Ryder, Winona 1971–

views updated Jun 27 2018

RYDER, Winona 1971–


Original name, Winona Laura Horowitz; born October 29, 1971, in Rochester (some sources cite Winona), MN; daughter of Michael (an antiquarian bookseller, writer, editor, and publisher) and Cynthia Palmer (a video producer, writer, and editor; maiden name, Istas) Horowitz. Education: Studied acting at American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA.

Addresses: Agent—Bryan Lourd, Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Publicist—I/D Public Relations, 8409 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.

Career: Actress. Roustabout Studios (music company), founder, 1999. Appeared in commercials.

Member: Screen Actors Guild, Amnesty International.

Awards, Honors: Gijon Film Festival Award, best actress, 1987, for Square Dance; Independent Spirit Award nomination, Independent Features Project/West, best female lead, 1990, for Heathers; Young Artist Award, Young Artist Foundation, best young actress starring in a motion picture, 1990, for Great Balls of Fire!; ShoWest Award, National Association of Theatre Owners, female star of tomorrow, 1990; National Board of Review Award, 1990, and Golden Globe Award nomination, 1991, both best supporting actress in a motion picture, for Mermaids; Sant Jordi Award, best foreign actress, 1992, for Edward Scissorhands and Mermaids; MTV Movie Award nomination (with Gary Oldman), best kiss, 1993, for Bram Stoker's Dracula; National Board of Review Award, 1993, Golden Globe Award, best supporting actress in a film, Southeastern Film Critics Association Award, Academy Award nomination, and Film Award nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, all best supporting actress, 1994, all for The Age of Innocence; MTV Movie Award nomination (with Ethan Hawke), best kiss, 1994, for Reality Bites; Academy Award nomination, best actress, 1995, for Little Women; MTV Movie Award nomination (with Dermot Mulroney), best kiss, 1996, for How to Make an American Quilt; Grammy Award nomination, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1996, for Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl—The Definitive Edition; named one of the "top players under thirty–five," People Weekly, 1996; ShoWest Award, female star of the year, 1997; honorary degree, American Conservatory Theatre, 1997; named one of the "top 100 movie stars of all time," Empire magazine (Great Britain), 1997; Blockbuster Entertainment Award, favorite supporting actress in a science fiction movie, and Saturn Award nomination, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, best supporting actress, both 1998, for Alien: Resurrection; Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actress in a drama, 2000, for Girl, Interrupted; Peter J. Owens Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, 2000; received a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2000.


Film Appearances:

Rina, Lucas, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1986.

Gemma, Square Dance (also known as Home Is Where the Heart Is), Island, 1987.

Beth, 1969, Atlantic Entertainment Group, 1988.

Lydia Deitz, Beetlejuice (also known as Beetle Juice), Warner Bros., 1988.

Myra Gale Lewis, Great Balls of Fire!, Orion, 1989.

Veronica Sawyer, Heathers (also known as Fatal Game, Lethal Attraction, and Westerberg High), New World, 1989.

Charlotte Flax, Mermaids, Orion, 1990.

Dinky Bossetti, Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, Paramount, 1990.

Kim Boggs, Edward Scissorhands, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1990.

Corky, Night on Earth (also known as Une nuit sur terre), Fine Line, 1992.

Mina Murray and Princess Elisabeta, Bram Stoker's Dracula (also known as Dracula), Columbia, 1992.

May Welland, The Age of Innocence, Columbia, 1993.

Blanca, The House of the Spirits (also known as Aandernes hus, A casa dos espiritos, and Das Geisterhaus), Miramax, 1994.

Josephine "Jo" March, Little Women, Columbia, 1994.

Lelaina Pierce, Reality Bites, Universal, 1994.

Finn Dodd, How to Make an American Quilt (also known as An American Quilt), Universal, 1995.

Abigail "Abby" Williams, The Crucible, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1996.

Lady Anne, Looking for Richard, Fox Searchlight, 1996.

Patty Vare, Boys (also known as Drive By Kiss, The Girl in His Room, The Girl You Want, and She's Not There), Buena Vista, 1996.

Annalee Call, Alien: Resurrection (also known as Alien 4), Twentieth Century–Fox, 1997.

Nola, Celebrity, Miramax, 1998.

