and I couldn't even tell you which magazine it came from. If I find out, I will let you know!
How do you come up with all of this trivia?
Would you believe I read his thoughts? No? Okay, well then I'll say that I got back to old articles, interviews and reliable sources...the most recent of which is the man himself...who I think was trying to tease me...but I haven't had this much variance in answers in awhile...so I think I was outdone here. (I will say, though that all but one of the possible answers were A&E documentaries!)
Does Ryan play any instruments?
I asked him and the answer is no, he doesn't.
Does Ryan have any hobbies outside of collecting Titanic memorabilia?
He's slowed down on collecting Titanic memorabilia since the movie came out because the market became flooded with both dealers and buyers. He also collects books (19th century), coins, artwork (his best friend paints) - a lot of things.
Has Ryan ever been married?
He has never been married but was almost engaged a few years ago.
Besides Facts of Life, what other roles has Ryan played?
He was Kevin Metcalf in Facts of Life and that is his best known role. However, he has been in a few other things. He was the male lead in Lionel Ritchie's Penny Lover video. He is a military officer (he wears all white with a few medals) and he gets the girl. It's an unspoken role but except for a little in the beginning and end, Ritchie is the only one who gets to speak. He was also Jake Hittman in an episode of Jesse Hawkes. He was one of an elite army group. It was a small role and he was underutilized as usual but he did quite a bit with it. Of course, he was the Constable in his high school production of Fiddler on the Roof. He has done a few things on stage and I'm working on getting that information for you! The rest of the time he has been quite busy just plain playing Ryan....and does a fantastic job of that...
Will we ever get to hear him sing?
It's not an impossible event and he does have a voice (which has been confirmed by every member of his family - indeed they have said he has the best voice of all of them). He did take some voice lessons a few years ago. He just hasn't developed his voice that much and it isn't a passion him the way acting is. He hasn't totally disregarded the idea, though.
What kinds of roles is Ryan looking for?
He likes emotionally charged, intense dramatic roles - ones with extreme anger, pain, and such because he can draw on that. He said that he would love to get a role like those in Saving Private Ryan. He does like doing comedy, too and if a role came a long that required singing, he would definitely go for it.
What was the atmosphere like on the "Facts of Life" set?
Actually, it was very supportive. This was his first professional job and he was very nervous. The girls really rallied behind him and helped him out. Of course, he knew Mindy and they had been friends for quite some time. The director happened to be the same man who produced Maggie Flynn on Broadway (both of his parents were in that musical) and therefore, he knew and helped Ryan. There was an acting coach on the set to help him out as well.
Did the Facts cast hang out together?
Yes, they certainly did and had a great time.
Does he still speak with members of the Facts cast?
No, he really hasn't spoken with them in quite some time. He indirectly got a "hello" from Mindy via a mutual friend a while back but that is all.
Does he have a favorite Facts episode?
The first one he did - "Two Men From Appleton" because it was so exciting. There were some interesting connections there as well. One of the extras happened to be the drama teacher from Beverly Hills High and the wife of the late Dick O'Neil was the voice coach from Beverly Hills High School. In addition, about a year before Mindy had introduced him to a friend of hers who was dating Nancy McKeon - Michael J. Fox. Michael happened to be in town filming Back to the Future and called and then came to the set to wish Ryan luck and offer support.
What did he think of all the teen magazine attention?
He didn't have to talk with them much. The early stories during David's and then Shaun's reign, were written without talking to him and then, while Ryan was on Facts, he briefly spoke with them - but he didn't seem to regret the limited exposure.
With all the movies and specials about your family lately, what does he look at/for? Does he watch at all?
He watches some of them and when he does, he looks at what they say about and how they portray his father.
What are his goals? Where does he see himself in ten years?
He said that hopefully he will have a body of acting work he will be proud of.
How does he relax?
He listens to music, goes to movies and museums, and he loves the water. The ultimate in relaxation for him is sailing - to just get out there and enjoy the peace and quiet. He says he will have a boat sometime in his life but right now he uses a catamaran. He loves the beach and swimming in the ocean.
What was the last movie he saw?
The Insider and he loved it. (I'm dating this one: November 28, 1999). He also really likes Silence of the Lambs, saying maybe that shows his "dark side" - or is just an echo of his interest in law enforcement.
Does he have a favorite author or genre of literature?
Charles Dickens - but he also likes mysteries, true crime and horror (he does have a few Stephen King novels but not all).
What does he watch on television?
60 Minutes, The History Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E (I asked him about that one to be a pain but he does watch it)
What was his best Christmas?
He says the one he spent with a former girlfriend a few years ago that was pretty special and very memorable.
What was his favorite birthday?
