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Winona Ryder BiographyWinona Ryder was born Winona Horowitz and named after her the town in which she was born, Winona Minnesota. She grew up in a ranch commune in Northern California where there was no electricity. She is the Goddaughter of Timothy Leary and her parents were friends of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and once edited a book called "Shaman Woman Mainline Lady" an anthology of writings on the drug experience in literature - this included one piece by Louisa May Alcott. Winona Ryder was later to star as Jo in this author's Little Women. She moved with her parents to Petaluma (near San Francisco) when she was ten and enrolled in acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater. At 13 she had a video audition to the film Desert Bloom, but didn't get the part. Director David Seltzer, however, spotted her and cast her in Lucas. When telephoned to ask how she'd like to have her name appear on the credits, she suggested Ryder as her father's Mitch Ryder album was playing the background. Ryder was selected for the part of Mary Corleone in The Godfather: Part III, but had to drop out of the role after catching the flu from the strain of doing the films Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael and Mermaids back to back. She said she didn't want to let everyone down by doing a substandard performance. She later made The Age of Innocence which was directed by Martin Scorsese, who she believes to be "the best director in the world".
SalaryAlien: Resurrection (1997): $2,800,000
TriviaHer 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. 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. Ranked #42 in Empire (UK) magazine's the Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time list. [October 1997] Born at 11:00am, CDT. Graduated from Petaluma High School with a 4.0 GPA. Helped Italian designer Giorgio Armani promote his Manhattan chain of stores.  Chosen as one of the Top Players Under 35 list by People magazine.  The role of Nola in Celebrity (1998) was actually written for Drew Barrymore.  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. Auditioned for the Marla Singer role in Fight Club (1999), which eventually went to Helena Bonham Carter. 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.  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.  In late 1999, she started her own music company, Roustabout Studios. Appeared on the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" (1975) as herself. [19 May 2001] Had to turn down the role of Alice Sutton in Conspiracy Theory (1997), which went to Julia Roberts, because of scheduling conflicts. Had one date with Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller, who wrote the song "Rollerskate Skinny" about her. Her agent begged her not to do Heathers (1988), saying her career would be over. The first house she bought was in the Hollywood Hills. She soon moved, saying she never fitted in. 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. 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." 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] 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. 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. 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). Dropped out of Eulogy (2004). A fan of the film Grey Gardens (1975). 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. Her friendship with best friend Gwyneth Paltrow ended in the late 1990s because their lives grew apart. She is the 2,165th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her great friend, Anthony Hopkins attended the ceremony. November 2000. She serves on the Board of American Indian College Funds. 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.". She was harassed her first week of junior high school when a group of bullies mistook her for an effeminate, scrawny boy. She was given an honorary Master of Fine Arts degree from the American Conservatory Theater. She has a younger brother Uri Horowitz (named after Yuri Gagarin), an older half-brother Jubal Palmer and an older half-sister Sunyata Palmer. 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 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". 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. Was considered for the part of Velma Kelly in Chicago (2002), but Catherine Zeta-Jones was cast instead. Was considered by director Neil LaBute for a part in The Wicker Man (2006). She however turned it down. The rock group, "The Wynona Ryders" named themselves after her.
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