Ursula Ryan, owner of Atlantic City's longtime acting school, Weist-Barron-Ryan Studios, died Friday at Shore Medical Center. Ryan was 80.

Anyone from South Jersey who ever had an interest in acting, including me many years ago, most probably encountered Ryan.

Since 1980, Weist-Barron-Ryan Studios on Atlantic Avenue in Atlantic City trained and helped cast local actors in movies, TV shows and commercials and industrial films, as well as preparing Miss New Jerseys and Miss Americas for their new roles.

As the Ursula Ryan Memorial Fund points out, "she could spot talent in an instant and was responsible for helping to launch the careers of many of her students, casting them in film, TV and national commercials.

Ursula loved and supported every facet of the arts and was instrumental, with her daughter Stefanie, and grandson, Quinn, in bringing the 2018 film tax credits to New Jersey.

She was an active member of the Screen Actors Guild and was an integral part of the Atlantic City Cinefest, the Arts Garage, Dante Hall and the AC Film Commission."

A life celebration for Ursula Ryan will be held at the Irish Pub in Atlantic City from 6-9pm, Friday, Jan. 25. All are welcome and you are asked to bring photo's, stories, and anything else you would like to share to celebrate the life of Ursula Ryan.

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