Maya Larkin, Lost Souls, New Line Cinema, 1999.

Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted (also known as Durchgeknallt and Durchgeknallt—Girl, Interrupted), Columbia/Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1999.

(Uncredited) Herself, Being John Malkovich, USA Films, 1999.

Charlotte Fielding, Autumn in New York, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer/United Artists, 2000.

(Uncredited) Herself, Zoolander, Paramount, 2001.

Babe Bennett/Pam Dawson, Mr. Deeds, Columbia/New Line Cinema/Sony Pictures Releasing, 2002.

Nicola Anders, S1m0ne, New Line Cinema, 2002.

Narrator, The Day My God Died, Andrew Levine Productions, 2003.

Psychologist, The Heart Is Deceitful above All Things, Pretty Dangerous Films, 2004.

Voice of Donna Hawthorne, A Scanner Darkly (animated), Warner Bros., 2005.

Film Executive Producer:

Girl, Interrupted (also known as Durchgeknallt and Durchgeknallt—Girl, Interrupted), Columbia/Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1999.

Killing Mrs. Duke, 2001.

Film Producer:

The Day My God Died, Andrew Levine Productions, 2003.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

A People's History of the United States, Fox, 2000.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Herself, Innocence and Experience: The Making of "The Age of Innocence, 1992.

Rolling Stone '93: The Year in Review, Fox, 1993.

Inside the Academy Awards, TNT, 1995.

Herself, The Making of "Girl, Interrupted," 1999.

Herself, "Declaration of Independence," Independence Day 2001, ABC, 2001.

Herself, Reel Comedy: Mr. Deeds, Comedy Central, 2002.

(In archive footage) Charlotte Flax, Cher: The Farewell Tour, NBC, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

MTV 1989 Video Music Awards, MTV, 1989.

MTV 1990 Video Music Awards, MTV, 1990.

Herself, A Salute to Martin Scorsese (also known as The American Film Institute Salute to Martin Scorsese and The 25th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Martin Scorsese), CBS, 1997.

Herself, The ShoWest Awards, TNT, 1997.

Herself, The 69th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1997.

Presenter, The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2000.

Presenter, The 72nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 2000.

Herself, The 73rd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2001.

Presenter, The 2002 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 2002.

Moving Image Salutes Richard Gere, USA Network, 2004.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Voice of Alison Taylor, "Lisa's Rival," The Simpsons (animated), Fox, 1994.

Voice of Winona, "Monte Carlo," Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist (animated), Comedy Central, 1996.

Herself, "Another List," The Larry Sanders Show, HBO, 1998.

Guest, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 1999.

Fran, "The Last Temptation of Blank," Strangers with Candy, Comedy Central, 2000.

Melissa Warburton, "The One with Rachel's Big Kiss," Friends, NBC, 2001.

Guest, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, and SNL), NBC, 2001.

Guest host, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, and SNL), NBC, 2002.

Winona Ryder: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

"200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons," The Greatest, 2003.

(In archive footage) Herself, Celebrities Uncensored, E! Entertainment Television, 2003.

Herself, E! 101 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment History, E! Entertainment Television, 2003.

Herself, "Anthony Hopkins," The Hollywood Greats, 2004.

Also appeared in an episode of The Entertainment Business, Bravo.

Stage Appearances:

The Vagina Monologues, 2000.



Herself, The Making of "Alien: Resurrection," 1997.

Herself, Swatch Dogs and Diet Coke Heads, Blue Underground, 2001.

Herself, One Step Beyond: The Making of "Alien: Resurrection," 2003.

Music Videos:

As Debbie Gibson, "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two–Headed Love Child," by Mojo Nixon, 1989.

"The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)," by Cher, 1990.

"Without a Trace," by Soul Asylum, 1993.

"Talk about the Blues," by John Spencer Blues Explosion, 1998.


Narrator, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl—The Definitive Edition, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, 1995.



Newsmakers 1991, Gale, 1991.

Siegel, Scott, and Barbara Siegel, The Winona Ryder Scrapbook, Carol Publishing Group, 1997.

Thompson, Dave, Winona Ryder, Taylor Publishing Company, 1996.


Buzz, December, 1996, 1997.

Chicago Tribune, December 9, 1990, section 13, p. 8.

