Jeri Ryan spent her childhood growing up in several military bases, as her father was a Master Sergeant in the US Army. He retired when she was eleven and they moved to Paducah, Kentucky. She was named Miss Illinois in 1989, and finished third in that year's Miss USA pageant. The following year she graduated with a theater degree from Northwestern University.
Ryan then moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, getting her big break in the short-lived series Dark Skies. In 1997, she joined the cast of Star Trek: Voyager as the former Borg drone Seven of Nine; she won a Golden Satellite Award and a Saturn Award for the role.
In 2001, Ryan joined the cast of Boston Public, as frustrated lawyer Veronicas Cooke; she followed that with a stint on the CBS legal drama Shark. She also held recurring roles in The OC and Leverage. In 2010, she joined the cast of the ABC medical series Body of Proof.
Ryan was once married to politician Jack Ryan, but the two split in 1999; the controversy surrounding the publication of their custody records led to his withdrawal in the Illinois senatorial race, paving the way for Barack Obama's victory. She later married chef Christophe Eme.
- Golden Satellite Award, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama, 1999 (for Star Trek: Voyager)
- Saturn Award, Best Supporting Actress on Television, 2001 (for Star Trek: Voyager)
- Men Cry Bullets (1998)
- The Last Man (2000)
- The Kid (2000)
- Dracula 2000 (2000)
- Down with Love (2003)
- Dark Skies (regular, 1997)
- Star Trek: Voyager (regular, 1997-2001)
- Boston Public (regular, 2001-2004)
- The OC (recurring, 2005)
- Shark (regular, 2006-2008)
- Leverage (recurring, 2009-2010)
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (recurring, 2009-2010)
- Body of Proof (regular, 2011-present)
- "There are three things pageant women do. There's the Vaseline thing, which I didn't do. There's duct-taping your boobs, which I never did because I'm not into pain. The third thing is using athletic spray adhesive on your butt to keep your swimsuit in place. I did do that. So one out of three ain't bad."