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Winona Ryder

Facts about Winona Ryder

Date of Birth:29 October 1971
Birthplace:Winona, Minnesota
Age:38
First Name:Winona
Middle Name:Laura
Last Name:Ryder
Build:Slim
Height:5' 4" (163 cm)
Eye Color:Brown - Dark
Hair Color:Brown - Dark
Star Sign:Scorpio
Claim to Fame:Beetle Juice, Dracula, banging every real Rock star of the last 2 decades
Occupation:Actress
Religion:Jewish
Occupation Category:Actress
Nationality:American
Alternative Names:Noni, Wanna Ride Her?
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Winona Ryder (Female Celebrities)
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Biography for Winona Ryder

Winona Laura Horowitz (born Oct. 29, 1971 (48 years ago)), better known under her professional name Winona Ryder, is an American actress. She started her career in 1986 (33 years ago). Although Ryder made her screen debut in Lucas (1986, 33 years ago), her first significant role came in 1988 (31 years ago) with Beetlejuice as Lydia Deetz, a Goth teenager at the age of 17, in a performance that gained her critical and commercial recognition. After making various appearances in movie and TV, Ryder continued her career with the cult movie Heathers (1989, 30 years ago) in a prominent and critically acclaimed performance. Her subsequent roles have won her not only critical praise but numerous movie awards. In 2000 (19 years ago), Ryder received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California.

Ryder is also known for her relationship with actor Johnny Depp (9 walls) throughout the early 1990 (29 years ago).

Early years

Born Winona Laura Horowitz in Olmsted County, Minnesota, she was named after the nearby city of Winona. She was given her middle name, Laura, because of her parents' friendship with Aldous Huxley's wife, Laura Huxley. Her mother, Cynthia Palmer (née Istas), is an author, as well as a video producer and editor. Her father, Michael Horowitz, is an author, editor, publisher and antiquarian bookseller. Ryder's mother is a Buddhist and her father is an atheist. Regarding her ancestry, Ryder has described herself as "Jewish", her paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. Ryder has one full sibling, a younger brother, Uri, an older half-brother, Jubal, and an older half-sister, Sunyata. Ryder's family friends included her godfather, LSD guru Timothy Leary, beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick.

In 1978 (41 years ago), when Ryder was seven years old, she and her family relocated to Rainbow, a commune near Elk, Mendocino County, California, where they lived with seven other families on a 300-acre (120 ha) plot of land. As the remote property had no electricity or TV sets, Ryder began to devote her time to reading and became an avid fan of J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. She developed an interest in acting after her mother showed her a few movies on a screen in the family barn. At age 10, Ryder and her family moved on again, this time to Petaluma, California. During her first week at the Kenilworth Middle School, she was bullied by a group of her peers who mistook her for an effeminate, scrawny boy. As a result, she ended up being homeschooled that year. In 1983 (36 years ago), when Ryder was 12, she enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater in nearby San Francisco, where she took her first acting lessons. Ryder graduated from Petaluma High School with a 4.0 GPA in 1989 (30 years ago). She has also revealed that she suffers from aquaphobia because of the trauma caused by an incident in which she nearly drowned at age 12. This caused problems when she had to act in some of the underwater scenes in Alien Resurrection (1997, 22 years ago) and the scenes had to be reshot numerous times.

Career

Early works, 1985–1990

In 1985 (34 years ago), Ryder sent a videotaped audition, where she recited a monologue from the novel Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger, to appear in the movie Desert Bloom. She was rejected and the part went to Annabeth Gish. Despite her rejection, David Seltzer, a writer and director, soon noticed her talent and cast her in his 1986 (33 years ago) movie Lucas. When asked how she wanted her name to appear in the credits, she suggested "Ryder" as her surname as a Mitch Ryder album which belonged to her father was playing in the background. Her next movie was Square Dance (1987, 32 years ago), where her teenage character creates a bridge between two different worlds — a traditional farm in the middle of nowhere and a large city. Ryder won acclaim for her role, and The Los Angeles Times called her performance in Square Dance "a remarkable debut". Both films, however, failed to gain Ryder any notice, and were only marginally successful commercially. Director Tim Burton decided to cast Ryder in his movie Beetlejuice (1988, 31 years ago), after being impressed with her performance in Lucas. In the film, she plays goth teenager Lydia Deetz. Lydia's family moves to a haunted house populated by ghosts played by Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, and Michael Keaton. Lydia quickly finds herself the only human with a strong empathy toward the ghosts and their situation. The movie was a success at the box office, and Ryder's performance and the overall movie received mostly positive reviews from critics.

