Jeri Ryan has worked extensively on television throughout the years, with roles in over 50 productions, including Dark Skies, Boston Public, The OC, and Body of Proof. But she is still probably best known for her ground breaking role as Seven of Nine in the 1990’s spin off, Star Trek: Voyager. Added at the end of the series’ third season, Ryan’s character presented an opportunity to explore a more feminine side to the show, but even has her character expanded the experiences of the existing character journeys, her presence seemed to cause discomfort on the set.
Ryan has had a long journey to finding happiness, from her childhood bouncing around the military bases of the world with her family, to her start in show business as a pageant girl. Though she worked her way up through the local pageants in Illinois, where she was attending university, and ultimately was crowned Miss Illinois, she didn’t manage to prevail as the winner of Miss America. It didn’t seem to matter for Jeri, who subsequently moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Her position as Miss Illinois also allowed her to meet her first husband, Jack Ryan, who was smitten by her beauty when she was working a charity blackjack tournament.
But the wave of good luck couldn’t last. Jeri began to struggle to get her career off the ground in Hollywood, even as she managed to book bit roles in a number of television shows. At the same time, she needed to balance a long distance marriage, as she and Jack took turns commuting between Los Angeles and Chicago, where he was still working. The distance eventually took its toll, with her marriage falling apart just as her career took off. But in the midst of their personal battle, one which would eventually destroy Jack’s career aspirations as well, Jeri was fighting one at work too. It’s been over 16 years since Star Trek wrapped, and now Jeri is finally speaking out.