It’s hard to believe that our childhood star Winona Ryder is turning 45 this year, having watched her go from obscure support actress to strong female lead. She has spent time both inside and out of the Hollywood spotlight, and her life has not been without drama even behind-the-scenes.
Here’s a closer look at one of the coolest actresses who manages to balance success with being the embodiment of the cult classic.
She’s terrified of water
When only 12 years old, Ryder almost drowned in what must have been a traumatic near-death experience. She overcame this fear to take part in the underwater scenes of Alien: Resurrection, however due to complications on set nearly had another close encounter!
Coulda, woulda, shoulda
Despite gracing films like Beetlejuice, Girl, Interrupted, and A Scanner Darkly, what is more amazing are the films she almost took on. These include The Godfather III, Fight Club, even the part of Rose in Titanic!
But opportunity often comes with a price, and for Ryder it was no different.
You’ve got to grow up sometimes
In a now well-known media debacle, Ryder was arrested in 2001 at age 30 for shoplifting over $5,500 worth of designer clothes in Beverly Hills. The actress went on to testify that she was clinically depressed at the time of the incident and taking large doses of painkillers which affected her judgement.
“I have Winona. That’s all I need,” so said actor Johnny Depp, who proposed to Ryder five months into their relationship, the two of them becoming one of the most publicized couples of the 90’s. She was only 18 when they met on the set of Great Balls of Fire!. They fell in love almost immediately, but it wasn’t meant to last. Though the split was painful for both of them, they managed to remain friends afterwards. Says Ryder, “He’ll always be in my heart. Forever. Kind of funny that word.”
Stranger Things have happened
Since her return to film, Ryder has appeared in several video productions that renewed the industry’s interest in her. However, it was her role in Stranger Things that launched her back into the hearts of viewers. Playing a single mother, Ryder navigates a supernatural world searching for answers about her missing son. The Netflix series has garnered huge success, with the second season premiering on the streaming service just before her 45th birthday this October.
So what lies ahead for this gothic femme fatale? The same as ever; unpredictable brilliance.