Stranger Things actor Winona Ryder – the 80s and 90s queen who ruled the silver screen in cult classics, Oscar-nominated films, and resplendent period dramas was an actor adored and revered by all. However, for the Gen Z’s and late millennials, this name may have gotten you wondering “Wait! Who that?” if not for her mind-blowing performance in Netflix’s hit show, Stranger Things!
Stranger Things has Winona Ryder playing the role of Joyce Byers whose son, at the very beginning of the first season, goes missing, exposing her and his friends to mysteries one could never fathom. Throughout her career, she has played some award-winning roles, successfully establishing herself as a critically acclaimed actor. However, until the coming of Stranger Things, her career went into a pseudo hibernation period. Just like her characters in films, she too has lived a rather interesting life, fighting off demons of a different kind, however. So, let’s take a look into the Less Known Facts of the only and only, Winona Rider!
- Let’s start with the name
Winona’s paternal side of the family lived in Russia and Romania and was of Jewish origin. They had the surname Tomchin. During the unfortunate event of the Holocaust, most of her family were killed. Only a few managed to escape the wrath of the Nazis and settled in The United States Of America, adopting the surname of Horowitz.
‘Winona Rider’, however, is the name the Stranger Things fame has chosen as stage name chosen as a token of homage to the now late musician Mitch Ryder.
Her first name ‘Winona’ is actually a tribute to the city in which she was born in Minnesota. It is said that she was born in a farmhouse and not in a hospital!
- What started it all off
‘Beetlejuice’ is without a doubt Winona’s most successful film. However, little do people know that she was very close missing this once in a lifetime opportunity? At the time this film was made, she was only 15. It is said that she found the storyline rather bizarre and turned down the role upon hearing it! Only after a bit of persuading did she take up the iconic role of Lydia Deetz; the role that made her a star overnight. If she didn’t succumb to the persuasion Alyssa Milano would have been cast as Lydia. Who knows if we would have had Stranger Things fame, Winona Ryder, if not for her career taking off with Beetlejuice.
- Young romance
Back when Winona was 18, she was involved in a romantic relationship with then co-star Johnny Depp while working in Edward Scissorhands together. The couple were the literal #couplegoals of their time. Depp even got a tattoo on his arm as a tribute to his sweetheart which read “Winona Forever”. The couple even got engaged in July 1990. Unfortunately, the couple went their separate ways 3 years later. Allegedly, extreme media attention was a major factor for their break up. ( Uhh it’s the papzz again!).
The tattoo was covered up and now reads “Wino Forever”.
- Just some friendly teasing?
There is no doubt that Winona and Keanu Reeves ave worked together a lot. Their on-screen chemistry is something to die for. Many fans do wonder whether this on-screen chemistry ever resulted in an off-screen romance. Well, I guess we just have to keep wondering.
However, the couple may be married!
Apparently, in one of their movies, a real priest performed the marriage ceremony of their characters in the film. This solves the mystery behind why Ryder starts most of her texts to Reeves with a “Hello Husband”
- Stranger Surprise
This may be a little hard to believe, but Winona Ryder found the success of Stranger Things rather surprising. She has admitted in interviews that the show’s success, and her resurging fame in the digital world, took her by surprise.
That was our little peak into Stranger Things actor, Winona Rider’s less known facts!
Featured image credits :Getty / Vera Anderson