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She has been open about her personal struggles with anxiety and depression. In 2010, she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards: as the lead actress in When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story and as part of the cast of Black Swan. When asked how she wanted her name to appear in the credits, she suggested "Ryder" as her surname because a Mitch Ryder album that belonged to her father was playing in the background.She also reunited with Burton for Frankenweenie (2012). Her next film was Square Dance (1987), where her teenage character creates a bridge between two different worlds – a traditional farm in the middle of nowhere and a large city.In 1993, she starred in the melodrama The House of the Spirits, based on Isabel Allende's novel.Ryder played the love interest of Antonio Banderas' character."I was wearing an old Salvation Army shop boy’s suit. In 1989, Ryder graduated from Petaluma High School with a 4.0 GPA. Ryder's agent initially begged her to turn the role down, saying the film would "ruin her career".As I went to the bathroom I heard people saying, ‘Hey, faggot’. I fell to the ground and they started to kick the shit out of me. The school kicked me out, not the bullies..." As a result, Ryder ended up being home-schooled that year. and Ryder's performance was critically embraced, with The Washington Post stating Ryder is "Hollywood's most impressive ingénue...Ryder's personal life has attracted significant media attention. Although the part went to Annabeth Gish, writer/director David Seltzer noticed her talent and cast her in his film Lucas (1986), about a boy called Lucas (Corey Haim) and his life at high school.Her relationship with Johnny Depp in the early 1990s and a 2001 arrest for shoplifting were constant subjects of tabloid journalism. In 2009, she returned to the screen after a brief hiatus following her shoplifting arrest, appearing in high-profile films such as Star Trek. In 1985, Ryder sent a videotaped audition, where she recited a monologue from the novel Franny and Zooey by J. Shot in the summer of 1985, the film co-starred Charlie Sheen and Kerri Green with Ryder playing Rina, one of Lucas's friends at school.



Ryder's performance was acclaimed; critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "Winona Ryder, in another of her alienated outsider roles, generates real charisma." Following Mermaids, she had the lead role in Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, a film about an adopted child, Dinky Bossetti, played by Ryder.Principal filming was done in Denmark and Portugal.The film was poorly reviewed and a box office flop, grossing just $6 million on its $40 million budget.Ryder has one full sibling, a younger brother, Urie (named in honor of the first Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin), and two half-siblings from her mother's prior marriage: an older half-brother, Jubal Palmer, and an older half-sister, Sunyata Palmer. Lydia quickly finds herself the only human with a strong empathy toward the ghosts and their situation.

Ryder's family friends were her godfather, Timothy Leary, the Beat Movement poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the science fiction novelist Philip K. In 1978, when Ryder was seven years old, she and her family relocated to Rainbow, a commune near Elk, Mendocino County, California, where they lived with seven other families on a 300-acre (120 ha) plot of land. She developed an interest in acting after her mother showed her a few movies on a screen in the family barn. The film was a success at the box office, and Ryder's performance and the overall film received mostly positive reviews from critics.

The film was given a limited release, but received critical praise.