Winona Laura Horowitz was born on October 29, 1971 in Winona, Minnesota to parents Cindy and Michael. Being named after the town you were born in is rather creative. “Winona” is an Indian Sioux word that means “first born.” But, as they say in Hollywood, “the plot thickens.” A little known fact about actress Winona Ryder is that her real surname isn’t her father’s. Instead, it’s her grandmother’s. Her father’s family name is “Tomchin.” To add to it all, Ryder’s nickname is “Noni”. If you ever read in the tabloids that Winona Ryder is suffering from Identity Crisis, now you’ll know why!
The blonde-haired girl (this is not a misprint) was raised up in a commune in Northern California for the first decade of her life. Her mother is a “White Anglo-Saxon Buddhist.” Her father is an atheist who had a bookstore that sold poetry and books about new age thought. Ryder’s favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Then, her family moved to Petaluma, California. Winona Ryder started taking acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater.
An interesting note about Winona Ryder’s childhood is that, her family always had a tree at Christmastime… it was a Cannabis tree with a star mounted on top.
Winona Ryder has appeared in such films as “Great Balls of Fire!” (1989)- which earned her a Young Artist Award in 1990; “The Age of Innocence” (1993)- she was nominated for the “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” Academy Award; “Alien: Resurrection” (1997)- she won another nomination for “Best Supporting Actress” from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films in 1998. Plus, Ryder won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for “Favorite Supporting Actress” in the Sci-Fi category for the same movie.
A little known fact about actress Winona Ryder is that she jumped on the starring part of “Alien” before she even laid eyes on the script. Unfortunately, the script called for her to play in some underwater scenes. That was a problem since Ryder suffers from aquaphobia, a fear of deep water. It took several tries, but she finally managed to complete the watery scenes. Which was worth it, since the film earned her a $3 million paycheck.
Real Hair Color
Ryder was born with blonde hair. Another little known fact about actress Winona Ryder is that, when she made the movie, “Lucas” in 1986, her hair was dyed black for the role. She liked her new look so much that she has kept it that way.
Five-foot-four-inch tall actress Winona Ryder once bought a home in Beverly Hills. She sold it shortly afterwards because she felt she didn’t “fit in.” She now has an apartment New York, but she loves to spend her free time in San Francisco. A little known fact about actress Winona Ryder is that she’s the proud owner of a collection of classic Hollywood costumes. She owns Sandra Dee’s bikini from her Tammy movies, Leslie Caron’s dress from An American in Paris, Olivia de Havilland’s blouse from “Gone With the Wind, and more. Ryder also owns Louis Armstrong’s bongo drums.