Following her breakthrough in 1988's Beetlejuice, Winona Ryder emerged as one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation. Adept at playing characters ranging from depressed, angst-ridden goths to Edith Wharton debutantes, the saucer-eyed, porcelain-skinned Ryder has attained critical respect in addition to widespread popularity. Ryder was born in and named after the city of Winona, MN, on October 29, 1971. The daughter of communal hippies and the goddaughter of LSD guru Timothy Leary, she grew up on a commune in Northern California. Ryder's family moved to Petaluma when she was ten; following regular abuse from her classmates, who targeted her for her unconventional, androgynous appearance (she was once jumped by a group of boys who had mistaken her for a gay boy), she was home schooled. At the age of 11, she joined the American Conservatory Theatre, and was soon trying out for movie roles. An audition for the part of Jon Voight's daughter in Desert Bloom failed to yield a role but did land the actress an agent, and at the age of 14, Ryder -- who had changed her last name from Horowitz -- made her film debut in Lucas (1986).
Finding popularity with her turn as a suicidal teen who has more in common with the ghosts living in her attic than with her yuppie parents in Tim Burton's black comedy Beetlejuice, Ryder quickly became one of the most steadily employed actresses in Hollywood. She continued to corner the alienated and/or confused teen market with starring roles in a number of offbeat films, including the 1989 cult classic Heathers, Great Balls of Fire (in which she played Jerry Lee Lewis' 13-year-old bride), Burton's Edward Scissorhands, and Mermaids.
The early '90s saw Ryder begin to branch out from teen roles toward parts requiring greater maturity. Following a turn as a taxi driver in Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth (1991), the actress starred in Francis Ford Coppola's lavish adaptation Bram Stoker's Dracula and then went on to play Antonio Banderas' lover in the critically disembowelled The House of the Spirits. Greater success came with Martin Scorsese's 1993 adaptation of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Ryder won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Daniel Day-Lewis' picture-perfect wife, and in the process started getting taken seriously as an actress capable of playing more adult characters.
A second Oscar nomination -- this time for Best Actress -- followed the next year for Ryder's portrayal of Jo March in Gillian Armstrong's adaptation of Little Women. The same year, the actress took on an entirely different role in Reality Bites, in which she played a twentysomething suffering from post-graduation angst. Similar twentysomething angst followed in How to Make an American Quilt (1995) but was then traded for Puritanical adultery, hair extensions, and another turn with Daniel Day-Lewis in Nicholas Hytner's 1996 adaptation of The Crucible.
Following a starring role in the highly anticipated and almost as highly criticized Alien Resurrection in 1997, Ryder had a turn as the waif-ish object of Kenneth Branagh's affections in Woody Allen's Celebrity. She managed to escape much of the criticism leveled at both of these films, and in 1999 and 2000, she reappeared with lead roles in two films, Girl, Interrupted, in which she played a mental institution inmate in the female answer to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and the supernatural thriller Lost Souls.
Winona shed her skin once more in 2002, when she took the romantic lead in Mr. Deeds, a typically goofy Adam Sandler vehicle. This was a surprising move for Ryder, who, despite making a niche for herself in nearly every imaginable genre, has rarely delved into the world of madcap romantic comedies. Of course, 2001-2002 wouldn't be complete without mention of Winona's inexplicable thievery; the young millionaire was convicted for stealing $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue. 2003, meanwhile, meant more unfamiliar territory for Ryder -- she left fiction behind for a part in The Day My God Died, a documentary, and prepared for her anticipated 2004 role in director Milos Forman's drama Embers.
More fun stuff about Winona Rider
Birth name: Winona Laura Horowitz
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)
Her trade mark:
Frequently plays a character who writes. In most of her films, she's played a journalist, reporter, a writer, or just a teenager who writes in a journal or diary.
Her real hair color is blonde but when she made her first major film, Lucas (1986), her hair color was dyed black. She was told to keep it that color and it has stayed that color since.
Was engaged to Matt Damon. 
Her December 22, 1999 guest spot on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992) was her first-ever appearance on a talk show. She did it to promote Girl, Interrupted (1999), the first film she has executive produced. She clearly had first-timer's jitters but settled in comfortably.
