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WINONA RYDER is one of Hollywood's most respected actors. She has received two Academy Award nominations. As Jo in Gillian Armstrong's highly acclaimed version of the Louisa May Alcott classic Little Women, Ryder received a nomination for Best Actress. The year prior, she starred in Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her critically acclaimed performance also earned her a Golden Globe and National Board of Review Award. Her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress was for Mermaids in 1990.

Named for her birthplace, Winona, Minnesota, Ryder grew up in Petaluma, California and began her career at age 13 when she was spotted by a talent agent during a performance at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre. Her subsequent screen test led to her motion picture debut in Lucas in 1986. While her talent was clear from the beginning, it was Heathers that put Ryder in a class by herself. Directed by Michael Lehman, the film became a cult classic among young adults.

Ryder constantly challenges herself as an actress, moving from contemporary to period to futuristic pieces. She has completed over 20 feature films, working with such acclaimed directors as Nicholas Hytner (The Crucible), Al Pacino (Looking for Richard), Jocelyn Moorehouse (How To Make An American Quilt), Gillian Armstrong (Little Women), Martin Scorsese (The Age of Innocence), Bille August (The House of the Spirits), Francis Ford Coppola (Bram Stoker's Dracula), Jim Jarmusch (Night on Earth) and Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice).

For television, Ryder has lent her voice talents to two highly acclaimed shows: "The Simpsons" and "Dr. Katz." She also narrated the Grammy-nominated album "Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl."

More recently, Ryder starred opposite Sigourney Weaver in the blockbuster sci-fi thriller Alien: Resurrection, directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet, and appeared in Woody Allen's Celebrity. She will next be seen in acclaimed director of photography Janusz Kaminski's directorial debut Lost Souls.

Ryder continues to make her mark in the film industry. Having optioned four novels in the past year alone, she is currently developing them with plans to star.

In the spring of 1997, Ryder was honored with ShoWest's Female Star of the Year Award and received an honorary degree from San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre, where her career as an actress began. She also served as a juror for the 51st Annual Cannes International Film Festival under Martin Scorsese.

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