On this day: Winona Ryder is born

October 29 1971: From Heathers to that store in Beverley Hills


Winona Horowitz, perhaps better known as Ryder, was one of the most-sought after Hollywood actresses of the late 1990s.

The daughter of a Jewish author and publisher Michael Horowitz, she grew up on a commune with no electricity and was homeschooled for a period of time.

While still a teenager, she appeared in Tim Burton’s dark comedy Beetlejuice, a year later she challenged expectations of high school films with the cult favourite Heathers.

She has won acclaim for her work; Oscar-nominated for both The Age of Innocence and Little Women. Other successes have included the film adaptation of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, Woody Allen’s Celebrity and a turn alongside Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted - a film she also served as executive producer for.

She was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000, when she was just 29. But nowadays, she is perhaps better known for her dramatic personal live, including a three year romance and engagement with Johnny Depp, he co-star on Edward Scissorhands, which lead to a tattoo on his arm that now reads “Wino Forever”.

And of course, in 2001 she made headlines around the world for a shoplifting incident in Beverley Hills.

She has been animated in The Simpsons, had a cameo in Zoolander and kissed Rachel Green on Friends. This year she will be back on screen alongside her fellow Jewish actresses Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

What the JC said about Girl, Interrupted: A vivid, unsettling performance as a troubled ‘60s teenager whose alleged suicide attempt with a jar of aspirin and a bottle of vodka (“I had a headache,” she claims) leads her middle-class parents to committ her to a private mental instituion…despite shallow psychology…it is involving and thought-provoking. Ryder, also executive producer, easily matches Jolie’s flashy, Oscar-nominated performance.

Watch Winona Ryder's shoplifting video here

See more from the JC archives here

Last updated: 2:59pm, January 28 2011