Cowboys and Indians, September, 1998, pp. 84–90.

Empire (Great Britain), March, 1995, pp. 77–81; October, 1997, p. 195.

Entertainment Weekly, December 5, 1997, pp. 18–22, 26; June 14, 2002, pp. 8–9.

Femme Fatales, November, 2000, pp. 40–43.

Harper's Bazaar, January, 1997, p. 92.

Heat, January 26, 2002, pp. 14–15.

InStyle, February, 2000, pp. 224–29; June, 2000, p. 250.

Interview, December, 1990, pp. 86–93.

Los Angeles, November, 1998, p. 80.

Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1990, calendar section, p. 4.

Marie Claire, August, 1999, pp. 10, 38–40.

Movieline, April, 1998, p. 86; March, 1999, pp. 60–61.

New Yorker, April 18, 1988; April 17, 1989.

New York Times, March 28, 1986; January 20, 1987; March 30, 1988; November 18, 1988; March 31, 1989; June 30, 1989; September 3, 1989; December 9, 1990, section 2, p. 11; November 14, 1999.

Now, December 26, 2001, p. 20.

People Weekly, January 20, 1997, pp. 67–68, 70, 72; May 12, 1997, p. 133.

Premiere, November, 1990; October, 1999, pp. 78–83.

Q, February, 2002, pp. 68–72.

Rolling Stone, May 18, 1989; December 4, 1990; December 7, 1990; May 16, 1991; March 10, 1994, p. 44.

Starlog, February, 1998.

Time, January 9, 1995, pp. 65–66.

TV Guide, August 10, 2002, pp. 12–17.

USA Today, April 11, 1997.

USA Weekend, October 6, 1995.

US Weekly, February, 2002, pp. 68–72; April 1, 2002, pp. 42–43.

Vogue, October, 1999, pp. 336–44.

Ryder, Winona

views updated May 21 2018

RYDER, Winona

Nationality: American. Born: Winona Laura Horowitz in Winona, Minnesota, 29 October 1971. Education: Studied drama at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Career: Acted on the stage in small theaters, early 1980s; discovered by a talent scout while studying at the American Conservatory Theater and given screen test, 1984; made screen debut in Lucas, 1986; cast as Michael Corleone's daughter in The Godfather: Part III, but dropped out because of overwork, 1989. Awards: Best Actress, Gijon Festival, for Square Dance, 1987; Best Female Lead Independent Spirit Award nomination, for Heathers, 1989; Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture Young Artist Award, for Great Balls of Fire!, 1989; Best Supporting Actress National Board of Review, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Golden Globe nomination, for Mermaids, 1991; Best Supporting Actress National Board of Review Award, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, for The Age of Innocence, 1993. Address: 350 Park Avenue, #900, New York, NY 10022–6022, U.S.A.

Films as Actress:


Lucas (Seltzer) (as Rina)


Square Dance (Home Is Where the Heart Is) (Petrie) (as Gemma)


Beetlejuice (Burton) (as Lydia Deetz); 1969 (Ernest Thompson) (as Beth)


Great Balls of Fire! (McBride) (as Myra Gail Lewis); Heathers (Lethal Attraction; Westerberg High) (Lehmann) (as Veronica Sawyer)


Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (Abrahams) (as Dinky Bossetti); Mermaids (Richard Benjamin) (as Charlotte Flax); Edward Scissorhands (Burton) (as Kim Boggs)


Night on Earth (Jarmusch) (as Corky)


Bram Stoker's Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola) (as Mina Murray/Elisabeta)


The Age of Innocence (Scorsese) (as May Welland)


The House of the Spirits (August) (as Blanca); Reality Bites (Stiller) (as Lelaina Pierce); Little Women (Armstrong) (as Jo March)


How to Make an American Quilt (Moorhouse) (as Finn Dodd)


The Crucible (Hytner) (as Abigail "Abby" Williams); Looking for Richard (Pacino) (as Lady Anne); Boys (Cochran) (as Patty Vare)


Alien Resurrection (Jean-Pierre Jeunet) (as Annalee Call)


Celebrity (Allen) (as Nola)


Girl, Interrupted (Mangold) (as Susanna Kaysen + exec pr)


Lost Souls (Kaminski) (as Maya Larkin); Autumn in New York (Chen); Tanto per stare insieme (Just to Be Together) (Antonioni)


By RYDER: articles—

"Winning Winona," interview with L. Tobey, in Interview (New York), May 1989.

