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Debby Ryan: Disney bets on this Texas ‘Rebel’

Youth Impact Report 2011: Up Next

With nearly 700,000 Twitter followers and widespread recognition from her role as Bailey in Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life on Deck,” Debby Ryan is well positioned to become the cabler’s next breakout.

The net has tailored lead roles in the sitcom “Jessie” and TV movie “Radio Rebel” for the young actress.

The native Texan, who turned 18 in May, is quick to remember how many auditions it took to land the kind of role that could bring her to Los Angeles.

“We would drive for hours to get me to an audition in the early days,” she says. “I’d be doing my homework the whole way there and back and, even when I didn’t get the part, I would still feel like it was worth it because I loved acting so much.”

For Ryan, the turning point was a role in the feature “The Longshots,” directed by Fred Durst.

“I feel a little like Fred discovered me because he told me I had what it takes and really coached me and was protective of me in a dad kind of way,” she says.

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