Birth Place: Olmsted County, Winona, Minnesota, USA
Winona Ryder (Winona Laura Horowitz) is an American actress that was born at 11:00am, CDT on October 29, 1971 in Olmsted County, Winona, Minnesota, USA. Her mother Cynthia Palmer is an author, video producer and editor and her father; Michael Horowitz is an author, publisher, editor, and antiquarian bookseller. Michael worked as an archivist with Winona’s godfather psychedelic guru Dr. Timothy Leary. Winona describes herself as Jewish although her father is an atheist and her mother, is Buddhist. Winona's parents encourage their kids to takes parts from other religions and make their own system. Michael’s family emigrated from Romania and Russia. A lot of Michael’s family died during the Holocaust, and their original name was "Tomchin" but stayed with the surname "Horowitz" after moving to the United States.
She was named after the city Winona, that she was born in. Her parents gave her the middle name “Laura” because of their friendship with writer Aldous Huxley's and his wife, Laura Huxley. Winona’s father was a fan of soul and rock singer, Mitch Ryder, and that is how Winona Ryder got her stage name. She is 5' 3½" (1.61 m), and her nickname is Noni. She has younger brother, Uri, older step brother Jubal Palmer and older stepsister, Sunyata Palmer. Her two-step siblings are from her mother's previous marriage.
Winona was seven years old when her family moved to Rainbow, which is a commune near Elk, Mendocino County, California in 1978. They lived on a 300 acre land that had no electricity with seven other families. She began becoming a fan of acting after her mother showed her a few films in their barn. They moved to Petaluma, California when she was ten years old. She attended Kenilworth Junior High where she was bullied because the kids thought she was a scrawny boy. She was then home schooled. She took acting lessons at the American Conservatory Theater in nearby San Francisco when she was 12 years old in 1983. She went on to attending Petaluma High School and graduated in 1989 with a 4.0.
She had her major role debut in Lucas (1986), Square Dance (1987) and in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988) as a goth teenager, Lydia Deetz. She went on to having roles in Heathers (1988), Mermaids (1990), Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990), Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), Reality Bites (1994), Alien: Resurrection (1997), Celebrity (1998) and Girl, Interrupted (1999). She had problems filming Alien: Resurrection (1997) during the underwater scenes because of her aquaphobia from a traumatic near-drowning experience when she was 12 years old. The underwater scenes had to be shot numerous times.
She met Johnny Depp at the Great Balls of Fire! Premiere in June 1989 and started dating each other two months later. Johnny tattooed "Winona Forever" on his arm and later converted it to "Wino Forever". They got engaged in 1990, and their relationship ended in mid-1993. She soon after started dating Soul Asylum frontman Dave Pirner in 1993 and ended their relationship in 1996. She began dating actor Matt Damon in 1998, and their relationship ended in 2000.
- She made it publicly known that is has been suffering with anxiety and depression.
- She checked herself into a hospital because of overworking which resulted in her suffering from depression, anxiety attacks and exhaustion when she was 20 years old.
- Her real hair color is blonde
1986 - She was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show
1992, December 22 - She was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Len to promote Girl, Interrupted (1999)
1993 - She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Age of Innocence
1997, October - She ranked #42 in Empire (UK) magazine's Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time list
1997 - She was chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World
1999, March 22 - She injured her knee while filming Girl, Interrupted (1999)
2000, October 6 - She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California
2001 - She was arrest for shoplifting/stealing $5,500 worth of designer clothes/accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue department store. She was in numerous tabloid journalism.