"A Meeting of the Minds," interview with Timothy Leary, in Interview (New York), November 1989.

"Winona Ryder," interview with J. Giles, in Interview (New York), December 1990.

"Winona Ryder Beats the Heat," interview with David Wild, in Rolling Stone (New York), 16 May 1991.

"Devil in Disguise," interview with Brian Case, in Time Out (London), 5 February 1997.

On RYDER: articles—

Handleman, David, "Hot Actress: After Heathers Will Stardom 'Devirginize' Newcomer Winona Ryder?," in Rolling Stone (New York), 18 May 1989.

Hoban, Phoebe, "Wise Child," in Premiere (New York), June 1989.

Ansen, D., and L. Buckley, "Movies: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," in Newsweek (New York), 10 July 1989.

Harmetz, Aljean, "On and Off Screen, Winona Ryder Comes of Age," in New York Times, 9 December 1990.

Ostria, V., "Winona Ryder," in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), July/August 1991.

Hirschorn, Michael W., "Winona among the Grown-ups," in Esquire (New York), November 1992.

Abramowitz, R., "Neck Romance," in Premiere (New York), December 1992.

Clark, John, filmography in Premiere (New York), December 1992.

Current Biography 1994, New York, 1994.

Giles, Jeff, "Winona," in Rolling Stone (New York), 10 March 1994.

Campbell, V., and E. Margulies, "All the Right Moves," in Movieline (Escondido), March 1994.

Golden, E., and others, "Playing Favorites," in Movieline (Escondido), May 1994.

Frost, Polly, "The Woman in Winona," in Harper's Bazaar (New York), December 1994.

Allen, Jenny, "Little Woman, Big Star," in Life (New York), December 1994.

Corliss, Richard, "Take a Bow, Winona," in Time (New York), 9 January 1995.

Lee, C., "Starstyle," in Movieline (Escondido), September 1995.

Thomson, D., and others, "Who's the Best Actress in Hollywood?" in Movieline (Escondido), November 1996.

Smith, Rupert, "Little Woman Who Made It Big," in Radio Times (London), 22 February 1997.

Shapiro, M., and A. Vitrano, "Four Stars Who Make Their Own Rules," in Glamour (New York), January 1998.

Pond, S., "The Star Player," in Los Angeles, November 1998.

* * *

At an age when young people are in the throes of starting high school, Winona Ryder was making her screen debut in Lucas. When many teenagers are thinking about who to ask to the senior prom, Ryder was starring in Beetlejuice. And when young adults are finishing college and pondering their futures, Ryder already had appeared on-screen in Heathers, Great Balls of Fire!, Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids, and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Despite all of these credits, Ryder's career had not yet peaked. She would become one of the rare adolescent actresses to segue into a prominent adult career.

In her early films, Ryder more often than not was cast as an intelligent but essentially ingenuous and alienated young person. In Lucas and Square Dance, she effectively plays sensitive adolescents. Later, she did well as the friendless small-town eccentric in Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael; the thoughtful, distressed daughter in Mermaids; and, in particular, the teen who hangs out, albeit uncomfortably, with her high school's princess-shrews and eventually opts for independence in Heathers. But the role which brought her to popular attention was in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice, where she played a self-described "strange and unusual" adolescent with a morbid fashion sense. Not all of Ryder's characters were unconventional; in Edward Scissorhands, she is the otherwise average teen who comes to love an android. Two of her more important roles were in Francis Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, in which she plays both Elisabeta (who kills herself upon obtaining erroneous news that her beloved, the fifteenth-century Romanian king Vlad the Impaler, had died in battle) and Mina Murray (the fiancée of Jonathan Harker and the love-object of Dracula). In the Los Angeles segment of Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth, Ryder plays one of her more centered characters: Corky, a rough-around-the-collar type who would much rather be a mechanic than a movie star. Corky's character is contrasted with a chic casting agent who drips Beverly Hills and is wedded to her portable telephone.

