Winona Ryder Biography

Winona Ryder Biography

Winona Ryder (born Winona Laura Horowitz on October 29, 1971) is an American actress.


Winona Ryder Biography

She was born in Winona, Minnesota, and apparently she was named after her birthplace. Notable family friends included her godfather Timothy Leary and Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. About ten years later, the family moved to Petaluma, Sonoma County, California. Winona attended the local American Conservatory Theater where she started taking acting lessons.

Winona Ryder got into legal trouble in December 2001 when she was caught after a $5,500 shoplifting spree at Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Beverly Hills, California. In 2002 she was sentenced to 480 hours of community service.

Winona Ryder's film debut was in Lucas, directed by David Seltzer and first released on March 28, 1986. The film was a tragicomedy intended towards a teen audience. The title character was Lucas (Corey Haim), a somewhat nerdy high school student who finds himself an often victim of bullying. Cappie (Charlie Sheen), a fellow student and American football athlete tends to places him under his protection. Both are soon acquainted to new student Maggie (Kerri Green) and seem to fall for her. But she is only interested in Cappie. Lucas then attempts to gain acceptance by entering the football team himself. His efforts attract the attention of Winona's character Rina. The rest of the film concetrates on Lucas' subsequent experiences, resulting in his gradual maturing process. The film was moderately successful and both Corey Haim and Kerri Green were nomitated for a Young Artist Award in 1987. Winona first gained public attention through her performance.

Winona Ryder made her second film appearance in Square Dance, written by Alan Hines, directed by Daniel Petrie and first released in March, 1987. Winona starred as Gemma, a 13 year-old country girl who lives with her Grandpa Dillard (Jason Robards). At some point, Gemma is visited by her mother with an offer to come stay with her in the city. Her mother is now married and can provide for her. Gemma accepts and soon finds herself in a new environment. She is acquainted and grows close to the mentaly retarded Rory (Rob Lowe). The rest of the film focuses in a series of bitter-sweet experiences that eventualy return Gemma to the country. The film was not commercially successful but Rob Lowe was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Winona Ryder's long engagements with Johnny Depp (four years), David Pirner (three years) and Matt Damon (three years) are quite famous. (During their relationship, Depp got a tattoo on his arm reading "Winona Forever," which he had altered to "Wino Forever" after their breakup.) According to various sources, most of the tabloids and gossip columns, Winona Ryder has also dated actors Daniel Day-Lewis, David Duchovny, Val Kilmer, Chris Noth, Jimmy Fallon and Christian Slater, as well as musicians Ryan Adams, Evan Dando, Adam Duritz, Dave Grohl, Page Hamilton, Beck Hansen, Jay Kay, Rhett Miller, Conor Oberst, and Pete Yorn.

Winona Ryder's film credits include Beetlejuice (1988), The Age of Innocence and Little Women (which scored her Oscar nominations in 1994 and '95), Mermaids, Heathers, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Crucible, Alien: Resurrection and Mr Deeds(2002). She also executive produced and starred in Girl, Interrupted.

On December 12, 2001, Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting thousands of dollars' worth of designer clothes and accessories at Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Beverly Hills, California.

Los Angeles District Attorney Stephen Cooley set up a team of eight prosecutors and seized the opportunity to prosecute the actress aggressively and filed four felony charges against her in what was described by The Guardian (UK) as a show trial since the prosecution demanded the trial be televised. Winona Ryder hired noted defense attorney Mark Geragos and mounted her defense to fight the charges. Negotiations for a plea bargain failed at the end of summer 2002. As noted by Joel Mowbray in The National Review, the prosecution had no intention to allow the actress to plead out with misdemeanors, which was offered to more than 5,000 other defendants in similar cases between 1999 and 2001.

During the trial, Winona Ryder was also accused of using drugs without valid prescriptions; according to a probation report that can be found on The Smoking Gun website, she had up to 37 prescriptions filled by 20 doctors, using 6 different aliases, in a three-year period. The defense produced the official documents for the drugs that the police found in her purse, and the prosecution consequently dropped the charge. Ryder was convicted of grand theft and vandalism, but the jury acquitted her on the third felony charge (burglary). In December 2002, she was sentenced to three years' probation, 480 hours of community service, $3,700 in fines and $6,355 in restitution to Saks and the judge ordered the actress to attend psychological and drug counselling. The charges were eventually reviewed, and the felonies reduced to misdemeanors, on June 18, 2004.

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