Injured knee while filming Girl, Interrupted (1999). [22 March 1999]
Ranked #42 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Chosen by "People" magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World." 
She briefly checked herself into a hospital when she was 20, because she was suffering from depression, anxiety attacks, and exhaustion, resulting from constantly working on films.
Graduated from Petaluma High School with a 4.0 GPA.
Received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood in October 2000, and, for the event, was voted Best Dressed Celebrity of the Week by Entertainment Weekly.
Helped Italian designer Giorgio Armani promote his Manhattan chain of stores. 
Had to turn down the role of Nina in The Object of My Affection (1998) due to scheduling conflicts. 
Chosen as one of the "Top Players Under 35" list by People magazine. 
Began work on Girl, Interrupted (1999), which took four more years to make it to the screen. 
The role of Nola in Celebrity (1998) was actually written for Drew Barrymore. 
When she was seven, though there was no electricity on the commune where they lived, Winona's mother began to run a old movie theater in a nearby barn, and would screen movies all day. She would allow Winona to miss school to watch movies with her.
Independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch wrote a part specifically for her in Night on Earth (1991), as a tattooed, chain-smoking cabbie who dreams of becoming a mechanic.
She dedicated the film Little Women (1994) to Polly Klass, a young girl from her hometown who was kidnapped and brutally murdered. She offered a $200,000 reward for anyone with information on the subject, and remains a strong supporter in the Polly Klass Foundation.
Auditioned for the Marla Singer role in Fight Club (1999), which eventually went to Helena Bonham Carter.
Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was a close friend of her parents.
Upset with MGM for refusing to pre-screen Autumn in New York (2000), saying she was very proud of the film and that the studio was giving it a bad name before it was even released. 
Refused to do promotion for Lost Souls (2000). 
Signed on to "The Girl You Want." After a few weeks of preproduction, she received a new version of the script, which she hated, and tried to get out of her contract. Touchstone Pictures threatened to sue her if she did, and so she completed the film. The film's title was changed to Boys (1996) and sat on the shelf for more than a year. After it finally got its release, it was released in less than 100 theaters in North America and grossed less than five hundred thousand dollars. 
Her favorite book is "Catcher in the Rye". She says she owns every paperback edition and translations.
In late 1999, she started her own music company, "Roustabout Studios".
Presented Best Picture contender The Cider House Rules (1999) at the 72nd Academy Awards. [March 2000]
Appeared on the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" (1975) as herself. [19 May 2001]
Presented singer Bjork at the 2001 Academy Awards in the category Best Original Song.
Had to turn down the role of Alice Sutton in Conspiracy Theory (1997), which went to Julia Roberts, because of scheduling conflicts.
The film Lost Souls (2000), though it was released in late 2000, was actually shot in 1998, and New Line Cinema kept in on the shelf for two years.
Received a Grammy nomination for her reading of the 1995 novel "Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl". 
Had one date with Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller, who wrote the song "Rollerskate Skinny" about her.
Turned down the lead role in Sabrina (1995) because she felt she could not fill Audrey Hepburn's shoes and that the role was marked by sexism. 
Her agent begged her not to do Heathers (1989), saying her career would be over.
Enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco at the age of 12.
The first house she bought was in the Hollywood Hills. She soon moved, saying she never fitted in.
Says Sarah Miles's performance in Ryan's Daughter (1970) inspired her to become a professional actress.
First auditioned for the role of Blanca in The House of the Spirits (1993) when she was sixteen, but the part went to Pernilla August. The film took years to get made, and when it finally did, August had to drop out at the last minute due to pregnancy, and Winona replaced her.
When she dropped out of The Godfather: Part III (1990), rumors began to circulate that she was pregnant, that she had been discouraged by then-boyfriend Johnny Depp, had a drug problem, etc... She said in an interview later that year that she arrived in Rome to film and simply could not get out of bed. A doctor was called and ordered her to return home and sleep.
Dated Johnny Depp for many years. He had a tatoo of her name and after they broke up he had it reduced to WINO FOREVER.
Was considered for the part of Janet in a big-screen remake of "Three's Company" (1977) opposite Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz, but the project was eventually cancelled.
