First, let’s flashback to the 1970s. Lee Majors, at the height of his powers, was wowing audiences as Col. Steve Austin on “The Six Million Dollar Man.” So successful was his slow-motion superhero abilities that a spin-off was created concerning Austin’s great love, Jaime Sommers. The role of this bionic woman fell to Lindsay Wagner. And for 59 episodes, from 1976-1978, audiences relished in her adventures.
30 years later, Jaime Sommers is back – she’s Michelle Ryan, born in England in 1984, and a mainstay on British television since her teenage years; particularly on the Brit soap “EastEnders” from 2000 – 2005. NBC’s revival of “Bionic Woman” introduces Michelle to a wider audience in prime time, and her handling of such an iconic, bionic character should put her in demand as her recognition grows. Thanks to her eclectic roles in the U.K., such as in “Mansfield Park” and “Jekyll,” she’s proven her range and talent as an actress. “Bionic Woman” is the perfect jumpstart for what could be a great career.
Michelle Ryan on the Web
A good place to start to learn more about Michelle.
TV Guide: Michelle Ryan
Growing resource page for Michelle.
NBC’s “Bionic Woman” Official Site
Everything you need to know about the show.
Michelle Ryan Fan Site
Impressive and professionally done fan page.
Access Hollywood Interview
Michelle discusses taking on “Bionic Woman” for new audiences
Michelle Ryan on the Screen
“EastEnders” was how U.K. audiences got to know Michelle Ryan. She was Zoe on the soap opera for five years and 339 episodes. When she left the soap in 2005, she picked up a couple of Brit movie roles, the comedy-romance “Cashback” in 2006 and the raunchy sex comedy “I Want Candy.” She’s Maria Bertram on a made for TV Jane Austen adaptation, “Mansfield Park.” In 2007, Michelle starred in a few episodes of the BBC series “Jekyll.” Of course, Michelle’s big moment is as Jaime Sommers on “Bionic Woman,” the series premiering on NBC’s Fall 2007 lineup.
The buzz over the new “Bionic Woman” is for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s Michelle Ryan’s first major role. But it’s also an attempt to remake a successful 70s cult classic, and it’s also noteworthy for its casting: ex-“Grey’s Anatomy” regular Isaiah Washington is featured in a multi-episode arc. All this attention should benefit Michelle, who has strong acting chops and incredible looks. On the big screen, she’s in the British horror film “Flick” opposite Faye Dunaway, set for a late 2007 release.
On her homeland:
“The U.K. is where my heart is and where I want one day to settle in a big house—and have lots of children.”
On becoming bionic:
“I don't think any of it has really sunken in.”