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".
- Her father's family was originally named 'Tomchin', however she stated that they were wrongly assigned the name of the family that they were travelling with when they arrived at Ellis Island, in 1906.
- 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".
- Appeared on the cover of the June 2002 cover of W magazine wearing a "Free Winona" T-shirt. "Free Winona" T-shirts became popular over the Internet following her December 22, 2001 arrest, with many fans sporting them and purses in support.
- Her godfather is 'Timothy Leary' (qv).
- The rock group, "The Wynona Ryders" named themselves after her.
- She dedicated the film _Little Women (1994)_ (qv) to Polly Klaas, a young girl from her hometown of Petaluma, California, who was kidnapped and brutally murdered. She offered a $200,000 reward for anyone with information on the subject, and remains a strong supporter of the Polly Klaas Foundation.
- Her favorite book is 'J.D. Salinger' (qv)'s "The Catcher in the Rye." She says she owns every paperback edition and translations.
- A fan of the film _Grey Gardens (1975)_ (qv).