Suffered severe stomach pains and was doubled over in pain. She was sent to her hotel room in London and later was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a severe gastroenterological disorder. She left the UK on August 24th. The sickness caused her to drop out of the film "Lily and the Secret Planting (2002)," and her part eventually went to Kate Winslet instead. Winona was said to have been very passionate about her role in the film and was eartbroken to leave it. The incident brought to mind the similar 1990 stomach flu that caused her to drop out of The Godfather: Part III (1990) two days before filming began, causing a lot of controversy. [16 August 2001]
Was arrested in Beverly Hills for allegedly stealing clothing items and carrying illegal pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription. Her lawyer denied the accusations, and Winona was released later that evening on $20,000 bail. Despite her alleged crime, Beverly Hills police described her as "very friendly, polite, and cooperative" and "a nice lady." [December 12, 2001]
Smokes a pack of cigarettes a day!
Appeared on the cover of the June 2002 cover of W magazine wearing a "Free Winona" T-shirt. "Free Winona" T-shirts became popular over the Internet following her December 22, 2001 arrest, with many fans sporting them and purses in support.
In March 2002, she appeared in her second Caffé Latté commercial, as well as a commercial for Subaru.
guest on the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" (1975). [18 May 2002]
Broke her arm during the filming of Mr. Deeds (2002), in the scene where she and Adam Sandler are riding bikes down a flight of stairs.
November 6, 2002. She was found guilty of vandalism and grand theft in connection with the shoplifting charges dating from back on December 12, 2001. Sentencing is scheduled for December 6, 2002. She was acquitted of a third charge, burglary.
Her sister is Sunyata Palmer and her brother is Uri Horowitz
6 December 2002 - Sentenced to 480 hours of community service, three years' probation, $3700 in fines, and $6355 in restitution for her arrest on shoplifting charges.
Measurements: 34C-22-34 (1992- on set of "Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)"), 35C-23 1/2- 34 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
Was the host during Will Ferrell's final episode of "Saturday Night Live" (1975).
Dropped out of Eulogy (2004).
Turned down the role of Katrina in Sleepy Hollow (1999), which went to Christina Ricci.
A fan of the film Grey Gardens (1975).
Suffers from insomnia. She allegedly has had a habit of talking on the phone with actor Al Pacino, who also suffers from insomnia.
Suffers from hydrophobia due to a trauma she received when she nearly drowned at the age of 12. This caused problems when she had to act in some of the under-water scenes in Alien: Resurrection (1997). The scenes had to be retaken endless times because of this.
When asked why is she always playing teenagers, during a press junket for Mermaids (1990) in 1990: "Like, I'm nineteen. What am I supposed to do, play a judge?!"
"I read biographies of the greats, and they were so messed up that I thought I'd better mess myself up. But I couldn't. I'm too small."
"For a long time I was almost ashamed of being an actress. I felt like it was a shallow occupation. People would be watching my every move."
On Heathers (1989): "It's a brilliant piece of literature, and I call it literature because it really is. I held it up next to 'Catcher in the Rye' and all the great books that I've read."
Alien: Resurrection (1997) $2,800,000
Ryder: "I'm Still Treated Like a Criminal"
Troubled actress Winona Ryder is furious she's still being discriminated against for her shoplifting criminal record, despite serving 480 hours of community service. The Girl, Interrupted star was arrested in 2001 for stealing designer clothes worth more than $7,600 from New York department store, Saks Fifth Avenue. But she recently discovered the public still regards her as a felon, when she was banned from signing a letter encouraging President George W. Bush to sign the environmentally-friendly Kyoto agreement, because of her criminal record. She fumes, "I was all ready to sign, then this girl said, 'Hey, hold on, aren't you a convicted felon?' I said, 'Yes, so what?' and she told me I'm not eligible to sign official Senate petitions because of my criminal record, which was pretty embarrassing."
Winona Ryder Cast in ''O Jersualem''
Winona Ryder and Saïd Taghmaoui ("Three Kings") will star in "O Jersualem" for director Elie Chouraqui ("Harrison's Flowers").
The film, based on the book by Domenica Lapierre and Larry Collins about the creationof the state of Israel, tells the story of a young Palestinian and his Jewish friend and the tragic events that separate them. Filming is scheduled to begin April 10 in Greece.
