28 November 1984, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA
5' 8½" (1.74 m)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She grew up in Salt Lake City and North Carolina many years of her life and actually had an ambition to become a ballerina, for which she attended Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago at the age of 11 and started taking acting lessons too.
Her theatre credits include "The Nutcracker" and the Broadway production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" with Donny Osmond.
Her most notable roles are in movies such as Sky High (2005), Final Destination 3 (2006), The Ring Two (2005) and the horror remake, Black Christmas (2006).
On the small screen, Winstead is probably best known for her role as "Jessica Bennett" in the popular NBC daytime drama "Passions" (1999), for which she received nominations from the Hollywood Reporters' Young Star Awards and the Young Artist Awards for her performance on the show. Other television credits include the CBS series "Wolf Lake" (2001), the MTV original telepic Monster Island (2004) (TV) and guest roles in popular shows such as "Touched by an Angel" (1994), "Tru Calling" (2003) and "Promised Land" (1996). She ia a distant cousin of Ava Gardner.
Riley Stearns (9 October 2010 - present)
Has three older sisters and an older brother.
Born to James Ronald Winstead and his wife Betty Lou Knight.
Enjoys cooking,dancing, and singing.
Ranked #92 on Maxim's Hot list 2007.
Distant cousin of actress Ava Gardner.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#100). .
Ranked #10 on Maxim's "Hottest Women of Horror Movies" list.
Ranked #91 on Askmen.com's 100 Most Desirable Women in the World (2008).
Ranked #88 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women of 2009.
Represented by CAA agent Jim Toth.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 20 "young, talented, and really happening right now" (2009).
Was featured as The Women Of GQ.
Named as Hottest Girls of Comic-Con 2010.
Ranked #17 out of 101 for Men's Health 'Hottest Women of 2011'.
Favorite movies include 'Sunset Boulevard', 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Fargo'.
You have to believe that it is what you want to do with your life and you have to be dedicated to it.
On the "Die Hard" series: I think they're some of the best action movies ever made. Bruce Willis just brings such a great character to life, and John McClane is someone we can all relate to and root for. He's so much fun to watch on screen. It's iconic the character he's created and it's so much fun to be part of an iconic series.
On her career: I've been performing since I came out of the womb. I've been dancing and singing since I was a toddler. Acting seemed like a natural progression from that. I just started getting roles naturally because it was something I was interested in. I didn't plan on taking it out to Hollywood.
On what she is looking for in a man: I'd say someone who doesn't take themselves seriously. That's my biggest thing.
You don't have to play masculine to be a strong woman.
[on sex scenes]: I prefer to do a love scene with someone I've just met.
You find yourself in situations where you have to put on a front, where you have to put on a happy face even if you are frustrated or annoyed. I think actors are in those situations all the time because they are constantly being put in situations where you have to be smiling. If you are not happy that day, you have to be nice to everyone around you if you want to get ahead. So yeah, absolutely you have to. I don't feel that I do that too much because I am a pretty happy person in general, so it comes pretty easily to me.
I acted in theater and I took film classes when I was 12 and just obsessed over it. I loved it and spent hours and hours in the film studio learning and watching. I always knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. That is why I was home schooled. I was always busy, so normal school didn't work out for me.
For some reason I never feared being type cast. I just take my roles based on the character, and the script, and the people that are doing the film and whether or not I think it would be fun to do the film. But as an actor you do want to challenge yourself and step outside what you have done in the past and that what I like to do, I like to jump around and try different things and stretch myself. I most likely won't do horror for a while but it's just because I've done it already and you move onto the next thing.
I'm from North Carolina, where it's all about greasy, fatty foods. I like having curves. It's weird seeing girls who look like beanpoles. The more famous girls get, the smaller they get. ...I consider myself a size 6 to be a pretty normal girl.I incorporate exercise into my daily routine. ...I recently started running and I do kick-boxing DVDs, too. At the end of the day, the most important thing to me is being healthy and fit.
[on what her favorite horror movie is] - It's a toss up between "The Shining" and "Rosemary's Baby." It's probably "The Shining"; that one terrifies me more than any other film and has since I was a kid. Anytime it's on TV I'll leave it on for the whole movie and I get so drawn into it. It's just amazing.
Where Are They Now
(July 2010) Announced her engagement to writer Riley Stearns in an interview on Spin.com and said she will be getting married in her fiancé's hometown of Austin, TX in October 2010.
(October 2010) Married Riley Stearns in Austin, TX.