Ryder landed the role of Veronica Sawyer in the 1989 (30 years ago) independent movie Heathers. The film, a satirical take on teenage life, revolves around Veronica, who is ultimately forced to choose between the will of society and her own heart after her boyfriend (Christian Slater) begins killing popular high school students. Ryder's agent initially begged her to turn the role down, saying the movie would "ruin her career". Reaction to the movie was mostly lukewarm, but Ryder's performance was critically embraced, with The Washington Post stating Ryder is "Hollywood's most impressive inge'nue [sic]... Ryder... makes us love her teen-age murderess, a bright, funny girl with a little Bonnie Parker in her. She is the most likable, best-drawn young adult protagonist since the sexual innocent of Gregory's Girl." The movie was a box office flop, yet achieved status as a predominant cult film. Later that year, she starred in Great Balls of Fire!, playing the 13-year-old bride (and cousin) of Jerry Lee Lewis. The movie was a box office failure and received largely divided reviews from critics. In Apr. 1989 (30 years ago), she played the title role in the music video for Mojo Nixon's "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child". In 1990 (29 years ago), Ryder was selected for four movie roles. In Edward Scissorhands (1990, 29 years ago), she played the leading female role alongside her then-boyfriend Johnny Depp. The movie reunited Tim Burton and Ryder, who had previously worked together on Beetlejuice in 1988 (31 years ago). Edward Scissorhands was a significant box office success, grossing US$56 million at the United States box office and receiving much critical devotion. Later that year, she withdrew from a role in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part III (after traveling to Rome for filming) due to exhaustion. Eventually, Coppola's daughter Sofia Coppola was cast in the role. Ryder's third role was in the family comedy-drama Mermaids (1990, 29 years ago), which co-starred Cher and Christina Ricci. Mermaids was a moderate box office success and was embraced critically. Ryder's performance was also acclaimed; critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "Winona Ryder, in another of her alienated outsider roles, generates real charisma." For her performance, Ryder received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Ryder then performed alongside Cher and Christina Ricci (20 walls) in the video for "The Shoop Shoop Song", the theme from Mermaids. Following Mermaids she starred in the lead role in box office flop Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1991, 28 years ago).

1991–1995

In 1991 (28 years ago), Ryder played a young taxicab driver who dreams of becoming a mechanic in Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth. The movie was only given a limited release at the box office, but received critical praise. Ryder then starred in the dual roles of Count Dracula's reincarnated love interest Mina Murray and Dracula's past lover Princess Elisabeta, in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992, 27 years ago), a project she brought to director Francis Ford Coppola's attention. In 1993 (26 years ago), she starred in the melodrama The House of the Spirits, based on Isabel Allende's novel. Ryder played the love interest of Antonio Banderas' character. Principal filming was done in Denmark and Portugal. The movie was poorly reviewed and a box office flop, grossing just $6 million on its $40 million budget. Ryder also starred in The Age of Innocence with Michelle Pfeiffer and Daniel Day-Lewis, a movie based on a novel by Edith Wharton and helmed by director Martin Scorsese, whom Ryder considers "the best director in the world". Her role in this movie won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as an Academy Award nomination in the same category.

Ryder's next role was in the Generation X drama Reality Bites (1994, 25 years ago), directed by Ben Stiller, playing a young woman searching for direction in her life. Her performance received acclaim and the studio hoped the movie would gross a substantial amount of money, yet it flopped. Bruce Feldman, Universal Pictures' Vice-President of Marketing said: "The media labeled it as a Generation X picture, while we thought it was a comedy with broad appeal." The studio placed TV ads during programs chosen for their appeal to 12–34-year-olds and in interviews Stiller was careful not to mention the phrase "Generation X". In 1994 (25 years ago), Ryder was handpicked to play the lead role of Josephine Mar. in Little Women, an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel. The movie received widespread praise; critic Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that the movie was the greatest adaptation of the novel, and also remarked on Ryder's performance: "Ms. Ryder, whose banner year also includes a fine comic performance in 'Reality Bites,' plays Jo with spark and confidence. Her spirited presence gives the movie an appealing linchpin, and she plays the self-proclaimed 'man of the family' with just the right staunchness." She also received an Best Actress Oscar nomination the following year. She also made a guest appearance in The Simpsons (15 walls) (1 walls) episode "Lisa's Rival" as Allison Taylor, whose intelligence and over-achieving personality makes her a rival of Lisa's. Her next starring role was in How to Make an American Quilt (1995, 24 years ago), an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Whitney Otto, co-starring Anne Bancroft. Ryder plays a college graduate who spends her summer hiatus at her grandmother's property to ponder on her boyfriend's recent marriage proposal. The movie was not a commercial success, nor was it popular with critics.