Ryder Back in the Spotlight
Actress Winona Ryder has signed up for her first lead role since being convicted on shoplifting charges. The Hollywood beauty - who was forced to take a break from her career while on trial for stealing goods from plush Los Angeles store Saks Fifth Avenue in 2002 - is reuniting with director Michael Lehmann in independent comedy Mary Warner. Ryder will play a slacker actress who experiences a series of life-changing misadventures after eating a batch of marijuana-laced brownies made by her roommate. Lehmann directed Ryder in 1989 black comedy Heathers, which is often credited as the film that transformed the aspiring actress into an A-list star. Shooting on Mary Warner is expected to begin in Los Angeles in January.
Damon Will Only Date "Civilians"
Hollywood hunk Matt Damon has vowed only to date "civilians" in the future, following the media circus surrounding best pal Ben Affleck's ill-fated romance with Jennifer Lopez. Affleck and Lopez were bombarded with fervent attention during their 18 months together, and Damon has decided he'll never date a fellow celebrity again after observing it all. He says of his romances with Winona Ryder and Minnie Driver, "That was early on. These days I definitely only date, as we say, 'civilians'." Damon is currently dating former bartender Luciana Barroso.
Winona Stuns Restaurant Patrons with Outburst
Hollywood wildchild Winona Ryder shocked onlookers in a trendy Los Angeles restaurant - by having a loud argument on her mobile phone and then fleeing in tears. The Heathers beauty, 32, was dining with a couple of pals when she suddenly insisted on borrowing a mobile phone. One onlooker tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "Winona was sitting with two women and they seemed quite happy. But towards the end of the meal she began to look a bit agitated and told one of her companions to give her the mobile phone. The lady seemed reluctant to hand it over but gave in - and Winona ran with it into the ladies toilets." While in the bathroom, sources say Winona argued with a mystery caller before shouting, "No no Ricky, you promised." The source continues, "Some of the women went into the ladies' to check what was going on and found Winona squatting on the floor looking very upset. She screamed at them to leave her alone before locking herself in a cubicle." Minutes later, Winona fled the restaurant in tears.
Ryder Comes Out To Honor Gere
Reclusive Winona Ryder came out to honor Richard Gere in New York on Tuesday night , and referred to the veteran actor as her "favorite person". American Gigolo star Gere was being honored with a Lifetime Achievement gala dinner at the American Museum of the Moving Image. And Ryder, who played Gere's lover in movie flop Autumn In New York, told her former leading man, "It's completely an honor for me to be here to honor you, Richard - my favorite person." But it wasn't such a fun night for the private Gere. He said, "I hate these things, especially when it's focused on me." Ryder wasn't the only celebrity who turned up to honor the 54-year-old - Sharon Stone, Kim Cattrall, Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington were also among the guests.
Winona Snubbed by Defense Attorney
Hollywood actress Winona Ryder has been rudely snubbed by her defense attorney Mark Geragos - who failed to invite her to his Christmas bash. Geragos - who failed to clear Ryder's name of shoplifting charges at Los Angeles boutique Sak's Fifth Avenue last year - invited other clients Michael Jackson, murder suspect Scott Peterson and rapper Nate Dogg to the glitzy bash but left Ryder off the guest list. And sources close to the legal eagle cite Ryder's guilty verdict as the reason Geragos is trying to distance himself from her. One whispers, "I think he left her out because he lost her case and he looked bad losing. He had a really bad case with her. Here's a guy who has a potential pedophile and killer on his invitation and he won't put a shoplifter on it. It's hilarious." Gossip site Page Six also notes that Geragos sent one of his fellow lawyers to accompany Ryder for a progress report on her community service that took place on Monday.
Ryder Back in Court
Winona Ryder was back in court in Beverly Hills Monday for a probation update on her shoplifting conviction. The Girl, Interrupted actress was caught stealing clothing from Beverly Hills' Saks Fifth Avenue store in December, 2001, and she was sentenced a year ago. But her return to the courthouse was a happier one yesterday - a judge complimented her on her conduct and thanked her for complying with all the terms and conditions of her probation. Ryder, dressed in black and wearing a hunting cap, is now due back in court for another progress hearing on 26 May , and again in a year - when she has been told the sentence will be reduced to a misdemeanor if she continues to behave herself.
