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Ally Sheedy

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Title: Ally Sheedy  
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Subject: Man's Best Friend (1993 film), Maid to Order, Only the Lonely (film), St. Elmo's Fire (film), The Breakfast Club
Collection: 1962 Births, 20Th-Century American Actresses, 20Th-Century American Writers, 20Th-Century Women Writers, 21St-Century American Actresses, Actresses from New York City, American Child Writers, American Female Dancers, American Film Actresses, American People of Irish Descent, American People of Russian-Jewish Descent, American Stage Actresses, American Television Actresses, American Women Writers, Bank Street School for Children Alumni, Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead Winners, Jewish American Actresses, Living People, People from Fire Island, New York
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Ally Sheedy

Ally Sheedy
Sheedy at the Farm Sanctuary 25th Anniversary Gala in New York City, May 14, 2011
Born Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy
(1962-06-13) June 13, 1962 [1]
New York City, New York, United States
Occupation Actress, author
Years active 1975–present
Spouse(s) David Lansbury (m. 1992–2008)
Children 1

Alexandra Elizabeth "Ally" Sheedy (born June 13, 1962) is an American film and stage actress, as well as the author of two books. Following her film debut in 1983's Bad Boys, she became known as one of the Brat Pack group of actors in the films The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire. She is also known for her roles in WarGames, Psych, Short Circuit and High Art.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Books 5
  • Awards 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Sheedy was born in New York City[2] and has two siblings, brother Patrick and sister Meghan. Her mother, Charlotte (née Baum), is a writer and press agent who was involved in women's and civil rights movements,[3] and her father, John J. Sheedy, Jr., is a Manhattan advertising executive.[4][5] Her mother is Jewish and her father is of Irish Catholic background.[6] Her maternal grandmother was from Odessa, Ukraine.[7] Her parents divorced in 1971.[8]

Sheedy attended Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City, graduating in 1980. She started dancing with the American Ballet Theatre at age six[9] and was planning to make it a full-time career. However, she gave up dance in favor of acting full-time. At age 12 she wrote a book, She Was Nice to Mice; the book was published by McGraw-Hill and became a best-seller.[9] On June 19, 1975, she appeared on the game show To Tell the Truth[10] in her role as a young writer.[11] Her book was published on the adult list, with her being the youngest author to have that happen at that time.[12]


Sheedy started acting in local stage productions as a teenager. After appearing in several made-for-television films in 1981, as well as three episodes of the television series Hill Street Blues, she made her feature film debut in Bad Boys (1983), starring Sean Penn, where she played Penn's humiliated girlfriend. The 1980s were her most active period, with roles in popular films such as WarGames, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Short Circuit, and Maid to Order.

Throughout most of the 1990s, Sheedy appeared in a number of television films. Her most notable film performance during this time was in High Art, an independent film released in 1998 about a romance between two women and the power of art. Her performance in High Art was recognized with awards from the Independent Spirit Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and National Society of Film Critics.

In 1999, Sheedy took over the lead role in the off Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She was the first female to play the part of the German transsexual "Hedwig," but her run ended early amid bad reviews.[13] That same year, she was cast as a lead actress in Sugar Town, an independent film, which featured an ensemble cast of actors and musicians.

She was reunited with Breakfast Club co-star Anthony Michael Hall when she became a special guest star on his television show The Dead Zone, in the second-season episode "Playing God," from 2003.[14]

Sheedy has also appeared in the episode "Leapin' Lizards" of C.S.I. in which she played a woman who murdered her boyfriend's wife while mixed up in a cult. On March 3, 2008, Sheedy was introduced as the character Sarah, in the ABC Family show Kyle XY. In 2009, she played the role of Mr. Yang on the USA Network television show Psych (in the third season finale), a role that she reprised in the fourth season, fifth season, and seventh season finales.

Personal life

Sheedy dated Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora for less than a year in the 1980s. She stated in The Los Angeles Times that the relationship led her to abuse drugs, a claim Sambora denied.[15] In 1985, Sheedy was admitted to Hazelden Foundation and in the 1990s was treated for a sleeping pill addiction,[16] an experience which she drew on for her role as a drug-addicted photographer in High Art.[17]

On April 12, 1992, Sheedy married actor David Lansbury, the nephew of actress Angela Lansbury and son of Edgar Lansbury, the original producer of Godspell. Their son Beckett Alexander Lansbury was born on March 15, 1994. In May 2008, Sheedy announced that she and Lansbury had filed for divorce.[2][18]


