Winona Laura Horowitz (born October 29, 1971), better known under her professional name Winona Ryder, is an American actress. She started her career in 1986. Although Ryder made her screen debut in Lucas (1986), her first significant role came in 1988 with Beetlejuice as Lydia Deetz, a Goth teenager, in a performance that gained her critical and commercial recognition. After making various appearances in film and television, Ryder continued her career with the cult film Heathers (1989) in a prominent and critically acclaimed performance. Her subsequent roles have won her not only critical praise but numerous film awards. In 2000, Ryder received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California.
Ryder is known for her relationship with actor Johnny Depp throughout the early 1990s. She also received noteworthy media attention for her participation in the investigation of the kidnapping and murder of Polly Klaas in 1993, who was from Ryder's hometown of Petaluma, California. Ryder also received worldwide attention after her arrest on December 12, 2001 for shoplifting from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills, California.
In 1978, when Ryder was seven years old, she and her family relocated to Rainbow, a commune near Elk, California, where they lived with seven other families on a 300-acre (1.2 km²) plot of land. As the remote property had no electricity or television sets, Ryder began to devote her time to reading and became an avid fan of J. D. Salinger's 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, 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. She has also revealed that she suffers from aquaphobia due to 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) and the scenes had to be reshot numerous times.
Ryder landed the role of Veronica Sawyer in the 1989 independent film 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 film would "ruin her career". Reaction to the film 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 film 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 film was a box office failure and received largley divided reviews from critics. In April 1989, 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, Ryder was selected for four film roles. In Edward Scissorhands (1990), she played the leading female role alongside her then-boyfriend Johnny Depp. The film reunited Tim Burton and Ryder, who had previously worked together on Beetlejuice in 1988. 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), 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 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).
Ryder's next role was in the Generation X drama Reality Bites (1994), directed by Ben Stiller, playing a young woman searching for direction in her life. Her performance received acclaim and the studio hoped the film 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, Ryder was handpicked to play the lead role of Josephine March in Little Women, an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel. The film received widespread praise; critic Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that the film 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 film 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 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), 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 film was not a commercial success, nor was it popular with critics.
In 2002, 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 television program. The second film 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.
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). 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, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Famke Janssen, Oliver Platt, and Adam Brody. The film centers around ten stories, each of them inspired by one of the Ten Commandments. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival 2007 on January 10, 2007, with a theatrical release on August 3, 2007. Ryder will play the female lead opposite Wes Bentley and Ray Romano in Geoffrey Haley's offbeat romantic drama The Last Word. She has also signed up to appear as a newscaster in the upcoming movie version of The Informers, will join Robin Wright and Julianne Moore in Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, which is scheduled to start filming in April 2008 in Connecticut, and will appear in Paramount Pictures' and director J. J. Abrams's Star Trek (2009), as Spock's mother Amanda Grayson, a role originally played by Jane Wyatt.
During a sentencing hearing related to the 2001 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.
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 December 2002, 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 June 18, 2004, the felonies were reduced to misdemeanors. Ryder remained on probation until December 2005.
|1987||Square Dance||Gemma Dillard||Daniel Petrie|
|1988||Beetlejuice||Lydia Deetz||Tim Burton|
|1969||Beth Karr||Ernest Thompson|
|1989||Heathers||Veronica Sawyer||Michael Lehmann|
|Great Balls of Fire!||Myra Gale Lewis||Jim McBride|
|1990||Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael||Dinky Bossetti||Jim Abrahams|
|Edward Scissorhands||Kim Boggs||Tim Burton|
|Mermaids||Charlotte Flax||Richard Benjamin|
|1991||Night on Earth||Corky||Jim Jarmusch|
|1992||Bram Stoker's Dracula||Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray/Elisabeta||Francis Ford Coppola|
|1993||The Age of Innocence||May Welland||Martin Scorsese||Nominated: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|The House of the Spirits||Blanca Trueba||Bille August|
|1994||Reality Bites||Lelaina Pierce||Ben Stiller|
|Little Women||Josephine "Jo" March||Gillian Armstrong||Nominated: Academy Award for Best Actress|
|1995||How to Make an American Quilt||Finn Dodd||Jocelyn Moorhouse|
|1996||Boys||Patty Vare||Stacy Cochran|
|Looking for Richard||Lady Anne||Al Pacino||Documentary film|
|The Crucible||Abigail Williams||Nicholas Hytner|
|1997||Alien: Resurrection||Annalee Call||Jean-Pierre Jeunet|
|1999||Girl, Interrupted||Susanna Kaysen||James Mangold||Also executive producer|
|2000||Autumn in New York||Charlotte Fielding||Joan Chen|
|Lost Souls||Maya Larkin||Janusz Kaminski|
|2001||Zoolander||Herself||Ben Stiller||Uncredited cameo|
|2002||Mr. Deeds||Babe Bennett/Pam Dawson||Steven Brill|
|S1m0ne||Nicola Anders||Andrew Niccol|
|2003||The Day My God Died||Narrator||Andrew Levine||Voice, producer, documentary film|
|2004||The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things||Psychologist||Asia Argento||Uncredited|
|2006||The Darwin Awards||Siri||Finn Taylor|
|A Scanner Darkly||Donna Hawthorne||Richard Linklater|
|2007||The Ten||Kelly LaFonda||David Wain|
|Sex and Death 101||Gillian De Raisx||Daniel Waters|
|2008||The Last Word||Charlotte Morris||Geoffrey Haley|
|The Informers||Cheryl Laine||Gregor Jordan||awaiting release|
|Water Pills||Carrie||Blake Soper||post-production|
|2009||Star Trek||Amanda Grayson||J. J. Abrams||post-production|
|The Private Lives of Pippa Lee||Sandra||Rebecca Miller||post-production|
|Stay Cool||Scarlet Smith||Polish Brothers||filming|
|1990||Golden Globe Award||Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture||Mermaids|
|NBR Award||Best Supporting Actress|
|1991||Saturn Award||Best Actress||Edward Scissorhands|
|1992||Saturn Award||Best Actress||Bram Stoker's Dracula|
|1993||Academy Award||Best Supporting Actress||The Age of Innocence|
|BAFTA Award||Best Supporting Actress|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Supporting Actress|
|NBR Award||Best Supporting Actress|
|1994||Academy Award||Best Actress||Little Women|
|KCFCC Award||Best Actress|
|1997||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actress||Alien: Resurrection|
|2000||Razzie Award||Worst Screen Couple||Autumn in New York|
|2002||Razzie Award||Worst Actress||Mr. Deeds|