1996–2000

Ryder made several movie appearances in 1996 (23 years ago), the first in Boys. The movie failed to become a box office success and attracted mostly negative critical reaction. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times stated that "Boys is a low-rent, dumbed-down version of Before Sunrise, with a rent-a-plot substituting for clever dialogue." Her next role was in Looking for Richard, Al Pacino's documentary on a production of Shakespeare's Richard III, which grossed only $1 million at the box office, but drew moderate critical acclaim. She also starred as the lead in The Crucible, alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen. The film, an adaptation of Arthur Miller's play, centered on the Salem witch trials. The movie was expected to be a success, considering its budget, but became a large failure. Despite this, it received acclaim critically, and Ryder's performance was lauded, with Peter Travers of Rolling Stone saying, "Ryder offers a transfixing portrait of warped innocence." In dec. 1996 (23 years ago), Ryder accepted a role as a humanoid robot in Alien Resurrection (1997, 22 years ago), alongside Sigourney Weaver, who had appeared in the entire Alien trilogy. Ryder's brother, Yuri, was a major fan of the movie series, and when asked, she took the role. The movie became one of the least successful entries in the Alien movie series, but was considered a success as it grossed $161 million worldwide. Weaver's and Ryder's performances drew mostly positive reviews, and Ryder won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Actress. Ryder then starred in Woody Allen's Celebrity (1998, 21 years ago), after Drew Barrymore (12 walls) turned down Ryder's role, in an ensemble cast. The movie satirizes the lives of several celebrities.

In 1999 (20 years ago), she performed in and served as an executive producer for Girl, Interrupted, based on the 1993 (26 years ago) autobiography of Susanna Kaysen. The movie had been in project and post-production since late 1996 (23 years ago), but it took time to surface. Ryder was deeply attached to the film, considering it her "child of the heart". Ryder starred as Kaysen, who has borderline personality disorder and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for recovery. Ryder starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Angelina Jolie. While Ryder was expected to make her comeback with her leading role, the movie instead became the "welcome-to-Hollywood coronation" for Jolie, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Jolie thanked Ryder in her acceptance speech. The same year, Ryder was parodied in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. The following year, she starred in the romantic comedy Autumn in New York, alongside Richard Gere. The movie revolves around a relationship between an older man (Gere) and a younger woman (Ryder). Autumn in New York received mixed reviews, but was a commercial success, grossing $90 million at the worldwide box office. Ryder then played a nun of a secret society loosely connected to the Roman Catholic Church and determined to prevent Armageddon in Lost Souls (2000, 19 years ago), which was a commercial failure. Ryder refused to do commercial promotion for the film. Later in 2000 (19 years ago), she was one of several celebrities who made a small cameo appearance in Zoolander. On Oct. 6, 2000 (19 years ago), Ryder received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located directly in front of the Johnny Grant building next to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. She was the 2,165th recipient of this honor.

Hiatus, 2001–2005

Ryder had a moderate hiatus after her shoplifting incident in 2001 (18 years ago) (see below). The book Conversations with Woody Allen reports that in 2003 (16 years ago) movie director Woody Allen wanted to cast Robert Downey, Jr. and Ryder in his movie Melinda and Melinda, but was unable to do so because "I couldn't get insurance on them... We couldn't get bonded. The completion bonding companies would not bond the picture (wallpaper) unless we could insure them....We were heartbroken because I had worked with Winona before [on Celebrity] and thought she was perfect for this and wanted to work with her again."

In 2002 (17 years ago), Ryder appeared in two films. The first was a romantic comedy titled Mr. Deeds with Adam Sandler. This was her most commercially successful movie to date, earning over $126 million in the United States alone. She played a cynical reporter for an unscrupulous TV program. The second movie was the science fiction drama S1m0ne in which she portrayed a glamorous star who is replaced by a computer simulated actress due to the clandestine machinations of a director, portrayed by her Looking for Richard costar Al Pacino.

