Stevie Ryan rose to fame through her YouTube channel quite by chance. She had started using the video-sharing website as a way to share her silent films with family and friends, but what followed was a stream of hate, with people leaving nasty and very personal comments on her videos. As a reaction to the hate she decided to start her series, Little Loca, as a way for her to “hand YouTube its ass,” and freak people out.
Instead, she became an internet celebrity and even had a sketch comedy show, Stevie TV, on VH1. However, her career was cut short when she reportedly took her own life on July 1, 2017. She was just 33. Here are all the things you didn’t know about Stevie Ryan, gone far too soon.
Little Loca was a part of her childhood
She explained that growing up there “were a lot of Little Locas all around me and I just thought the cholas were so beautiful and tough.” She continued, “I had chola friends that protected me and I just thought they were so cool. So, Little Loca always kind of existed in me and I just thought I would bring her to life after I saw YouTube.”
She never expected to be successful
When Ryan started making her YouTube series she never expected to become a household name, and she was actually surprised by her success. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 she said, “I remember waking up and one Little Loca video had like 900 hits and I was like ‘Oh, my gosh. There’s people watching this?'”
It was then that she decided to transition into her celebrity parodies. As she explained, “And it just kept going and then I did this Paris Hilton thing and then it literally was just growing and growing. And I just became so obsessed with all of it.”
She hated that the world thinks people on the Internet aren’t valid
Ryan wasn’t a natural born celebrity in the sense that fame was easy for her, and she struggled under the pressure of stardom. She admitted as much during an interview with Complex magazine, in which she confessed that she felt she needed to prove herself, and that being an internet celebrity made people not think of her as a “valid person in the world.”
She continued, “There’s a lot of crap online that makes no sense. I completely agree, but to an extent. I don’t like that people think that people on the Internet aren’t real, which is fine because it makes me want to prove them wrong twice as much.”
She got crazy amounts of attention for parodying Justin Bieber
Ryan rose to fame because of her hilarious parodies of celebs — which included the Kardashians, Lady Gaga, and the cast of Jerseylicious — but of all the celebs that she parodied, Justin Bieber was her favorite. She revealed this during an interview with Culture Brats, in which she admitted that if she had to pick a person she loves parodying the most, it would have to be Justin Bieber and the reason is because of the attention she gets when she plays him.
She said, “When I’m Justin Bieber, guys and girls go crazy for me! If I’m Justin Bieber, all of the sudden every girl is writing me or texting me or hitting on me somehow. Even the guys are like, ‘I don’t know what it is, but you’re really sexy as Bieber.'”
One celebrity begged her to parody them
Ryan’s parodies were so popular that one celeb even begged her to parody them. Ryan previously spoke to Culture Brats about the celebrity reaction to her famous parodies, and revealed that Tracy Dimarco from the Esquire Network series Jerseylicious had contacted her and asked her to parody the show.
According to Ryan, Dimarco told her, “I looked you up and I loved your stuff. Can you please parody our show?” So Ryan decided to make an online video, as well as a Jerseylicious sketch, in which she plays Dimarco. She added, “I’ve had requests which is really, really cool.”
She thought the Kardashians were shallow
Ryan was outspoken and not afraid to share her likes and dislikes with the world, and she really didn’t like the Kardashian clan. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan revealed that although she has respect for most of the people she parodies, the Kardashians were the exception.
She said, “It’s hard for me to go to a shallow place and so Kim Kardashian is the one character that I walk away from that I’m not in love with. The Kardashians are probably the only ones that I’m like, yeah, don’t like them after playing them, I still don’t really care for them. But I love to do them, because we’ve got to do them.”
She hosted a show with Brody Jenner
Ryan was a woman of many talents, and that included her ability to be comfortable in front of the camera and discuss a wide range of topics, including sex. She did this on Brody Jenner’s E! show, Sex with Brody — which lasted for only four episodes in 2015.
Ryan co-hosted the talk show alongside Jenner and relationship therapist Dr. Mike Dow, and offered viewers advice on relationships, but mostly answered questions relating to sex in her characteristic comedic way.
She was in a popular Billy Idol music video
Ryan had a long list of accolades and accomplishments, but one that she was extremely proud of was her appearance in Billy Idol’s music video for the track, “Scream.” She spoke about the experience, which she referred to as “one of the best experiences in my life,” during an interview with Culture Brats in 2012.
“Billy Idol was the nicest guy ever,” she admitted, but went on to also gush about the director of the video, Jeff Stein, who had also directed one of her favorite ’90s movies, Mother Goose’s Rock ‘N’ Rhyme. She said, “To work with him after growing up with that movie being one of my favorite movies, was one of the best experiences of my life and I had so much fun. I think about that day almost every day for some weird reason. It was super awesome and I loved that.”
She underwent TMS treatments for depression
Ryan struggled with depression and she was worried that the death of her beloved grandfather would be a trigger. During the episode “Death, Grieving, and Lithium,” which aired on Mentally Ch(ill), a podcast she hosted with her friend and fellow comedian Kristen Carney, Ryan spoke about her loss.
“I’m just worried that this is going to send me into a deeper depression,” she admitted in the episode, which aired on June 29, 2017. However, this was not the first time that she had spoken out about her struggles, and had previously taken to Instagram to share that she had been undergoing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatments to help with her depression.
She impacted the lives of a lot of Teen Mom stars
There was an outpouring of love following the announcement that Ryan had passed away, and some of the most vocal people were stars of MTV’s show, Teen Mom, despite the fact that she was known for her Twitter feuds with some of the stars.
Tyler Batlierra took to Twitter to mourn the loss of Ryan, and mentioned how he had previously spoken to her about depression, something which his wife Catelynn Lowell struggles with. Lowell also commented on Ryan’s death, writing that it was “so sad,” and she urged others to seek help for depression.
And even Jenelle Evans reportedly took to Twitter to share her thoughts in a since-deleted message. She wrote, “I know we pretty much hated each other but I’m sorry you had to go so soon pretty girl. #RIP @StevieRyan.”
Drake Bell thought she was “really stinking talented”
Ryan dated actor Drake Bell — best known for his Nickelodeon show Drake & Josh — between 2005 and 2006. Upon learning of her death, Bell took to Twitter to share an old photo of himself with Ryan (which was taken on the red carpet of the 2006 MTV Movie Awards) and revealed his shock at her passing.
Several days later he shared his thoughts on Ryan’s death during an interview with People magazine. He said, “I was completely shocked by that. It’s still surreal.” He went on to praise Ryan for being extremely talented, saying, “She was really, really stinking talented. She could do any impression of anybody. She had the coolest style of any girl I’d ever met. She had it.”
Her grandpa was the man of her dreams
Ryan was heartbroken by the death of her beloved grandfather in 2017. At the time of her grandfather’s passing, Ryan took to Twitter to pay tribute to him with a heartwarming post about how he was the man of her dreams, and how much she loved and missed him. “The man of my dreams will now only be in my dreams,” she wrote. “I’ll miss you everyday, forever. I love you my Pa.”
The post was shared on June 30, 2017, just one day before she reportedly took her own life.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).