Winona Fights for Convicted Murderers
Troubled actress Winona Ryder has taken to wearing a bracelet honoring three convicted murderers that she's convinced are innocent. The names of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelley, aka The Memphis Three, and the dates of their arrest are etched on the bracelet she wears around her right wrist. Ryder, who has been fighting for the convicted men's freedom along with fellow stars like Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and ex-love Johnny Depp, plans to add the trio's release date to the bangle. She says, "They are in my hearts every day, and I will never give up until they're out." The three men were teenagers when they were arrested for the ritualistic murder of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993, and Echols was sentenced to death. A 1996 TV documentary, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills, raised questions about the guilt of the three men, and prompted a number of stars to fight for the release of the trio. Ryder, who was found guilty of shoplifting a Beverly Hills store last year and placed on three years probation, attended an exhibit to raise awareness for the release campaign in Los Angeles at the weekend.
Woody Forced To Drop Two Stars From Next Film
Two weeks after being forced to drop Robert Downey Jr. from his next film because of the high cost of completion insurance, Woody Allen has had to drop Winona Ryder from the film as well -- for the same reason, the New York Post "Page Six" column reported today (Tuesday). Ryder is on probation for shoplifting. Downey has been battling drug addiction.
Winona Joins Death-Row Battle
Troubled actress Winona Ryder is fronting an art show campaign to save three death-row inmates in America - nine months after her own courtroom conviction. The 'West Memphis Three' were found guilty of murdering a young boy in a Satanic ritual, but Winona believes they're innocent and is supporting the art show next month to raise money for their legal defense fund. Cruel And Unusual Punishment at the Sixspace Gallery in Los Angeles will include artwork by a series of stars including shock rocker Marilyn Manson. The 'West Memphis Trio' are also the topic of an upcoming movie starring Ricki Lake, Jason Lee and Michael Madsen.
Winona Ryder's Doctor Charged
The doctor who had his license revoked for prescribing painkillers to troubled Hollywood starlet Winona Ryder has been charged with illegally practicing medicine. Jules Lusman lost his license in December after he was shamed for prescribing addictive painkillers to a number of Hollywood luminaries, including the pretty Edward Scissorhands actress. In the latest twist in Lusman's story he is accused of illicitly injecting two women with Botox and Perlane at his palatial home in Brentwood, California.
Winona Set to Sell Stolen Goods?
Troubled actress Winona Ryder is planning to keep the luxury items she was found guilty of stealing from Saks Fifth Avenue - so that she can sell them. Sources tell showbiz website Page Six that she plans to auction the clothes off for charity and burnish her image in the process. Ryder is said to feel that since she has to pay Saks restitution, the items are rightfully hers. But at the moment, the clothes - $5,500 worth - are still locked up in the Beverly Hills courthouse's exhibit room, according to Los Angeles Superior Court clerk's office representative Kyle Christopherson. He says, "Ryder's lawyers haven't filed anything yet. As far as we know everything is the property of Saks, but they haven't claimed it. If no one does, it will eventually be destroyed." After she was found guilty of felony grand theft and vandalism, Ryder was ordered to pay $10,000 in fines, make restitution to Saks for the stolen goods, perform 480 hours of community service and directed to take drug and psychological counseling.
Ryder Lands New Role
Elfin Winona Ryder is set to make her first movie since being convicted of shoplifting last year - a comedy called Eulogy. The Girl, Interrupted actress will join Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano, plus Debra Winger and Hank Azaria in the black comedy. It follows three generations of a family who come together for the funeral of the patriarch - unveiling a litany of family secrets and covert relationships.
Winona Ryder on Suicide Watch
Troubled star Winona Ryder has been put on suicide watch at Los Angeles' Cedars Sinai hospital. The actress has reportedly been overheard saying, "Sometimes I feel like doing myself in," in the wake of her conviction on shoplifting charges earlier this month. Her weight has plummeted to less than 98 pounds and the Heathers actress has cut herself off from her family after a row with mother Cindy over her addiction to prescription drugs. A friend says, "She feels folks in and out of the movie industry are laughing and sniggering behind her back. Her confidence has gone and she's become a recluse. Now she's made these remarks, which some people find scary."
