American actress Winona Ryder was born Winona Laura Horowitz on October 29, 1971. She gained notoriety in the 1990s for her more varied roles in productions of various genres after beginning her career by playing quirky roles. She has won numerous honors, including a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and nominations for a Grammy Award, two Academy Awards, and a BAFTA Award.
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Michael D. Horowitz and Cynthia Palmer (née Istas) welcomed Winona Laura Horowitz into the world on October 29, 1971, in Winona, Minnesota. Her father is an author, editor, publisher, and dealer in antiquarian books, while her mother is a writer, producer of videos, and editor.
He also served as an archivist for Ryder’s godfather, psychotherapist Timothy Leary. Her father is a member of a mixed Jewish family from Romania and Ukraine. She spent every Passover with her paternal grandparents in Brooklyn while she was a child.
Due to her parents’ acquaintance with Laura Huxley, the wife of author Aldous Huxley, Winona Ryder received her middle name, Laura, derived from her hometown’s name. Her stage name is derived from soul and rock musician Mitch Ryder, a favorite of her father’s. Ryder’s mother is a Buddhist, but her father is an atheist.
Winona Ryder has two elder half-siblings from her mother’s previous marriage: half-brother Jubal Palmer and half-sister Sunyata Palmer. Winona Ryder also has a younger brother named Urie (in honor of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space). Her godfather Timothy Leary, the Beat Generation poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and science fiction author Philip K. Dick were all close friends of Ryder’s family.
Ryder and her family moved to Rainbow, a commune close to Elk in Mendocino County, California when she was seven. They shared a 300-acre (120 ha) tract of property with seven other families. As there was no electricity or television on the isolated ranch, Ryder started spending more time reading and developed a love for J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.
Ryder’s family moved to Petaluma, California, when Ryder was eleven years old. She experienced bullying during her first week at Kenilworth Junior High from kids who thought she was an effeminate boy.
Ryder began her acting training at the American Conservatory Theater in nearby San Francisco in 1983 when she was 12 years old. She came dangerously close to drowning that year, which gave her aquaphobia. Later in life, when she was performing in the underwater sequences for Alien Resurrection (1997), this psychological trauma led to issues, some of which required repeated filming.
Although Ryder has indicated that her natural hair color is brown, she was “really blonde as a kid” and began dyeing her blonde hair blue and purple when she was 11 or 12. Her hair had been dyed black at the time of her audition for the 1986 movie Lucas, and the directors asked her to keep it that way.
In the comedy “Lucas” from 1986, Winona Ryder made her acting debut alongside Charlie Sheen and Corey Haim. The Los Angeles Times, among other critics, praised her performance in her subsequent movie, “Square Dance,” which came out in 1987. She gained both critical and popular acclaim for her portrayal of goth teenager Lydia Deetz in Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice,” though. The movie “Beetlejuice” was a financial success and earned favorable reviews.
Winona was still a high school student at the time, which only made the bullying she had to deal with kids calling her a “witch” worse. The following year, Ryder was cast as the lead in “Heathers” 1988. Although the movie was bombed at the box office, its supporters adored it, and it eventually became a cult favorite.
When Winona starred opposite Johnny Depp in the 1990 fantasy film “Edward Scissorhands,” she collaborated with Tim Burton once more. Her largest box office hit to date, this movie earned $86 million and received favorable reviews. Later that year, Ryder landed her eighth role in the Cher-costarring comedy-drama “Mermaids.” Following year,
In Martin Scorsese’s film “The Age of Innocence,” Ryder co-starred with Daniel Day-Lewis. For her portrayal, she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and an Oscar nomination in the same category. River Phoenix’s unexpected death forced the cancellation of the movie “Broken Dreams,” in which Ryder was set to star alongside him.
1994 was a significant year for Winona, beginning with the debut of Ryder’s follow-up movie, the Generation X drama “Reality Bites” starring Ben Stiller. She garnered a lot of positive reviews for her leading performance, but the movie didn’t make a lot of money.
Ryder earned greater notoriety later in 1994 when she portrayed Josephine March, the main character, in “Little Women.” For her portrayal, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress. In 1995’s “How to Make an American Quilt,” she played the lead.