Ryder's first truly compelling contemporary "adult" role came in Ben Stiller's Reality Bites, one of the earliest in a mid-1990s cycle of Generation X coming-of-age movies. The conflicts experienced by her character, Lelaina Pierce, mirror the personal and professional frustrations of post-Baby Boomer twentysomethings who grew up in dysfunctional families and are products of American pop culture. Ultimately, it is difficult for Lelaina to "find [her] own identity without having any heroes or role models." She also has come to adulthood in a declining economy. So despite her college diploma, she may not have a white-collar future. In one telling sequence, Lelaina, who was valedictorian of her college graduation class, applies for employment in a fast-food restaurant: the type of job which, under different circumstances, she would have had part-time back in high school. Still, some of the issues with which Lelaina deals are, in their essence, age-old. With whom does she fall in love? Does she sustain a relationship with the yuppie who is flashy and successful but lacking in substance and values? Or does she become involved with the product of grunge culture, who will never buy her a tennis bracelet but is at least honest in his response to the world around him? Ryder offers an attractive performance as Lelaina, capturing all of the character's confusion and frustration.

In her two Oscar-nominated roles to date, Ryder donned period costumes in adaptations of classic American novels. In Martin Scorsese's sumptuously produced but only intermittently engaging The Age of Innocence, based on the book by Edith Wharton, she is the proper young lady whom the old-fashioned lawyer Daniel Day Lewis is engaged to marry. And in Gillian Armstrong's Little Women, based on the Louisa May Alcott classic, she makes a vibrant Jo March, the story's central character. Her follow-up to Little Women was similar in that it too was directed by a woman, and tells the story of the strength in female relationships: Jocelyn Moorhouse's How to Make an American Quilt. As in Reality Bites, Ryder plays a perplexed contemporary twentysomething: Finn Dodd, who is about to be married and who spends a summer at the home of her grandmother and great aunt. There, she discovers truths about friendship and loving relationships from the members of a quilting circle.

During the late 1990s Ryder played a range of roles. She offers a spunky performance as an uncharacteristic villainess, a deceitful young woman who incriminates the married man with whom she is infatuated, in The Crucible, Arthur Miller's political allegory of the McCarthy/HUAC witchhunt. While she is sorely miscast as an action heroine in Alien Resurrection, she is a bewitching presence as an ambitious waitress/wannabe actress in Woody Allen's Celebrity. In Girl, Interrupted, Ryder plays yet another asocial young person, a character who may be directly linked to so many of her earlier roles. Even though she was in her late twenties when she made the film, she is believable as a recent high school graduate whose aimlessness and inability to fit into pre-feminist late 1960s upper-class Boston suburban society results in her being dispatched to a psychiatric hospital with a "borderline personality disorder." In Girl, Interrupted, Ryder displays a canny ability to communicate her character's thoughts and mental state. When given a meaty role—as she was in Little Women, The Crucible, or Girl, Interrupted—Ryder is a pleasure to watch. She remains one of the most accomplished actresses of her generation.

—Rob Edelman

Ryder, Winona

views updated Jun 11 2018


RYDER, WINONA (Winona Horowitz , 1971– ), U.S. film actress. Born in Winona, Minnesota, Ryder grew up on a commune in California. When she was 10, her parents enrolled her in acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She appeared in such popular films as: Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Mermaids (1990), and Night on Earth (1991). At age 22, Ryder achieved the status of one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses, with starring roles in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula (1992) and Martin Scorsese's Age of Innocence (1993), for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Ryder went on to act in such films as: The House of Spirits (1993), Reality Bites (1994), Little Women (Oscar nomination for Best Actress, 1994), How to Make an American Quilt. (1995), The Crucible (1996), Alien: Resurrection (1997), Celebrity (1998), Girl, Interrupted (1999), Autumn in New York (2000), Mr. Deeds (2002), Simone (2002), and The Darwin Awards (2005). She also produced and narrated the 2003 documentary The Day My God Died about the child sex slave trade in India.

In 1996 she was nominated for a Grammy for her reading of the audio book of The Diary of Anne Frank. In 1997 Ryder was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine.

add. bibliography:

N. Goodall, Winona Ryder: The Biography (1998); D. Thompson, Winona Ryder (1996).

[Jonathan Licht /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]