In 1988 a wild, crazy, comedy fantasy film captured the box office and made millions of fans. Beetlejuice starred Michael Keaton, Alex Baldwin and Geena Davis. It won an academy award for Best Makeup and three Saturn awards for Best Horror Film, Best Makeup and Best Supporting Actress for Sylvia Sydney. But critical acclaim and widespread recognition was given to the 17 year-old actress that played the Goth teenager, Lydia Deetz. She was born in Winona, Minnesota as Winona Horowitz, but we’ve only known her as Winona Ryder.
Her Hollywood star rose brightly when her next teen role became a landmark cult film and teen hit, Heathers. The roles and the awards came quickly with the 1990 Mermaids earning her an academy award nomination. Later the same year she appeared in Edward Scissorhands and in 1992 Winona starred in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
In 1993 she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and an Academy Award nomination in the same category for The Age of Innocence. The next year, 1994, Winona was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for Little Women.
Then the Hollywood tabloids started having fun with her volatile relationship with Johnny Depp (seems like he has lots of relationship troubles, have you noticed?).
Winona continued to grow as an actress in the ‘90s with some juicy roles each year. Reality Bites became a Generation X hit in 1994, Alien: Resurrection in 1997, A Woody Allen movie, Celebrity, in 1998 and Girl Interrupted in 1999.
One year later she appeared in a film she did not audition for. Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills, caught Winona Ryder on tape shoplifting thousands of dollars in merchandise. She had enough money in the bank to buy all the merchandise in the store, but she was on a downward spiral of depression and mental anguish. In a public trial she was found guilty. Today she says that incident saved her life and forced her into treatment and sanity again.
However, Hollywood thought she was “hands-off” and roles disappeared. She was absent from the screen most of the last decade. She popped up in a Star Trek movie in 2006 and then she showed her talent didn’t leave her in 2010 when both her lead roles got her nominated for two Screen Actor Guild Awards for Best Actress. The first was When Love is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story, and The Black Swan.
And here she is back again currently starring in the Netflix series, “Stranger Things.”
I swore I wouldn’t binge watch another series, but thanks Winona, because of you I just did. It’s a fun, not too scary series that brilliantly pays tribute to every classic movie of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Amy and I had fun yelling out the names of movies that certain scenes captured. We came up with: Aliens, ET, Stand By Me, The Goonies, Close Encounters, and a lot of Steven King.
Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, I think Winona’s name is going to be mentioned when award season rolls around again. It will be EMMY time.