Birth Name: Winona Horowitz
Place of Birth: Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA
Date of Birth: October 29, 1971
*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*possibly Belgian (mother)
Winona Ryder is an American actress. A Golden Globe Award-winner, she has starred in the movies Beetlejuice and Reality Bites, among many others. She was given her first name after a city near her hometown, in Minnesota. Her parents are Cynthia V. (née Istas), an author and video producer, and Michael D. Horowitz, an author and editor.
Her father is Jewish (his family immigrated from Russia and Romania). Her mother’s maiden name, Istas, is often found in Belgium.
Winona’s father is an atheist and Winona’s mother is a Buddhist. Winona has identified herself as Jewish, at least in an ethnic sense.
Winona’s paternal grandfather was Sol Horowitz (the son of Louis Jorge Tomchin and Mary Yetta Friedland). Sol was born in Minsk, Minski Rayon, Minskaya Voblast’, Belarus, to Jewish parents. His family’s surname was changed from “Tomchin” to “Horowitz”.
Winona’s paternal grandmother was Ethel Frankel (the daughter of Joseph Frankel and Bertha Yuffe). Ethel was born in Brooklyn, to Romanian Jewish parents (from Botosani). Joseph was the son of Aaron Frankel and Gitza Rivka Godel. Bertha was the daughter of Avram Yuffe and Perla Weidenfeld.
Source: Genealogy of Winona Ryder (focusing on her father’s side) – http://www.geni.com
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