His father's name is Wayne, which is also Ryan's middle name. He has an older brother named Matthew and a younger brother named Joseph.
Since his movie debut in 2001's The Car Thief and the Hit Man, Donowho has added about a dozen indie films to his resumé. Donowho is most known in the film industry for his work in 2004's Imaginary Heroes with Emile Hirsch. Donowho plays a sexually ambiguous character in the film. He is walked in on and found with a couple of women, but also shares an on-screen kiss (and a night) with Hirsch. Donowho had earlier co-starred alongside Emile Hirsch in The Mudge Boy.
Ryan's roles in Imaginary Heroes and later in A Home at the End of the World created for Donowho a positive relationship with the gay community. He appeared with brother Matthew at the 2004 Outfest, a gay and lesbian film estival held annually in Los Angeles. Donowho appeared with other cast and crew of A Home at the End of the World. Ryan played a heterosexual, free spirited role in the film, a highly acclaimed gay movie based on the novel by accomplished author Michael Cunningham. In the film, Donowho's character helps shape one of the main characters' views on life and sexuality.
While indie films provided Donowho with an opportunity to showcase his acting abilities, they did not bring him renowned fame. They did, however, bring him a sense of accomplishment. "I hope to stay fairly under the radar," Donowho said in an Interview (February 2005) article. "I just want to do work that I can be proud of and make people feel something profound."
A member of The Eastsiders.
He has produced his first movie, The Pacific and Eddy, released in 2006. Donowho is also maintaining his music career. He is working on his first solo album and is performing shows and making music with Pagoda.
Donowho used to be the drummer of rock group Pagoda. Pagoda, with sounds like Nirvana and Sonic Youth, is currently making a name for itself in the music business."I met these guys who were playing buckets and refrigerator parts," Donowho said in an interview with ElleGirl in their February 2006 issue. "It was my sole income for years and years".
The band features lead singer and guitarist Michael Pitt and bassist Luca Amendolara; Jamie Kallend joined Pagoda for their 2007 self-titled album, which is their first under a label (Ecstatic Peace), and was kicked out shortly after recording; cello player Indigo Ruth-Davis left the band in January 2006. Donowho also performs with Re-Percussionists, a rhythm group. He is also working on his solo album and producing a record for rapper Scavone. For unknown reasons he left Pagoda in January 2007.
|2009||Rock On||Basher Martin|
|2008||Prime of your Life||Keith|
|The Pacific and Eddy||Eddy|
|In from the Night||Snakeman||TV|
|2005||Broken Flowers||Young Man on Bus|
|The O.C. (2005-2006)||Johnny Harper||TV|
|2004||A Home at the End of the World||Carlton Morrow|
|Imaginary Heroes||Kyle Dwyer|
|2003||Bringing Rain||Atlee Surnamer|
|Rhythm of the Saints||Zane|
|The Mudge Boy||Scotty|
|2001||The Car Thief and the Hit Man||Car Thief|