Winona Laura Horowitz (born October 29, 1971), better known under her professional name Winona Ryder, is an American actress who has appeared in film genres ranging from drama and comedy to science fiction. Her first significant role was as a goth teen in the 1988 Tim Burton film Beetlejuice, which won her critical and commercial recognition. After making various appearances in film and television, Ryder continued her career with the cult film Heathers (1989), a satire of teenage life. Ryder won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and an Academy Award nomination in the same category for her role in The Age of Innocence. In 2000, Ryder received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California.
Her real hair color is blonde but when she made her first major film, Lucas (1986), her hair color was dyed black. She was told to keep it that color and with the exception of Edward Scissorhands (1990)it has stayed that color since.
Was engaged to Matt Damon. 
Her December 22, 1999, guest spot on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (1992) was her second-ever appearance on a talk show. She did it to promote Girl, Interrupted (1999), the first film on which she served as executive producer. She clearly had jitters but settled in comfortably. She made her first appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (1986) with Mermaids (1990) co-star Cher.
Injured knee while filming Girl, Interrupted (1999). [22 March 1999]
Ranked #42 in Empire (UK) magazine’s the Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time list. [October 1997]
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. 
Born at 11:00am, CDT.
She briefly checked herself into a hospital when she was 20, because she was suffering from depression, anxiety attacks, and exhaustion, resulting from constantly working on films.
Graduated from Petaluma High School with a 4.0 GPA.
Received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, in October 2000, and was voted Best-Dressed Celebrity of the Week by Entertainment Weekly for the event.
Helped Italian designer Giorgio Armani promote his Manhattan chain of stores. 
Had to turn down the role of Nina in The Object of My Affection (1998) due to scheduling conflicts. 
Chosen as one of the Top Players Under 35 list by People magazine. 
Began work on Girl, Interrupted (1999), which took four more years to make it to the screen. 
The role of Nola in Celebrity (1998) was actually written for Drew Barrymore. 
Although there was no electricity on the commune where they lived, when Winona was seven, her mother began to run an old movie theater in a nearby barn and would screen movies all day. She allowed Winona to miss school to watch movies with her.
Independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch wrote a part specifically for her in Night on Earth (1991), as a tattooed, chain-smoking cabbie who dreams of becoming a mechanic.
She dedicated the film Little Women (1994) 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.
Auditioned for the Marla Singer role in Fight Club (1999), which eventually went to Helena Bonham Carter.
Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was a close friend of her parents.
Upset with MGM for refusing to pre-screen Autumn in New York (2000), saying she was very proud of the film and that the studio was giving it a bad name before it was even released. 
Refused to do promotion for Lost Souls (2000). 
Signed on to “The Girl You Want.” After a few weeks of preproduction, she received a new version of the script, which she hated, and tried to get out of her contract. Touchstone Pictures threatened to sue her if she did, and so she completed the film. The film’s title was changed to Boys (1996) and sat on the shelf for more than a year. After it finally got its release, it was released in less than 100 theaters in North America and grossed less than five hundred thousand dollars. 
Her favorite book is J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye.” She says she owns every paperback edition and translations.
In late 1999, she started her own music company, Roustabout Studios.
Presented Best Picture contender The Cider House Rules (1999) at the 72nd Academy Awards. [March 2000]
Appeared on the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” (1975) as herself. [19 May 2001]
Presented singer Björk at the 2001 Academy Awards in the category Best Original Song.
Had to turn down the role of Alice Sutton in Conspiracy Theory (1997), which went to Julia Roberts, because of scheduling conflicts.
The film Lost Souls (2000), though it was released in late 2000, was actually shot in 1998, and New Line Cinema kept in on the shelf for two years.
Had one date with Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller, who wrote the song “Rollerskate Skinny” about her.
Turned down the lead role in Sabrina (1995) because she felt she could not fill Audrey Hepburn’s shoes and that the role was marked by sexism. 
Her agent begged her not to do Heathers (1988), saying her career would be over.
Enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco at the age of 12.
The first house she bought was in the Hollywood Hills. She soon moved, saying she never fitted in.
Says Sarah Miles’s performance in Ryan’s Daughter (1970/I) inspired her to become a professional actress.
First auditioned for the role of Blanca in The House of the Spirits (1993) when she was sixteen, but the part went to Pernilla August. The film took years to get made, and when it finally did, August had to drop out at the last minute due to pregnancy, and Winona replaced her.
Dropped out of The Godfather: Part III (1990). She said in an interview later that year that she arrived in Rome to film and simply could not get out of bed. A doctor was called and ordered her to return home and sleep.
Dated Johnny Depp for many years. He had a tattoo of her name and after they broke up, he had it reduced to “Wino forever.”
Was considered for the part of Janet in a big-screen remake of “Three’s Company” (1977) opposite Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz, but the project was eventually cancelled.
