CATEGORIES Celebrity Gossip

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In the late '80s and throughout the '90s, not a year went by without a movie starring Meg Ryan. The bubbly blonde actress became "America's Sweetheart" thanks to films including "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," and "You've Got Mail."

But in the last decade, Ryan has all but disappeared from the screen, doing only small, supporting roles here and there. Why did one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood disappear?

According to the latest issue of People, it's not because Ryan wasn't getting offers. Rather, she's chosen to focus on her family -- 8-year-old daughter Daisy and rocker boyfriend John Mellencamp. Ryan, now 51, literally disappeared from Hollywood by moving to New York.

"Los Angeles is just about movies. New York is about so much more than that, and so is Meg," said writer Delia Ephron (sister to Nora Ephron, who wrote many of Ryan's movies).

Ryan's quieter life seems to have begun after her 2001 divorce from husband Dennis Quaid. Their marriage of 10 years dissolved when both stars cheated, Ryan very notably with "Proof of Life" co-star Russell Crowe.

Losing her status as "America's Sweetheart" was "incredibly liberating," Ryan told InStyle magazine in 2008.

"Now I was utterly free. I didn't have to care about what people thought. I have gotten to do what I guess I secretly wanted to do. Be totally under the radar and live my life."

[via People]