For the college basketball coach, see Debbie Ryan.

Debby Ryan (born Deborah Ann Ryan;[1] May 13, 1993) is an American teen actress, singer and voice actress. Ryan is best known for starring as Bailey Pickett in the Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life on Deck. The Suite Life established Ryan as a teen idol and became the most-watched children's show on television since its premiere in October 2008.[2][3] Ryan started acting in professional theatres at the age of seven; in 2007 she appeared in the Barney & Friends straight-to-DVD film Barney: Let's Go to the Firehouse and then was discovered in a nationwide search by Disney. She is also known for appearing in the 2008 feature film The Longshots as Edith.

In 2010, she starred in the young adult film, 16 Wishes, which was the most-watched cable program on the day of its premiere on the Disney Channel and one of the most-watched movies on television.[4][5][6] Ryan will star in the independent theatrical film, What If..., which premiered on August 20, 2010.

Early life

Ryan was born in Huntsville, Alabama.[7] Ryan is a Christian and has performed in churches, theater performance groups and talent competitions.[8] Ryan's father was in the military, so she often moved to different places in Europe. Ryan started performing in professional theaters at the age of seven on an American base in Germany.[9] She found she loved acting.

She returned to the United States at the age of 10 in 2003 and was raised in Texas.[9][10] She dreamed of acting full-time. In a 2009 People Magazine interview, she described herself as a "nerd" in school.[9] Ryan was bullied in middle school for being a mascot and in the school's chess club.[11]

Ryan has an older brother, Chase (who is older than her by approximately two years). He is a guitarist and vocalist. In a March 2009 interview, Ryan said her older brother is one of her role models.


Ryan began appearing in various television commercials in her early teenage years. She appeared in several commercials of iDog and various board games, her latest commercial was in an iDog Dance commercial in 2008.[8] Ryan's first film role was in 2007 as a guest character in Barney: Let's Go to the Firehouse, she played the role of a teenager. Ryan also had a supporting role in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film, The Longshots, alongside teen actress Keke Palmer and Ice Cube. Ryan played Edith, a teenage mean girl, in the feature film.

Ryan plays one of the main characters, Bailey Pickett in the Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life on Deck. The series is a sequel/spin-off to the hit Disney Channel series, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. The series' pilot aired on September 26, 2008 in the US.[12] The series premiere on the Disney Channel in the US drew 5.7 million viewers,[13] and it became the most-watched series premiere in Canada on the Family channel.[14] The series was 2008's #1 top scripted television series for children between the ages of 6 to 11 and pre-teens between the ages of 9 to 14, beating the veteran series Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place in the ratings.[15] The series is also 2009's top rated scripted series in the children and tween demographic (6-14), outpacing Hannah Montana and several other teenage shows.[16]

Following the success of The Suite Life on Deck, she appeared on the first show of Studio DC: Almost Live, a special half-hour variety show that features The Muppets as well as Disney Channel stars. She also made a small appearance on Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream

In 2009, it was announced that Ryan landed a starring role in the independent feature film, What If... alongside Kevin Sorbo and Kristy Swanson. The film was shot in Grand Rapids and Manistee, Michigan in July 2009 and will be released to theaters on August 20, 2010. The film is produced by Pure Flix Entertainment and centers on a Christian family.[17][18][19] In October 2009, Ryan hosted the first Tween Girl Summit in which she hosted the event and its concerts.[20] "Tween girls are drawn to talented performers who emanate the joy of life, and we are so happy to have teen favorite Debby Ryan as the first host of The Tween Summit Music Festival," said Denise Restauri, founder of The Tween Summit, and AK Tweens.[20] "The Tween Summit is a day of celebrating the excitement of youth and hope for the future. As my tween friends say,'This concert is going to Rock!'"[20]

In 2010, she starred in the young adult film 16 Wishes, about a teenager named Abigail "Abby" Louise Jensen (Ryan) who has been planning for her sixteenth birthday party ever since she was a little girl with a list of secret wishes she wants to come true, and on the day of her 16th birthday all of her wishes came true. 16 Wishes went on to become the most-watched cable program on the day of its premiere on the Disney Channel and one of the most-watched movies on television. In addition, the movie introduced Ryan to new audiences, such as the contemporary adult audience since the movie received high viewership in the adults demographic (18-34).[4][5][6]

Ryan noted that to prepare for her role in 16 Wishes, she watched numerous Brat Pack movies, most occasionally Sixteen Candles which she stated is very similar to 16 Wishes. When asked how she prepared for the role, she said "It's, at the end of the day it depends on the script. You can do a comedy and it's completely different than a different comedy. I watch a lot of movies. 16 Wishes, when I went up to do that I watched Sixteen Candles (rated PG) and a couple of coming-of-age films. I love Molly Ringwald. So getting into the feel of that. . .".[21]


Ryan plays several instruments including the acoustic guitar, piano and keyboard. She is also a songwriter and is currently writing music alongside her older brother.[22] Ryan has showed interest in several types of music and her music genres are mainly jazz and country pop with a blend of alternative rock. Ryan was set to headline the "Terrific Teen Tour", a concert series which co-headlined Mitchel Musso, Jasmine Richards and Savannah Outen, that would start on July 9, 2009 and end on July 14 but the tour was canceled due to schedule conflicts.[23][24] The tour would have been Ryan's debut as a live musician.[25]

Personal life

In a 2009 People Magazine interview, Ryan stated that her Suite Life co-star, Brenda Song, is her acting idol.[9] In a March 2009 interview, Ryan revealed she also looks up to Meryl Streep; Ryan claims Streep "is so profoundly thought-provoking and life-changing." Ryan has said that her other role models include Anne Hathaway, Rachel McAdams and Tobey Maguire. When asked about musical tastes, she has said, "I love jazz! I love singing it. I also love country! My brother loves rock; he also has this chill Jason Mraz-like style. So basically, my answer is: jazz-country-rock-alternative? I have no idea! But I honestly would love to make country music."

