Ryan began working in theatre at the age of five, in his home town of Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the eldest of four.
Ryan studied at Otago University and earned a Bachelor of Arts, before going on to study at Wellingtons Toi Whakaari, New Zealand drama school.
His first television role came half way through his second year at drama school.
He played one of the leads, a reformed criminal named ‘Brad’, in INSIDERS GUIDE TO LOVE. A seven part Gibson Group production, based around a diverse group of young people whose lives become inextricably inter-linked.
Ryan later won ‘best actor in a drama series’ at the Qantas media awards for that role. Ryan went on to play the lead in several New Zealand series in the following years, including THE HOT HOUSE, MY STORY, and WELCOME TO PARADISE. His first film role was in the Robert Sarkies directed OUT OF THE BLUE.
He then followed that up with a lead role in SECOND HAND WEDDING, directed by Paul Murphy. Ryan also had the honour to work with Sir Peter Jackson on his WW2 short film, CROSSING THE LINE.
Ryan moved to Melbourne in 2011 to take up a lead role in the long running Australian detective series CITY HOMICIDE, and has since worked steadily in Australia on shows such as CONSPIRACY 365, HOWZAT- KERRY PACKERS WAR, UNDERBELLY- FAT TONY & CO, THE DOCTOR BLAKE MYSTERIES, MR & MRS MURDER, and IT’S A DATE.
Ryan has enjoyed working regularly on both sides of the Tasman. More recently he played the lead character Bob Blair, a New Zealand fast bowler in the 50’s, in a television feature called TANGIWAI. As well as one of the leads in Tom Scotts 1981 springbok tour film, RAGE.
Ryan can be seen most recently in the Australian films ALEX AND EVE, and DOWN UNDER. Ryan also plays the role of Prince Frederik of Denmark in Channel Ten's MARY, THE MAKING OF A PRINCESS.