2006–present

In 2006 (13 years ago), after her hiatus, Ryder appeared in Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, a science fiction movie based on Philip K. Dick's critically acclaimed 1977 (42 years ago) novel. Ryder starred alongside Keanu Reeves (5 walls), Robert Downey, Jr., and Woody Harrelson. Live action scenes were transformed with rotoscope software and the movie was entirely animated. A Scanner Darkly was screened at the 2006 (13 years ago) Cannes movie Festival and the 2006 (13 years ago) Seattle International movie Festival. Critics disagreed over the film's merits; Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times found the movie "engrossing" and wrote that "the brilliance of [the film] is how it suggests, without bombast or fanfare, the ways in which the real world has come to resemble the dark world of comic books." Similarly, Matthew Turner of View London, believing the movie to be "engaging" and "beautifully animated", also praised the movie for its "superb performances" and original, thought-provoking screenplay." Ryder also recently appeared in the comedy The Darwin Awards, starring alongside Joseph Fiennes. The movie premiered at the Sundance movie Festival on Jan. 25, 2006 (13 years ago).

Ryder also confirmed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly she is reuniting with Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters for the surreal black comedy Sex and Death 101 (2007, 12 years ago). The story follows the sexual odysseys of successful businessman Roderick Blank, played by Simon Baker, who receives a mysterious e-mail on the eve of his wedding, listing all of his past and future sex partners. "We will be doing a sequel to Heathers next." Ryder stated. "There's Heathers in the real world! We have to keep going!". In a more recent interview Ryder was quoted as saying on the speculation of a Heathers sequel: "I don't know how much of the movie is official; it's a ways away. But it takes place in Washington and Christian Slater agreed to come back and make an Obi-Wan-type appearance. It's very funny."

Ryder also appeared in David Wain's comedy The Ten, alongside Jessica Alba (172 walls), Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Famke Janssen (10 walls), Oliver Platt, and Adam Brody. The movie centers around ten stories, each of them inspired by one of the Ten Commandments. The movie debuted at the Sundance movie Festival 2007 (12 years ago) on Jan. 10, 2007 (12 years ago), with a theatrical release on Aug. 3, 2007 (12 years ago). Ryder played the female lead opposite Wes Bentley and Ray Romano in Geoffrey Haley's 2008 (11 years ago) offbeat romantic drama The Last Word. In 2009 (10 years ago), she starred as a newscaster in the movie version of The Informers.

In 2009 (10 years ago), Ryder appeared in cameo role for director J. J. Abrams's movie adaptation of Star Trek, as Spock's mother Amanda Grayson, a role originally played by Jane Wyatt. The movie was released in May 2009 (10 years ago) and grossed over $200 million during its first week in theaters. Several media outlets have noted her return to the box office and upcoming roles as a remarkable "comeback".

Her next role will be alongside Robin Wright and Julianne Moore in Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, which began filming in Apr. 2008 (11 years ago) in Connecticut. Her new movie is due for release on 10 Jul. 2009 (10 years ago).

On 2 Jun. 2009 (10 years ago), Entertainment Weekly reported on an interview with Ryder that will be published in the Jul. edition of Empire magazine, she revealed that she and Christian Slater will reprise their roles in a sequel of Heathers.

Personal life

Polly Klaas

In 1993 (26 years ago), Ryder became involved in the Polly Klaas kidnapping case. Klaas lived in Petaluma, the same town where Ryder grew up. Ryder offered a $200,000 reward for the 12-year-old kidnap victim's safe return. After the girl's death, Ryder starred in the 1994 (25 years ago) movie adaptation of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and dedicated it to her memory. Little Women was one of Klaas's favorite novels.

During a sentencing hearing related to the 2001 (18 years ago) shoplifting incident (see below), Ryder's attorney, Mark Geragos, referred to her work with the Polly Klaas Foundation and other charitable causes. In response, Deputy District Attorney Ann Rundle said: "What's offensive to me is to trot out the body of a dead child." Ryder was visibly upset at the accusation and Rundle was admonished by the judge. Outside the courthouse, Polly's father Mark Klaas defended Ryder and expressed outrage at the prosecutor's comments.

