"Lucas" (1986) Ryder was just 14 when she made her screen debut in this coming-of-age story, playing the best friend to a lonely high-school nerd.
"Beetlejuice" (1988) Ryder's big breakthrough came in Tim Burton's comic horror fantasy "Beetlejuice," playing goth teen Lydia, whose parents are haunted by an irritating spirit played by Michael Keaton.
Ryder went on to have a tempestuous affair with her "Edward Scissorhands" costar Johnny Depp, who got a tattoo on his right arm that read "Winona Forever." After the pair broke up, he altered it to read "Wino Forever," which seemed easier to live up to.
"The Age of Innocence" (1993) Ryder played the American society girl wooed by Daniel Day-Lewis in this adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel, directed by Martin Scorsese. Ryder scored an Oscar nomination for her work.
In 1993, Ryder offered a reward of $2000,000 for the safe return of Polly Klaas, a 12-year-old girl who disappeared from her mother's home in Petaluma, California, where Ryder was raised. Klaas was later found strangled.
"Reality Bites" (1994) Ben Stiller's directorial debut and a quintessential Gen X document, with Ryder among a group of Houston college grads struggling with life and love.
"Little Women" (1994) The fifth screen adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel about an East Coast family just after the Civil War. Ryder played the emotional Jo, an aspiring writer, a classic role for which she was again nominated for an Oscar.
"Alien: Resurrection" (1997) Ryder dove straight into the sci-fi genre with this fourth installment in the "Alien" franchise. She played Annalee, a spaceship crew member with a secret.
Ryder's career was temporarily sidetracked in 2001, when she was arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue (here she appeared in court in 2003 with her lawyer, Mark Geragos). She later called the arrest "the best thing that could have happened" as she reassessed her career and life values.
"Mr. Deeds" (2002) A rare foray into broad comedy for Ryder, who played the tabloid reporter chasing Adam Sandler in this remake of "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town."