Drugs Denial for Ryder
Shoplifting Hollywood star Winona Ryder doesn't believe she has a drug problem, despite evidence that she has been caught with vast amounts of prescription pills. The 31 year-old Girl Interrupted actress received 37 separate prescriptions from 20 doctors between January 1996 and December 1998, as revealed in her probation report. And according to American tabloid The National Enquirer, troubled Ryder still won't admit she has an addiction. A source says, "She still maintains that she injured a disc in her back while making the 1997 movie Alien: Resurrection and has been taking prescription drugs to combat the pain." Ryder was arrested last December on shoplifting charges and drugs including Vicodin, Diazepam and morphine sulphate amongst others were found in her handbag. She was sentenced this month to 480 hours community service, three years probation and drug and psychological counseling. The source adds, "Those close to her insist she has a whopper of a painkiller addiction."
Winona Won't Work for the Cameras
Shoplifting screen beauty Winona Ryder will carry out her community service like any other citizen - but will be shielded from "interference from outside media." 31 year-old Ryder was convicted of grand theft and vandalism in November and has been ordered to carry out 480 hours of community service as part of her sentence. She will work for three months from January at a number of organizations specializing in the treatment and prevention of serious diseases. One of these is Caring for Children and Families with Aids, whose spokesperson Jackie Gelfrand says, "We're going to do everything we can to treat her like all volunteers." Dark-haired Ryder will also work at the Foundation for the Junior Blind and The City of Hope Medical Center in Durante, California.
Winona Wears It Well
Convicted shoplifter Winona Ryder has found that any publicity is good publicity - she's been lined up to advertise a designer whose clothes she stole. Chic fashion guru Marc Jacobs has approached troubled Ryder to front a new promotional campaign. Company president Robert Duffy, says, "We would like to use her. She's been a very good customer of ours." Girl Interrupted star Ryder wore Jacob's clothes throughout her recent trial. However, one of the items she was found to have stolen from ritzy store Saks Fifth Avenue was a $825 Marc Jacobs top. Despite her conviction and the revelation of a prescription drug addiction, it seems 31-year-old Ryder is still a bankable star. Advertising expert Donny Deutsch explains, "We live in a world where notorious is good."
Berry's Words of Support for Ryder
Die Another Day beauty Halle Berry feels great sympathy for convicted shoplifter and fellow actress Winona Ryder - and has even sent her letters of support. Berry, who plays Jinx in the twentieth installment of the Bond series, particularly feels for the Heathers star because she's been through a similar public trial herself. In February 2000, Berry sped off after she ran a red light and crashed her rental car into another driver on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles - leaving the driver of the damaged vehicle with a broken wrist. In a judgment which may give hope to Winona, Berry was not jailed, but forced to pay $13,500 and given 200 hours of community service. The Swordfish star says Ryder "lives at the corner of my street, so I left her a couple of notes along the way. I just wanted to tell her, 'Hang in there. Hold your head up, and it's all going to be okay - no matter how it works out.'"
Winona Rider Guilty
Hollywood star Winona Ryder has been found guilty of grand theft of personal property and vandalism in Beverly Hills. The Oscar-nominated actress escaped a charge of commercial burglary as the week-long trial wrapped up in California on Wednesday. The jury was unanimous after a full day of deliberating. Ryder, dressed in burgundy and black and appearing pale and pensive in court, listened to the verdict and then turned to chat to her lawyer Mark Geragos, who is expected to appeal. In declaring the actress not guilty of commercial burglary, the jury agreed that there was no evidence to support claims that Ryder had entered Beverly Hills' Saks Fifth Avenue store last December with the intent to steal. The movie star must now wait until December 6 to be sentenced. Legal experts feel sure Ryder will not be given jail time and expect her to be handed probation for her shoplifting spree. The actress has no previous convictions.
