Actress Winona Ryder was born on October 29, 1971. Ryder had a rough childhood and teen years, but she didn’t allow her struggles to stop her from following her dreams. Making her debut on the big screen when she was only 15, Ryder is today one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood. She has a long list of prominent films, quirky productions being her favorite choice when taking a job. Ryder had made us all fall in love with her iconic performances in movies like “Beetlejuice,” “Little Women,” and “Edward Scissorhands.” Today we celebrate her birthday!
Winona Laura Horowitz
October 29, 1971
In a relationship
Winona Laura Horowitz, professionally known as Winona Ryder, was born in Winona, Minnesota. Her parents named her after her hometown. Her father, Michel Horowitz, and her mother, Cynthia Palmer, were authors and editors. Ryder’s father came from a Jewish family; Ryder considers herself Jewish. The actress has a younger brother, Uria, and two half-siblings, Jubal and Sunyata. When Ryder was only seven, her family moved to Mendocino County, California. There, they didn’t have electricity. There was no television; books were Ryder’s only distraction to spend the time, and she became an avid reader.
In 1983, when she was 12, Ryder enrolled in the American Conservatory Theatre to take acting classes. In 1986, she landed her first big-screen role in the film “Lucas;” she was only 15 years old. Ryder suffered bullying in high school. She hoped that her acting career would change that. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Still, she continued pursuing her dreams. In 1988, she had her big break in Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice.” Ryder kept playing successful roles in several movies. She was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for her performance in “The Age of Innocence” (1993), and the other for the film adaptation of “Little Women” (1994). In 2002, Ryder decided to take a break from acting to take care of her mental health. She came back to the big screen in 2009 to work on the popular film “Star Trek.” Since 2016, Ryder has portrayed Joyce Byres in the successful Netflix series “Stranger Things.”
Ryder met actor Johnny Depp when she was 17. They started dating and got engaged in 1990. The couple broke off the engagement three years later but remained friends. Ryder has been in a relationship with Scott Mackinlay since 2011.
Ryders debuts in the film “Lucas.”
She lands a role in Tim Burton's “Beetlejuice.”
Ryder is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Ryder gets her first big series role in Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”
Why We Love Winona Ryder
Her philanthropic work is inspiring
Ryder has helped the American Indian College Fund since she was 20. The organization helps Native Americans with low incomes to have access to university.
She takes care of her health
After her shoplifting scandal in 2001, Ryder took some time off from acting. She focused on recovering from her mental health issues until she was strong enough to come back to the big screen.
Her acceptance of aging is graceful
Ryder stated in an interview that she is psyched to be 40 and older. She believes that when you get older, you get to be more comfortable with yourself.
5 Surprising Facts
She has a fear of water
Ryder suffers from aquaphobia.
Her middle name story
Her middle name, Laura, is in honor of Laura Huxley — Aldous Huxley’s wife and a family friend.
She is an insomniac
Ryders suffers from insomnia.
She was arrested
Ryder was arrested in 2001 after being caught shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.
She is good friends with Keanu Reeves
Ryder has the cutest friendship with Reeves; they worked in several films together.
Winona Ryder FAQs
Are Keanu and Winona married?
No, and yes. Their characters got married in the film “Dracula.” But they are not actually married.
Was Winona Ryder married to Johnny Depp?
They were engaged but never got married.
Does Winona Ryder have kids?
No, she doesn’t have children.
Winona Ryder’s birthday dates