Alongside Sigourney Weaver, Ryder starred in “Alien Resurrection” in 1997. Although the movie was generally regarded as the least successful in the “Alien” series, it nonetheless made $161 million worldwide and received favorable reviews. Alongside Angelia Jolie and Whoopi Goldberg, Ryder co-starred in and acted as executive producer for the 1999 film “Girl, Interrupted.”
After a highly publicized shoplifting incident in 2001, Ryder went on a five-year acting break. Prior to her break, she had worked on the science fiction drama “Simone” and the Adam Sandler-starring picture “Mr. Deeds.” Following her break, she made appearances in the 2007 movies “Sex and Death 101,” “Top Ten,” and “The Last Word” by Richard Linklater. She made an appearance in “The Informers” and “Star Trek” in 2009. She avoided the spotlight during this time by only appearing in modest independent films and sparingly appearing in front of the camera.
When Ryder signed on to feature in the Duffer Brothers’ Netflix horror series “Stranger Things” in 2016, she made a significant comeback. She portrays Joyce Byers, a single mother whose 12-year-old daughter unexpectedly disappears. She later appeared as a series regular in seasons 2 and 3, and she will do so again in season 4. Ryder had the lead role in the HBO limited series “The Plot Against America” in 2020.
Winona Ryder recurred in her role as Kim Boggs from Edward Scissorhands in 2021 opposite Timothée Chalamet in a Cadillac Super Bowl commercial. Delmot Mulroney, Ryder’s previous co-star in How To Make an American Quilt, is featured in Eli Horowitz’s next film Gone in the Night, which is also starring Ryder.
Winona Ryder keeps residences in Williamsburg, New York City; San Francisco; and Los Angeles. She identifies as Jewish while growing up in a secular home. Anti-Semitism has happened to her before. She experiences insomnia and has been the target of a stalker.
Since she was in her twenties, Winona Ryder has worked philanthropically for the American Indian College Fund, which helps send Native Americans from low-income families to college.
Director Tim Burton is credited with helping her career.
Beginning in July 1990, Winona Ryder was committed to actor Johnny Depp for three years. Before she turned 18, she first met him at the Great Balls of Fire! premiere in June 1989, and they started dating two months later. She dated Dave Pirner, a member of the band Soul Asylum, from 1993 to 1996. She dated Matt Damon from 1998 to 2000, and since 2011, she has been dating Scott Mackinlay Hahn.
Winona Ryder was detained for shoplifting in Beverly Hills, California’s Saks Fifth Avenue department store in December 2001. She was charged with stealing expensive clothing and accessories worth $5,500. She was accused of committing grand theft, shoplifting, and vandalism, three felonies. She received a three-year probationary term, 480 hours of community service, monetary penalties, and restitution to the department store in 2002. In June 2004, the felonies were downgraded to misdemeanors.
In interviews, Ryder has described how the incident happened during a trying moment in her life when she was severely depressed. She has also explained that her actions were caused by heavy painkiller usage, which made her judgment unsteady. The Medical Board of California has since revoked the doctor’s license for prescribing her amount of opioids.
Winona Ryder’s Net Worth And Earnings
American actress Winona Ryder has an estimated net worth of $18 million.
Over the course of the first two seasons of “Stranger Things,” Winona earned $100,000 per episode. During this time, there were 17 episodes total, which equates to roughly $1.7 million for the two seasons. Winona’s salary was increased to $350,000 per episode beginning with the third season. For the third season, that amounted to just about $3 million.
Winona spent $1.3 million on a home in her hometown of San Francisco in 1995. She put this house up for sale for $5 million in November 2020. Winona made the house available for rent at a rate of $15,000 per month about a year before she placed it up for sale.
A 1936 Spanish-style residence in Los Angeles was purchased by Winona in 1998 for $2.6 million. In 2010, she flogged the house for $4.1 million. She had already sold a New York City apartment for $2.2 million two years prior.
Winona might still be the owner of three homes: one in Beverly Hills, one in Hollywood, and one in New York City.