Winona Ryder Found Guilty
A jury in the Winona Ryder shoplifting trial today found the actress guilty of grand theft and vandalism, but not guilty of burglary. The decision came at 2:45pm EST, after 5 ½ hours of deliberation that took place over two days. The verdict was considered a victory for the L.A. district attorney's office, which had aggressively argued that the actress had shoplifted over $5,500 worth of goods from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills last December, citing testimony from Saks personnel as well as surveillance videotape purportedly showing Ryder concealing various clothing items. The defense claimed that Saks and the district attorney's office had overzealously pursued Ryder because of her celebrity status. Ryder, who celebrated her 31st birthday during the trial, is scheduled for sentencing on December 6, almost a year after her arrest on December 12, 2001. The actress could face up to three years in prison for each count, but given her spotless record, the possibility is considered unlikely; prosecutor Ann Rundle has also stated that her office would ask only for probation, community service and restitution to Saks Fifth Avenue. Ryder currently remains free on bail, as the court has determined that the Oscar-nominated actress is not a flight risk.
Work Offers Flood in for Winona
She may be in the middle of an ugly court case, but Winona Ryder's profile has improved dramatically since her arrest. The Reality Bites beauty, who is being tried for allegedly shoplifting in Saks Fifth Avenue store, has received many work offers in the last year and now has choices to make about her next project. Movie critic George Rush says, "It's an open secret that Winona has been offered several movie scripts over the past few months. As far as producers are concerned, she is golden right now." The Edward Scissorhands star's agent agrees with Rush. She says, "Yes, I can tell you we have been getting a steady stream of offers. Of course, it's been a pretty traumatic personal time for Winona, but on a work level things are looking very good indeed."
Winona: "Director Told Me To Shoplift"
Troubled actress Winona Ryder claimed she was told to steal clothes from a Los Angeles department store, to help her prepare for a movie role, a court heard today. Ryder is standing trial at Beverly Hills Superior Court in California, charged with grand theft, burglary and vandalism, after she was allegedly caught leaving a Saks 5th Avenue department store without paying for clothes worth $5,500 last December. A security guard from the store today told the court the actress insisted a director told her to steal. Giving testimony, Ken Evans said he confronted Ryder after watching her acting suspiciously, and that when caught, she apologized for stealing. He said, "She was polite but apologetic. She said, 'I'm sorry for what I did' and kept her head down. Then she said, 'I did it because a movie director told me to shoplift to prepare for a movie role.'" Evans said he became suspicious of the star when he realized she wasn't checking the sizes and prices of items she selected. He then claims he watched her enter a changing room, and then leave carrying fewer clothes than she entered with. He says, "When the defendant came out, all the items were no longer in her possession. I also noticed that one of the shopping bags she had been carrying was a lot fuller." Evans says he and colleague Coleen Raney apprehended Ryder after Raney had spotted the actress cutting security tags from clothes she had picked up. He adds, "She (Raney) said she saw the defendant take out a pair of scissors and cut the sensor tags out of the clothing. Coleen also said he witnessed her concealing several of those items into a shopping bag." The pair waited until Ryder had left the store before apprehending her. The trial continues.
Winona Topless in Front of Security Guards
Overzealous security guards got more than they bargained for when they lifted Winona Ryder's top while searching for alleged stolen shopping items - as she wasn't wearing a bra. The actress' defense team is claiming their client was humiliated by guards at the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills while she waited for police to arrive last December when she was charged with shoplifting. As the delayed trial gets underway, Ryder's legal team claim security staff lifted the movie star's top to reveal her breasts and then cheekily asked her for tickets to see an upcoming film. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles District Attorney's legal eagles are laughing off the defense's claims, and are instead trying to portray Ryder as a cool, calculated and brazen shoplifter, who came to the store prepared for a shoplifting spree. They claim she brought scissors and five plastic bags full of tissues so she could cut tags off items and smuggled them out of the store. They also claim one of their witnesses is a security guard who peeked through slats in a dressing room door and saw the actress cutting off tags and stashing clothes into her bags. Ryder, dressed all in black and wearing a headband, sat quietly through the first day of the trial, occasionally shaking her head in disbelief as the prosecutors made their opening statements.
