Man, I’m getting old. I can’t believe Winona Ryder is 40 effing years old. The actress turned the “magical” number yesterday. Throughout her long career in Hollywood, Ryder has done it all. From Generation X poster girl, to Oscar-nominated actress to celebrity shoplifter. Few actresses of her generation can claim to have played such a significant part in pop culture. Before Brangelina and Bennifer, Winona and Johnny Depp’s highly-publicized relationship ruled the tabloids in the 90s.
In honor of this milestone birthday, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane when Ryder was known more for her movie roles than her tabloid antics. As a teenager, she starred in two of my favorite 80s movies- “Beetlejuice” and “Heathers“. For the later, she was actually a teenager playing a teenager. Go figure right. Winona then graduated to star in the generation-defining film, “Reality Bites“. Instantly, she became the epitome of the Gen X girl. Guys wanted to date her, and girls wanted to be her.
Also in the 90s, Ryder wowed in classic period films like “The Age of Innocence” and “Little Women“. Both films earned her Academy Award nominations. She followed these up with major roles in blockbuster movies like “Alien Resurrection” with Sigourney Weaver and “Girl, Interrupted” with Angelina Jolie. She was the at the top of her game during this decade. Then came the 2000s when reality did actually bite.
Gone was her relationship with Depp. To boot, she instantly became a punchline when she was caught shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue. This lead to a four-year acting hiatus and a stint at a clinic to treat her battle with anxiety and depression. But as a new decade came, Winona started to turn it around. She made a smashing comeback in “Black Swan” which earned her rave reviews. Hopefully, the 2010s will signal a Winona renaissance. Happy 40th Birthday.
My favorite movies from her have to be “Beetlejuice”, “Heathers”, “Edward Scissorhands” and “Black Swan”. How about you? Be sure to cast your vote in the poll below.