Adrienne Shelly

  • Celebrity
  • Birth Name: Adrienne Levine
  • Birth Place: Queens, New York, United States
  • Died: November 1, 2006
  • Profession: Actor, Director, Screenwriter
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Biography

This Queens-born actress relocated to Manhattan in the mid-1980s after dropping out of film studies at Boston University and soon founded a nonprofit theater troupe named Missing Children. Shelly was then cast in her first two films, The Unbelievable Truth and Trust, both directed by Hal Hartley. By the mid-'90s, she became less visible onscreen and turned to writing and directing. Beginning with the 1994 short Urban Legend, Shelly turned out a string of films, including the quirky 1997 black comedy Sudden Manhattan, in which she also starred. Although she kept a low profile, living in New York with her family and tackling the occasional acting role while making a handful of films, Shelly seemed satisfied with her place in the industry, which is why her 2006 death—originally thought to be suicide but later proved to be a homicide—was particularly shocking to her friends and fans. Her last film, Waitress, starring Keri Russell, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival two months after her death.

Fast Facts

  • Intermittently suffered from episodes of Bell's palsy, which first appeared when she was 15, then again during her junior year of college.
  • Cofounded a nonprofit theater troupe named Missing Children, for which she penned the play Verbatim; she also acted and served as artistic director.
  • Won the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival's Film Showcase Jury Award for Best Director in 2000 for her second feature, the romantic comedy I'll Take You There.
  • Following her death, the Adrienne Shelly Foundation was established to offer scholarships and grants to women studying and working in film.

Awards

  • 2008, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Screenplay: Nominee

Relationships

  • Shelly Levine — Father
  • Sophie — Daughter
  • Andrew Ostroy — Husband
  • Howie — Stepfather
  • Elaine Langbaum — Mother

College

  • Attended Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Details

  • Birth Name: Adrienne Levine
  • Birth Place: Queens, New York, United States
  • Died: November 1, 2006
  • Profession: Actor, Director, Screenwriter