Oct. 29th, 1971
Winona, Minnesota, USA
Winona Ryder's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Winona Ryder was born Winona Horowitz and named after the town in which she was born, Winona Minnesota. She grew up in a ranch commune in Northern California where there was no electricity. She is the Goddaughter of Timothy Leary and her parents were friends of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and once edited a book called "Shaman Woman Mainline Lady" an anthology of writings on the drug experience in literature - this included one piece by Louisa May Alcott. Winona Ryder was later to star as Jo in this author's Little Women (1994). She moved with her parents to Petaluma (near San Francisco) when she was ten and enrolled in acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater. At 13 she had a video audition to the film Desert Bloom (1986), but didn't get the part. Director David Seltzer (I), however, spotted her and cast her in Lucas (1986). When telephoned to ask how she'd like to have her name appear on the credits, she suggested Ryder as her father's Mitch Ryder album was playing the background. Ryder was selected for the part of Mary Corleone in The Godfather: Part III (1990), but had to drop out of the role after catching the flu from the strain of doing the films Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990) and Mermaids (1990) back to back. She said she didn't want to let everyone down by doing a substandard performance. She later made The Age of Innocence (1993) which was directed by Martin Scorsese, who she believes to be "the best director in the world".
- (1995) Signed on to "The Girl You Want." After a few weeks of preproduction, she received a new version of the script, which she hated, and tried to get out of her contract. Touchstone Pictures threatened to sue her if she did, and so she completed the film. The film's title was changed to _Boys (1996)_ (qv) and sat on the shelf for more than a year. After it finally got its release, it was released in less than 100 theaters in North America and grossed less than five hundred thousand dollars.
- She owns some of Hollywood's stars' most priceless possessions ('Louis Armstrong (I)' (qv)'s bongo drums among others). She also has a collection of vintage Hollywood costumes, including 'Russ Tamblyn' (qv)'s jacket from _West Side Story (1961)_ (qv), 'Leslie Caron' (qv)'s dress from _An American in Paris (1951)_ (qv), 'Claudette Colbert' (qv)'s gown from _It Happened One Night (1934)_ (qv), 'Olivia de Havilland' (qv)'s blouse from _Gone with the Wind (1939)_ (qv), and 'Sandra Dee (I)' (qv)'s bikini from the "Tammy movies".
- (2000) Was engaged to 'Matt Damon' (qv).
- Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998
- The first house she bought was in the Hollywood Hills. She soon moved, saying she never fitted in.
- Although there was no electricity on the commune where they lived, when Winona was seven, her mother began to run an old movie theater in a nearby barn and would screen movies all day. She allowed Winona to miss school to watch movies with her.
- She was harassed her first week of junior high school when a group of bullies mistook her for an effeminate, scrawny boy.
- Her godfather is 'Timothy Leary' (qv).