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".
- In late 1999, she started her own music company, Roustabout Studios.
- Independent filmmaker 'Jim Jarmusch' (qv) wrote a part specifically for her in _Night on Earth (1991)_ (qv), as a tattooed, chain-smoking cabbie who dreams of becoming a mechanic.
- 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".
- Beat poet 'Allen Ginsberg' (qv) was a close friend of her parents.
- Has done various commercials for cars (Subaru), coffee (Café Latté) and for Italian designer 'Giorgio Armani' (qv). Also participated in a clothing campaign (2003) for designer and friend Marc Jacobs (IV).
- She is also into music and plays the guitar. Her favorite band at one point was 'The Replacements', but she also loves 'Tom Waits' (qv), 'Cocteau Twins' (qv), 'Wilco' (qv) and many others.
- 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.
- 6 December 2002 - Sentenced to 480 hours of community service, three years' probation, $3700 in fines, and $6355 in restitution for her arrest on shoplifting charges.