Two times Academy Award nominated, the American actress Winona Ryder is the definition of an iconic actress. Born on October 29, 1971, she has always been an A-list celebrity in Hollywood. Introduced to the world in Tim Burton's 1998 comedy Beetlejuice and in Heathers as a high school outcast, Winona has graced the big screens appearing in distinguished movies like Edward Scissorhands, The Age of Innocence, Reality Bites and Girl, Interrupted among others. There's also her famed relationships with prominent names in the film industry that kept her name afloat in the tabloids.
Winona takes her name from the city but she was born a little farther in Olmstead County, Minnesota to parents Cynthia Palmer and Michael Horowitz. She adapted Ryder as a pseudonym from rock singer, Mitch Ryder. Her parents are both writers and so Winona grew up surrounded with many renowned figures in literature including Timothy Leary, who was a godfather to her and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. She had a Jewish upbringing. After settling down in Petaluma, California, she started junior high where she got bullied. That led her to be homeschooled and later attend the American Conservatory Theatre at the age of 12 where the seed of acting was sowed. Winona is also famous for her serious relationships in the 1990s. She and Hollywood star Johnny Depp started dating in 1989 and were engaged in 1990. They broke up after three years following which she started a relationship with Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum in 1993. The couple lasted until 1996. Actor Matt Damon is also known to have dated Winona in 1998. They separated two years later.
Winona debuted in 1986 with David Seltzer directed Lucas which starred Kerri Green with Charlie Sheen. She was seen next in Square Dance in 1987 and later she was cast by Tim Burton in Beetlejuice in 1998. She played Veronica Sawyer in Heathers in 1988 opposite Christian Slater. She was also critically acclaimed for Gregory's Girl although the movie didn't make waves in the box office. She landed a critical role in the box office hit Edward Scissorhands opposite Johnny Depp. After turning down the role in The Godfather Part III, she appeared alongside Cher in Mermaids. This got her nominated for a Golden Globe award. She appeared with Jeff Daniels in Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael. She received acclaims for Night on Earth, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The House of Spirits and The Age of Innocence. The Age of Innocence which was based on Edith Wharton's novel and starred actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer. She received her first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and a nomination for an Academy Award. She appeared in Ben Stiller's Reality Bites in 1994. She received her career's second Academy Award nomination in 1994 for her starring role in Little Women. In 1996, she appeared in Boys. Looking for Richard, The Crucible and Alien Resurrection followed which further cemented Winona's career. She received a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Alien Resurrection. In 1999, she starred in Girl, Interrupted as a mentally troubled female lead. She was expected to receive an Academy Award nod for the role but her co-star Angelina Jolie received the award. She appeared as a young romantic interest of Richard Gere in Autumn in New York. The comedy Mr. Deeds in which she starred opposite Adam Sandler collected over $125 million in 2002. After a shoplifting incident and a hiatus she appeared in A Scanner Darkly in 2006. She reclaimed her place among the top actresses in the business with a supporting role in 2010's Black Swan. Frankenweenie, The Letter and Homefront are her latest releases.
Winona's hiatus in the early 2000s was a difficult time for her. After getting caught shoplifting in Beverly Hills, she was detained and taken to court where she was found guilty. Following the ordeal, she was on probation for three years, fined thousands of dollars and was assigned several hours of community service.
A shining star in Hollywood, Winona Ryder is a fan favorite. She claims the hearts of many fans who have been following her success since she appeared in Beetlejuice. At the age of 43, she is ever glowing and intriguing as ever.