2001 shoplifting incident

On dec. 12, 2001 (18 years ago), Ryder was arrested on shoplifting charges in Beverly Hills, California; she stood accused of stealing $5,500 worth of designer clothes and accessories at a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. Los Angeles District Attorney Stephen Cooley produced a team of eight prosecutors. Cooley filed four felony charges against her in what was described by British newspaper The Guardian as a "show-trial". Ryder hired noted celebrity defense attorney Mark Geragos. Negotiations for a plea bargain failed at the end of summer 2002 (17 years ago). As noted by Joel Mowbray from the National Review, the prosecution was not ready to offer the actress what was given to 5,000 other defendants in similar cases, an open door to a no-contest plea on misdemeanor charges. Ryder agreed under signature to pay two Civil Demands, as permitted under California's Statute for Civil Recovery for Shoplifting, from Saks Fifth Avenue that would completely reimburse Saks Fifth Avenue for the stolen and surrendered merchandise while detained in the Security Offices of the Saks Fifth Avenue store, and before she was read her Miranda rights and arrested by the Los Angeles Commissioned Police.

During the trial, she was also accused of using drugs without valid prescriptions. Ryder was convicted of grand theft and vandalism, but was acquitted on the third felony charge, burglary. In dec. 2002 (17 years ago), she was sentenced to three years' probation, 480 hours of community service, $3,700 in fines, and $6,355 in restitution to the Saks Fifth Avenue store – and was ordered to attend psychological and drug counseling. After reviewing Ryder's probation report, Superior Court Judge Elden Fox noted that Ryder served 480 hours of community service and on Jun. 18, 2004 (15 years ago), the felonies were reduced to misdemeanors. Ryder remained on probation until dec. 2005 (14 years ago).

Relationships

Ryder has had many high-profile relationships with actors. She was engaged to actor Johnny Depp (9 walls) for three years beginning in Jul. 1990 (29 years ago). She met Depp at the Great Balls of Fire! premiere in Jun. 1989; two months later they began dating. During their relationship, Depp had a tattoo placed on his arm reading "Winona Forever", which he had altered to "Wino Forever" after their separation. Ryder later had serious relationships with Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner, and actor Matt Damon. Ryder also told W Magazine in a Jun. 2002 (17 years ago) issue that she is close friends with comedian and actor Jimmy Fallon. She was also close friends with actress Gwyneth Paltrow (6 walls), until they reportedly "grew apart" in the late 1990 (29 years ago).

Filmography

  • Lucas
  • Square Dance
  • Beetlejuice
  • 1969
  • Heathers
  • Great Balls of Fire!
  • Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Mermaids
  • Night on Earth
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula
  • The Age of Innocence
  • The House of the Spirits
  • Reality Bites
  • Little Women
  • How to Make an American Quilt
  • Boys
  • Looking for Richard
  • The Crucible
  • Alien Resurrection
  • Celebrity
  • Girl, Interrupted
  • Autumn in New York
  • Lost Souls
  • Zoolander
  • Mr. Deeds
  • S1m0ne
  • The Day My God Died
  • The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things
  • The Darwin Awards
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • The Ten
  • Sex and Death 101
  • "Welcome"
  • "Water Pills"
  • The Last Word
  • The Informers
  • The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
  • Stay Cool
  • Star Trek

Awards and nominations

  • Independent Spirit Award | Best Female Lead
  • NBR Award | Best Supporting Actress
  • ShoWest Award | Female Star of Tomorrow
  • Young Artist Award | Best Young Artist Starring in a Motion Picture
  • Golden Globe | Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
  • Saturn Award | Best Actress
  • Sant Jordi Award | Best Foreign Actress (Mejor Actriz Extranjera)
  • Saturn Award | Best Actress
  • MTV Movie Award | Best Kiss
  • NBR Award | Best Supporting Actress
  • Academy Award | Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • BAFTA movie Award | Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Golden Globe | Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
  • MTV Movie Award | Best Kiss
  • SEFCA Award | Best Supporting Actress
  • Academy Award | Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Chlotrudis Award | Best Actress
  • KCFCC Award | Best Actress
  • MTV Movie Award | Best Kiss
  • ShoWest Award | Female Star of the Year
  • Saturn Award | Best Supporting Actress
  • Blockbuster Entertainment Award | Favorite Supporting Actress - Sci-Fi
  • Blockbuster Entertainment Award | Favorite Actress - Drama
  • Peter J. Owens Award
  • Star on the Walk of Fame | Motion Picture
  • Razzie Award | Worst Screen Couple
  • Teen Choice Award | movie - Choice Actress, Comedy
  • Razzie Award | Worst Actress



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