Ryan has spent time at the Ronald McDonald House and has helped raise money for the kids in need.

Ryan is involved in Disney's Friends for Change. She was featured in a commercial on the Disney Channel.[26] The charity helps explain how kids can help preserve the planet and invites them to go to the Friends for Change website to register and pledge, offering them the chance to help choose how Disney will invest $1 million in environmental programs.[27] [27]


Year Film Role Notes
2007 Barney: Let's Go to the Firehouse Teenager Direct to video
2008 The Longshots Edith Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer film
2010 What If... Kimberley Main Role, independent film
16 Wishes Abby Jensen Main Role; Disney Channel Movie
2011 The Suite Life Movie Bailey Pickett Main Role; Disney Channel Original Movie
Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Suite Life on Deck Bailey Pickett Main Role, Disney Channel 2008-present
Disney Channel's Totally New Year 2008 Herself Disney Channel special New Years event
Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream Herself "Hello Hollywood" (Season 1, Episode 7)
2009 Hannah Montana Bailey Pickett Crossover episode: Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana
Wizards of Waverly Place
My Mate Flynn Tina (Voice) Disney Channel UK
New Year Star Showdown Herself Disney Channel special New Years event


  • Game of Life: Twists and Turns (2007)[8]
  • iDog Amp'd (2007)[8]


  • TBA: "Adios"[28]
  • 2009: I'm A Country Girl from The Suite Life on Deck
  • 2010: Hakuna Matata from DisneyMania 7
  • 2010: A Wish Comes True Everyday from 16 Wishes
  • 2010: Open Eyes from 16 Wishes
  • 2010: Deck the Halls from The Search for Santa Paws

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2008 Celebrity Love Award[29] "Favorite Actresses" The Suite Life on Deck Nominated
2009 Young Artist Award "Best Performance in a TV Series" Nominated
Popstar! Magazine's 8th Annual Poptastic Awards[30] "Favorite Television Actress" Nominated
"Favorite Female Newcomer"[30] Won
Celebrity Love Award[31] "Favorite Actresses" Nominated
2010 Hollywood Teen TV Awards[32] "Teen Pick Actress: Comedy" Pending
Body Peace Award[33] "Outstanding Advocate" Won
Jetix Awards, Germany "Best Television Star" The Suite Life on Deck Nominated
Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards, France "Choice Television Female Star" Won
Popstar! Magazine's 9th Annual Poptastic Awards[34] "Favorite Television Actress" Won
"Female Beauty" Won
"Female Style Idol" Nominated
Nick Kid's Choice Award, Italy "Favorite TV Star" Nominated
"Favorite International Star" Nominated
Celebrity Love Award[35] "Favorite Actresses" Herself Nominated


  1. "Debby Ryan (TheDebbyRyan) on Twitter". Retrieved November 17, 2009. it's Deborah; call me Debs. 
  2. Disney Channel/ Highlights For 2008 (December 23, 2008). Business Wire. Accessed 2008-12-24.
  3. Daniel Fienberg. "Disney Channel has more 'Suite Life on Deck' on deck". Disney Channel Media Net. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "World Premiere Of ’16 Wishes’ Is Friday Cable’s No. 1 Telecast In Total Viewers". Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "". Retrieved 2010-06-22.  External link in |title= (help)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Cable TV Top 25: BET Awards, 16 Wishes, USA/Algeria Match Top Week’s Cable Shows". Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  7. Debby Ryan Disney Channel. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Debby Ryan: The Dream". Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "Meet the co-stars: Debby Ryan" (May 2009). People Magazine. "I’m a nerd. I was in chess club. I went to mascot camp. In eighth grade I was the mascot of my school: a wildcat. I still have the old costume in my dressing room. It reminds me every day to go big and have energy"
  10. Debby Ryan Teen Magazine interview
  11. "Debby Ryan's important message". Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  12. "Disney Channel MediaNet". Disney Channel MediaNet. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  13. Gary Levin (September 30, 2008). "Nielsens: Presidential debate fights for numbers". USA Today. Accessed 2008-12-12.
  14. Scott Campbell (October 20, 2008). The Suite Life on Deck sets sail on Family Channel with record-breaking premiere ratings. Accessed 2008-12-12.
  15. "Disney Channel/ Highlights For 2008". Business Wire. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  16. "The Suite Life on Deck Season 3". Disney Channel Media Net. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  17. "Debby Ryan on the set of What If!". Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  18. "Debby Ryan films What If in Michigan". Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  19. "What If Movie wraps filming". Associated Content. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Disney Channel's Debby Ryan Set to Host the First Allykatzz Tween Summit Music Festival". Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  21. Debby Ryan gets 16 Wishes
  22. Debby Ryan - Lyrics sketchpad
  23. "Wachovia Center -TTT- CANCELLED". Wachovia Center. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  24. "Terrific Teen Tour - Rochester, NY POSTPONED". Ticketmaster. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  25. Terrific Teen Tour
  27. 27.0 27.1 "THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY LAUNCHES DISNEY'S FRIENDS FOR CHANGE". Disney Channel. 05-14-2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  28. "Debby Ryan Recording First Single!". Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  29. Celebrity Love Awards 2008 Accessed 2010-07-13.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Popstar Magazine
  31. Celebrity Love Awards 2009 Accessed Accessed 2010-07-13.
  32. Hollywood Teen TV Awards Accessed 2010-07-13.
  33. "Body Peace Awards". 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  34. Popstar Magazine
  35. Celebrity Love Awards 2010 Accessed 2010-07-13.

External links

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