1971 – She was born this year on the 29th day of October in Olmsted County, Minnesota, United States
1985 – She sent a video audition to appear in the film Desert Bloom, but she was rejected.
1986 – She made her screen debut in Lucas playing a teenage girl with a crush on the film's title character.
1987 - Her next movie was Square Dance (called "a remarkable debut" by The Los Angeles Times), where her teenage character creates a bridge between two different worlds – a traditional farm in the middle of nowhere and a Big City.
1988 - She had what many consider her breakout role in Beetle juice as a Goth teenager named Lydia. She continued with other roles as angst-ridden teenagers.
1989 – She acclaimed performance as Veronica Sawyer in the black comedy cult classic Heathers
1990 - She played a primary role in another Burton project, Edward Scissor hands, alongside her then-boyfriend Johnny Depp.
1991 – She played a taxi driver who dreams of becoming a mechanic (Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth), challenging societies widely accepted gender roles.
1992 - She starred in the dual roles of Dracula's reincarnated love interest Mina Murray and Dracula's past lover Princess Elisabeta, in Bram Stoker's Dracula, a project she brought to director Francis Ford Coppola's attention..
1994 - Her Oscar nominated role for Best Actress, as Josephine (Jo) March in Little Women.
1995 - Her next starring role was in How to Make an American Quilt.
1996 – She starred in Al Pacino's debut as a director, Looking for Richard, and also in The Crucible with Daniel Day-Lewis (1996), a movie about the Salem witch trials and the hysteria that prompted the deaths of many without trials.
1997 - She accepted a role as a humanoid robot in the 1997 film Alien: Resurrection, alongside the Alien series star Sigourney Weaver.
1999 - She performed in and served as executive producer for Girl, Interrupted, based on the autobiography of Susanna Kaysen.
2000 - She went on to portray the fragile, beautiful, young, talented and doomed love interest of Richard Gere's character in the romance “Autumn in New York.”
2001 - She was arrested on the 21st day of this year for shoplifting thousands of dollars' worth of designer clothes and accessories at Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Beverly Hills, California. Los Angeles District Attorney Stephen Cooley set up a team of eight prosecutors and seized the opportunity to prosecute the actress aggressively.
2002 – She appeared in two films. The first one was a romantic comedy titled Mr. Deeds together with Adam Sandler, where she played a cynical reporter for an unscrupulous television program, and the other an episodic role in S1m0ne, in which she portrayed a glamorous star who is replaced by a computer simulated actress due to the clandestine machinations of a director (played by Al Pacino).
2006 - She appeared in Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, a futuristic movie based on Philip K. Dick's critically acclaimed novel.
2007 - She will be busy this year with three films due to come out. She will first star in the comedy The Darwin Awards, due for release February 2007, with Joseph Fiennes about a forensic detective (Fiennes) and an insurance claims investigator (Ryder) trekking to investigate a potential Darwin Award winner.
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