Winona Ryder Biography

Winona Ryder photo

Born: October 29, 1971


Date of Birth: October 29, 1971

"For a long time," says this Winona, Minnesota native, "I was almost ashamed of being an actress. I felt like it was a shallow occupation."

Ryder's parents were a colorful couple who hung out with likes of the late acid guru Timothy (he's her godfather) and novelist Aldous Huxley. Part of her childhood was spent in a hippie commune in the San Francisco Bay area.

At the age of 11 Ryder began studying acting at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater and became a film favorite at 17 when she starred in Beetlejuice which she followed up a year later with an excellent outing in the teen angst comedy, Heathers.

After settling into more mature roles, she said, "I didn't understand that I could be normal and relax and still be a good actress. I finally figured it out - which is such a relief."

In the mid-'90s, at the height of her fame, Ryder received an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe for The Age of Innocence (1993) and a second Oscar nomination for Little Women (1994). She was named Female Star of the Year at the 1997 ShoWest Convention and on October 6, 2000, received a Star on the Walk of Fame.

However, her career came to a screeching halt in 2001 when she was arrested in Beverly Hills for allegedly stealing clothing and carrying illegal pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription.

After a short break to get her life in order, she's gotten her career back on track with appearances in major films such as A Scanner Darkly (2006) with Keanu Reeves, Star Trek (2009), the Oscar-winning Black Swan (2010) and Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (2012).

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