Security Guard "Thought Winona Was Homeless Person"
The security chief at the store where Winona Ryder was arrested on shoplifting charges mistook her for a homeless person at first. As the preliminary hearing in the case resumed Thursday, Kenneth Evans, the security manager at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, also said six anti-theft sensor tags that had been cut off of merchandise were found concealed in the store after Ryder's arrest. Evans testified he found four of the tags stuffed in the pockets of a designer coat, three of them still bearing material and cut-out marks that matched two handbags and a hair bow that had been found in Ryder's possession when she was arrested. He said the two other tags turned up in the chair padding of a fitting room that the Girl, Interrupted, star had used on the day. Store security officer Colleen Rainey also testified, telling the court that she saw Ryder cut security tags from merchandise. She said, "She was using a pair of scissors. She cut a sensor tag off the black ... purse and a handbag." Ryder, 30, has pleaded innocent to shoplifting and drug possession charges stemming from her December 12 arrest. The Heathers star, who has remained free on bail, was accused of trying to steal goods worth about $4,800. Evans testified that when he first noticed Ryder on store video cameras, "I thought she was a homeless person." In questioning Evans, Geragos suggested security personnel had targeted the film star, but Evans denied that was the case. Late Thursday, the judge in the case decided there's enough evidence to move the trial from a preliminary hearing to an arraignment. The movie star and her legal team must now decide whether she's going to plead guilty or not guilty when an arraignment date is set.
Winona's Unlucky Break Confirmed
TV and paparazzi cameramen have been ordered to stay at least ten feet away from Winona Ryder when she returns to court on Thursday after an arm break controversy. Gossips were cynical when Ryder's preliminary hearing to set a date for a possible shoplifting trial was cut short in Beverly Hills on Monday so the actress could seek medical help for a suspected broken arm. But it seems her concerns have been realized--her attorney claims three different doctors have confirmed the actress has broken her right arm. Attorney Mark Geragos says, "It turns out that she has a broken arm, a fracture on the elbow and acute swelling." Ryder's scheduled return to court Tuesday was postponed as a result of her injury, a repeat of one she suffered on the set of her new film Mr. Deeds. Although press cameramen are being blamed for the crush outside the court that led to the injury, it seems the break came as a sheriff's deputy fell on Ryder, pinning her against her attorney.
Arm Injury Breaks Up Ryder's Return To Court
Winona Ryder's messy shoplifting drama took a new turn yesterday when the actress was allowed to leave a Beverly Hills courtroom despite an unfinished preliminary hearing so a doctor could take a look at her injured arm. Ryder returned to court after a forty-five minute lunchbreak with her right arm bandaged, claiming she had been badly injured in a paparazzi crush outside. The judge took pity on the actress--despite ordering her to appear in person for the hearing after she sent her attorney to court ahead of her--and allowed her to leave the courthouse to seek medical help. Ryder is charged with grand theft, vandalism, commercial burglary and possession of a controlled substance following an arrest outside Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Beverly Hills in December. Store detectives claim the actress was caught with nearly $5,000 worth of stolen items. The movie star, who has already delayed the hearing four times, will be back in court later today, when it's hoped the preliminary hearing will be completed and the judge will decide whether to press on with a shoplifting trial.
TV Crews Mob Ryder, Fracture Her Elbow
Winona Ryder suffered a fractured elbow as she was struck by a TV camera and a sheriff's deputy was hit on the head by another TV camera Monday as TV crews mobbed her as she arrived at a Beverly Hills courthouse for a hearing on her shoplifting case. As Ryder sat in court holding an icepack to her elbow later, L.A. Superior Court Judge chastised the reporters and photographers, then ordered them to stay 10 feet away from the actress.
Winona Vows To Keep Her Clothes On
Winona Ryder is revolted by the idea of appearing nude on screen despite her reputation as a stunner. Recently seen starring alongside Richard Gere in Autumn In New York, Winona claims she'd never reveal all, no matter how it might further her career. "I've never felt very sexy," Winona says. "I don't think most directors think of me with sex in mind, which is fine with me because I don't think I'll ever be happy enough with my own body to strip in front of the camera." Despite being brought up by parents with a laid-back attitude to sex and nudity, Winona claims that she's always been a bit of a prude, adding, "I've always been very shy and I'm not comfortable with nudity, even with the guys I have spent time with. It would take an incredible film with a beautiful scene to ever get me to appear naked. And you'd still have to get me to drink a bottle of vodka to do it."