Suffered severe stomach pains and doubled over in pain. She was sent to her hotel room in London, England, UK, and later was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a severe gastroenterological disorder. She left the UK on August 24th. The sickness caused her to drop out of the (unreleased) film Lily and the Secret Planting (2002) and her part eventually went to Kate Winslet instead. Winona was said to have been very passionate about her role in the film and was heartbroken to leave. The incident brought to mind the similar 1990 stomach flu that caused her to drop out of The Godfather: Part III (1990) two days before filming began, causing a lot of controversy. [16 August 2001]
Was arrested in Beverly Hills for allegedly stealing clothing items and carrying illegal pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription. Her lawyer denied the accusations, and Winona was released later that evening on $20,000 bail. Despite her alleged crime, Beverly Hills police described her as “very friendly, polite, and cooperative” and “a nice lady.” [December 12, 2001]
Appeared on the cover of the June 2002 cover of W magazine wearing a “Free Winona” T-shirt. “Free Winona” T-shirts became popular over the Internet following her December 22, 2001 arrest, with many fans sporting them and purses in support.
Broke her arm during the filming of Mr. Deeds (2002), in the scene where she and Adam Sandler are riding bikes down a flight of stairs.
November 6, 2002. She was found guilty of vandalism and grand theft in connection with the shoplifting charges dating from back on December 12, 2001. Sentencing is scheduled for December 6, 2002. She was acquitted of a third charge, burglary.
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.
Measurements: 34C-22-34 (1992- on set of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)”), 35C-23 1/2- 34 (1996 designer notes), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
Was the host during Will Ferrell’s final episode as a regular cast member of “Saturday Night Live” (1975).
Dropped out of Eulogy (2004).
Turned down the role of Katrina in Sleepy Hollow (1999), which went to Christina Ricci.
A fan of the film Grey Gardens (1975).
Suffers from insomnia. She allegedly has had a habit of talking on the phone with actor Al Pacino, who also suffers from insomnia.
Suffers from aquaphobia due to trauma she suffered at the age of 12 when she nearly drowned. This caused problems when she had to act in some of the underwater scenes in Alien: Resurrection (1997). The scenes had to be re-shot numerous times because of this.
Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998
Her friendship with best friend Gwyneth Paltrow ended in the late 1990s because their lives grew apart.
Persuaded Universal Pictures to turn the February 1994 Los Angeles premiere of Reality Bites (1994) into a benefit for the Polly Klaas Foundation. She also had enough clout to see that Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” – Polly’s favorite book – was made into Little Women (1994), with Winona in the title role and the film dedicated to Polly Hannah Klaas.
She is the 2,165th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her great friend, Anthony Hopkins attended the ceremony. November 2000.
Billy Wilder and William Holden are two artists for whom Ryder has great respect.
She serves on the Board of American Indian College Funds.
March 17, 2000, San Francisco International Film Festival awarded the prestigious Peter J. Owens Award to her for brilliance, independence and integrity.
Had several films that were announced but later canceled in the mid-2000s: Robert Altman’s “The Widow Claire,” Norman Jewison’s “Embers,” Jonas Åkerlund’s “Oskur Fishman,” and Elie Chouraqui’s “Beyond Friendship.”.
Her participation in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004) was reported by Italian newspapers months before the official announcements were made; Ryder claims she met author J.T. LeRoy in 1993 at an opera.
She was harassed her first week of junior high school when a group of bullies mistook her for an effeminate, scrawny boy.
VH1’s “100 Greatest Teen Stars” (2006) (mini) ranked her seventh.
She was given an honorary Master of Fine Arts degree from the American Conservatory Theater.
In 1995, she made yet another significant artistic departure, recording a spoken word reading of the famous diary of Anne Frank, for which she received a Grammy nomination. Winona became one of the few non-musicians to have been nominated for both an Oscar and a Grammy for different projects.
She has a younger brother Uri Horowitz (named after Yuri Gagarin), an older half-brother Jubal Palmer and an older half-sister Sunyata Palmer.
Her father’s family was originally named ‘Tomchin’, however she stated that they were wrongly assigned the name of the family that they were travelling with when they arrived at Ellis Island, in 1906.
Avid reader of 1960s literature (Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac), but also F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde, and many more. All-time favorite book is “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.
She is also into music and plays the guitar. Her favorite band at one point was ‘The Replacements’, but she also loves Tom Waits, Cocteau Twins, Wilco and many others.
She owns some of Hollywood’s stars’ most priceless possessions (Louis Armstrong’s bongo drums among others). She also has a collection of vintage Hollywood costumes, including Russ Tamblyn’s jacket from West Side Story (1961), Leslie Caron’s dress from An American in Paris (1951), Claudette Colbert’s gown from It Happened One Night (1934), Olivia de Havilland’s blouse from Gone with the Wind (1939), and Sandra Dee’s bikini from the “Tammy movies”.
Has done various commercials for cars (Subaru), coffee (Café Latté) and for Italian designer Giorgio Armani. Also participated in a clothing campaign (2003) for designer and friend Marc Jacobs (IV).
Most of her early childhood was spent in Petaluma,Sonoma county. The family spent some time in Columbia with Chilean revolutionaries in the mid-70s. They moved to a 300 acre commune in Elk, Mendocino County with seven other families in the late 1970s.
Her godfather is Timothy Leary.
Was considered for the part of Velma Kelly in Chicago (2002), but Catherine Zeta-Jones was cast instead.
Good friends with Courtney Love.
Was considered by director Neil LaBute for a part in The Wicker Man (2006). She however turned it down.
Took her last name Ryder from singer Mitch Ryder of the Detroit Wheels. She saw one of his albums in her father’s record collection.
The rock group, “The Wynona Ryders” named themselves after her.
Was offered the role of Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie in Steel Magnolias (1989). However Julia Roberts, who went on to receive a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.