Stranger Things Star Winona Ryder Celebrated by Fans on Her 50th Birthday

    Two-time Academy Award nominee Winona Ryder recently celebrated her 50th birthday and there were fans of plenty of different movie properties that wanted to share their love of the actress with on social media. Since making her debut in the movie Lucas in 1986, Ryder has starred in some of the best loved movies of late 80s and early 90s, including Beetlejuice, Mermaids, Heathers and Edward Scissorhands, and despite some personal setbacks, she has rarely been away from screens for long and most recently has become known for her role in Netflix hit Stranger Things, which has seen her nominated for Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

    Winona Ryder was born in Winona, Minnesota on October 29th, 1971, and her early life was littered with challenges. As a ten-year-old, she was bullied for looking like an effeminate boy by other children, and she continued to experience bullying through into high school. When she was chosen by Tim Burton to appear as Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice, she believed it would change the way her classmates treated her, but years later she recounted, “I did Beetlejuice, and it was a big movie, but it didn’t help my high-school experience. In fact it made it worse. I was a freak and a witch.”

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    While it didn’t help her school life become any easier, the role did lead to her appearing in another Tim Burton movie, Edward Scissorhands, alongside her then-boyfriend Johnny Depp. Ryder reprised her role for a Super Bowl commercial earlier this year. After that movie, she would go on to star in Mermaids with Cher, Bob Hoskins and a very young Christina Ricci, Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Age of Innocence, all of which gained her critical acclaim.

    Ryder worked frequently throughout the 90s, but the new millennium didn’t begin the way she planned when she was arrested for shoplifting in December 2001, which affected a number of planned movie appearances. She did appear in a small number of movies across the following four years, but was mostly on hiatus until 2006. Over the following decade, Ryder came out fighting, appearing a number many movies in quick succession, such as J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, The Informers, the critically acclaimed Black Swan, The Ice Man and provided a voice in Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. In 2016 she took on the role of Joyce Byers in Netflix’ runaway hit Stranger Things, playing the mother of a 12-year-old who goes missing from home in unexplained circumstances, and she delivered a neurotic and anxious performance that reminded many of just how good an actress she could be.

    Across the years, many of Ryder’s movies have picked up a big following, so there was a lot of love being shown for the star as she hit her milestone birthday. Whether it was her older fans who have followed her career ups and downs since her early roles in Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, or those who have only known her as the mother of Will Byers in Stranger Things, there were plenty of best wishes being sent her way as fans celebrated her 50th birthday on social media. Of course, Ryder will be back in the fourth season of Stranger Things next year, but in the meantime we wish her a happy birthday weekend and here are some of the messages from well-wishers shared on social media:

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