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October 29, 2023

Portraits of Winona Ryder in the 1980s

Winona Ryder’s 80s version is perhaps the most magical of all. It’s nearly impossible to reconcile the fact that the iconic actress wasn’t even a famous actress for half the decade. And she was a child throughout the entire decade.

Ryder had her film debut in 1986 in the movie Lucas. Her career skyrocketed in the late 1980s with Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, the cult classic Heathers and the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls of Fire.

Ryder also serves as a mentor on set to the show’s ensemble of teen actors. “I want the kids to understand, this does not happen,” the actor said. “This is really unusual. And I’m always telling them, ‘The work is the reward!’ Because when I was that age, it was so hard to enjoy the fruits of my labor.”

“This business is brutal,” Ryder continued. “You’re working constantly, but if you want to take a break, they tell you, ‘If you slow down, it’s going to stop.’ And then it did slow down. So then you’re hearing, ‘It’s going to be impossible to come back.’ And then that changes to, ‘You’re not even part of the conversation.’ Like, it was brutal.”

Here’s a selection of 22 amazing vintage portraits of Winona Ryder from the late 1980s:

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