His 30th - he had a big party and his house was filled with his friends - he had a great time.
Is Ryan politically active?
Not really. He reads the paper and watches debates but doesn't get too involved. He considers himself conservative.
Are there any causes he's involved with?
Animal rights is a big one because he has a little animal of his own at home and in the future, any money we raise from photo sales and such will be donated to PETA. He's also involved and supports groups fighting child abuse and homelessness.
Does he drink?
Yes, occasionally. Maybe a beer or a glass of wine.
Does he wear glasses?
No. The eyes are just fine.
Does he cook?
Yes, sure he does but not often. After all, he is a bachelor.
What are some of his favorite foods?
He said he eats just about anything - Sushi, Italian, Mexican, Indian - nothing he really doesn't like.
Is he a neatnik?
He was a bit surprised at this question but admitted he is. He said his house is like a museum "but a museum with a couch, some chairs and a little dog." Ryan also sais that his dad was a neatnik himself and, well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He's always been rather tidy - even as a child, but says he's not so clean that you can't walk into his house and not feel comfortable.
Is he online yet?
Somewhat....partially.....well, not really.....he's working on it. The system he had before was from "King of Queens" and he kind of had to give it back. He has been borrowing systems from work and will be buying one of his own shortly. He's leaning towards another Mac. He admitted he's a bit behind the times and still needs to learn the internet a bit. (I told him I think he can handle it. If some of us can get online and function, so can he.)
Whatever happened to the Model A the teen magazines wrote about in the '80s?
Well, he bought that car and restored it, as the magazines said. He then sold it and bought it back a few times but has now lost track of it.
Has Ryan attended college and what did he major in?
I believe he did enroll in some film classes at UCLA at one point but then his acting career took off and he had to stop going. He has taken a number of acting classes (and still is taking them). I did ask him, though, what he would have majored in and he said probably history, psychology, art or art history because he has a strong interest in all those areas.
What are his goals? What does he want to be remembered for?
Ryan says he prefers to look forward and keep a positive outlook about everything because that's how you stay motivated and get good things to happen for you. That's his basic life philosophy. As for goals, he wants to be able to look back on a body of work he can be proud of -- some great roles and performances - maybe a truly great film. Right now the focus is on acting and getting the good, powerful roles where he can truly perfect and showcase his talent. It's not that he doesn't like set dressing, but he feels a real need to get back on the stage and in front of the cameras and see what he can do.
Is Ryan a shy person or just a private person?
From my personal experience talking with Ryan, I'd say it is a combination of the two mixed with quite a sense of modesty. I think even now he doesn't realize how many fans he has out there, how much they really care or how many people even visit this site. When he and I talk he is reserved but quite open. As most of you know, I intentionally try to keep his private life private. That is my policy. But Ryan has always insisted on being absolutely open and allows me to put aspects of his personal life out there for all of you and that's truly a credit to him. Indeed he has also insisted on my letting you know how much he appreciates all of you as well as how much he supports this site and what we do here. Another part of it might also be that he is admittedly pensive and introspective. There's a lot of internal thought there. He's a very intellectual guy (and I don't say that simply because of the aforementioned support for this site - although that does show remarkably good taste, she says, grinning). But I digress. Ryan is infamously shy and has always tried his best to overcome that. If you wanted me to pick between the two options, I'd say he's shy.
I saw another "Ryan Cassidy" on the web and obviously they aren't the same person. Does Ryan know?
I have gotten this question a bunch over the past (almost) two years and it is the reason I put the qualifer ("80s Actor, 90s Set Designer..." on the main page - just to avoid any confusion. If you have any question as to whether they are the same person, see the previous question and answer......But seriously, no, they are definitely not the same person. The other Ryan Cassidy is, well, a porn actor and our Ryan does know. He is quick to point out that when people go into the line of work the other Ryan is in, they don't use their real names and make up new ones.......but of all the names in the world for someone to pick! He says it has lead to some interesting situations and after awhile, it gets to be a bit funny, actually. Okay, is everything clear now? That is also the reason I have bought the ryancassidy.com domain name - to keep the name as, um, clean as possible. The other Ryan and his video distributors cannot use it in any way, shape or form now. Next question?
Does Ryan regret leaving law enforcement as a career?(Thanks to Val)
Good question. The short answer is not really. He's still interested in the field even today - likes true crime books and such. He hasn't lost the interest. However, when he was an explorer in high school, he got involved because he knew a bunch of the deputees and found the work exciting. (Especially in Los Angeles County - there's quite the adrenalin rush involved in patroling). He seems very satisfied with his chosen career path and is quite fond of the memories of patroling. (His family is also relieved considering they all voiced concern over the possibility of his becoming an official member of the force.)
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