Anyone who was of age in the 80s and 90s knows that Winona Ryder was just about everywhere, like appearing on the silver screen in cult classics, in Oscar-nominated dramas, and even period pieces. But for the more modern and younger audiences, the timeless actress is best known for her role as Joyce Byers, the devoted and tough mom on Netflix’s Stranger Things.
We’ve all seen her onscreen in all kinds of roles, but few people know that the actress has some real skeletons in her closet. If you’re interested to know a few things about what might just be one of your favorite actresses, then keep reading.
Here are some lesser-known facts about Winona Ryder…
Ryder was born on October 29, 1971, in Minnesota. Word has it that she was born in a farmhouse rather than a hospital. If you’re wondering why her parents decided to call her Winona, it’s because she was named in honor of the city where she entered the world.
She also has the middle name Laura, which is a tribute to her parents’ friend, Laura Huxley, who was the wife of Aldous Huxley, who wrote the sci-fi classic Brave New World. You could say that Ryder was destined to gravitate towards dark stories. Both of her parents were published, authors, and editors. Ryder’s mother worked in video production and her father was a bookseller.
Over the years, Ryder has collaborated with Keanu Reeves. In most of their movies together, they play a romantic couple. Many fans have wondered if their onscreen chemistry ever developed into anything off-screen. Well, the answer is yes and no.
The pair never officially dated, but funnily enough, they might be married. According to Ryder, when she and Reeves shot a scene where their characters got married in Francis Ford Coppola’s film adaptation of Dracula, there was a real priest that performed the ceremony. Fun fact: Ryder starts most of her texts to Reeves with a special greeting: “Hello, husband.”
Ryder was only 15 years old when she starred in Beetlejuice, which virtually made her a star overnight. But as it turns out, Ryder needed a lot of persuading to agree to be in the film! Ryder wasn’t sure about the bizarre story, but if she had stuck with her first instinct, fans would have seen Alyssa Milano play the now-iconic role of Lydia Deetz instead.
After the success of Beetlejuice, Ryder was offered a lead role in the indie film Heathers, a dark comedy about teens that includes a school massacre. Ryder was urged by her agent to avoid the film, as it could kill her career when it was only beginning. But she earned critical acclaim for her performance.