Happy birthday to Choctaw-born and bred actor Ryan Merriman, who is celebrating his 30th birthday today!
Merriman, who has been acting since he was 8 years old, also is marking the opening of what he told me last week is the biggest and most important film of his career. He portrays 1940s Brooklyn Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker in “42,” the Jackie Robinson biopic opening Friday. The inspirational sports drama has been endorsed by none other than first lady Michelle Obama.
While his family is in Los Angeles for the “42″ premiere – to which Merriman planned to wear Dolce & Gabbana – they are celebrating another big milestone: his engagement to his girlfriend, Kristen. Merriman (TV’s “Pretty Little Liars,” “Final Destination 3″) told me in our phone interview that he popped the question on New Year’s Eve in New Zealand while fireworks light up the sky over Auckland Harbour.
“As soon as I put the ring on and kissed her, the fireworks started going off on the tower behind us. It was perfect,” said Merriman, who didn’t share any other details of the nuptials.
Look for more of my interview with Ryan on Friday!