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Bad Boys J.C. Walenski
1983 WarGames Jennifer Mack Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Young Artist Award for Best Young Motion Picture Actress in a Feature Film
1984 Oxford Blues Rona
1985 The Breakfast Club Allison Reynolds
1985 St. Elmo's Fire Leslie Hunter
1985 Twice in a Lifetime Helen
1986 Blue City Annie Rayford Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1986 Short Circuit Stephanie Speck
1987 Maid to Order Jessie Montgomery
1988 Short Circuit 2 Stephanie Voice cameo (uncredited)
1989 Heart of Dixie Maggie DeLoach Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1990 Betsy's Wedding Connie Hopper Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1990 Fear Cayce Bridges Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
1991 Only the Lonely Theresa Luna
1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York NY Ticket Agent Cameo
1993 The Pickle Molly-Girl/Herself
1993 Man's Best Friend Lori Tanner Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
1994 Red Shoe Diaries 4: Auto Erotica Karen Video
Segment "The Fling"
1995 One Night Stand Mickey Sanderson
1997 Macon County Jail Susan Reed
1997 The Definite Maybe Joanne
1997 Amnesia Martha Keller
1997 Highball Ally Sheedy
1998 Myth America
1998 High Art Lucy Berliner Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress (tied with Fernanda Montenegro for Central Station)
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
1999 Advice from a Caterpillar Jan
1999 Sugar Town Liz
1999 The Autumn Heart Deborah
1999 I'll Take You There Bernice
2002 Just a Dream Maureen Sturbuck
2002 Happy Here and Now Lois
2003 A Good Night to Die Marie
2003 Shelter Island Louise 'Lou' Delamere
2004 Noise Charlotte Bancroft
2005 Shooting Livien Brea Epling
2007 Day Zero Dr. Reynolds
2007 The Junior Defenders Jill Fields Video
2007 Steam Laurie
2008 Harold Maureen Reynolds
2009 Perestroika Helen
2009 Life During Wartime Helen Jordan Nominated – Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Performance
2010 Welcome to the Rileys Harriet
2010 Ten Stories Tall Jackie
2013 Fugly! Stoddard
2014 Sins of Our Youth Vicki
Year Title Role Notes
1981 CBS Afternoon Playhouse Cathy Episode: "I Think I'm Having a Baby"
1981 The Best Little Girl in the World 1st Girl Television film
1981 The Violation of Sarah McDavid Tracy Barnes Television film
1981 Homeroom Karen Chase TV short
1981 The Day the Loving Stopped Debbie Danner Television film
1981 Splendor in the Grass Hazel Television film
1982 Chicago Story Episode: "Bright Lights, Big City"
1982 St. Elsewhere Diane Episode: "Samuels and the Kid"
1983 Hill Street Blues Kristen 3 episodes
1983 Deadly Lessons Marita Armstrong Television film
1987 We Are the Children Television film
1990 The Lost Capone Kathleen Hart Television film
1992 Red Shoe Diaries Karen Episode: "Accidents Happen"
1992 Tattle Tale Laura Perot Television film
1993 Lethal Exposure Chris Cassidy Television film
1993 The Hidden Room Julia Episode: "Hungry Girls"
1993 Chantilly Lace Elizabeth Television film
1994 Ultimate Betrayal Adult Mary Rodgers Television film
1994 Parallel Lives Louise Television film
1994 The Haunting of Seacliff Inn Susan Enright Television film
1995 The Tin Soldier Billy's Mom Television film
1996 The Outer Limits Carter Jones Episode: "I Hear You Calling"
1996 Hijacked: Flight 285 Deni Patton Television film
1997 Country Justice Angie Baker Television film
1997 Buried Alive II Laura Riskin Television film
1998 The Fury Within Joanna Hanlon Television film
1999 Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge Det. Kelly Brooks Television film
2001 Oz Lisa Logan Episode: "Medium Rare"
2001 The Warden Helen Hewitt Television film
2001 Strange Frequency Lee Bonner Episode: "Daydream Believer"
2002 Once and Again Miriam Rose Miller Episode: "Aaron's List of Dreams"
2002 The Interrogation of Michael Crowe Cheryl Crowe Television film
Nominated – Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
2003 Life on the Line Television film
2003 The Dead Zone Kate Moore Episode: "Playing God"
2006 The Veteran Sara Reid Television film
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Shannon Turner Episode: "Leapin' Lizards"
2008–2009 Kyle XY Sarah 4 episodes
2009 Citizen Jane Jane Alexander Television film
2009–2011, 2013 Psych Yang 4 episodes
2014 Not With My Daughter (AKA Client Seduction) Melissa Eco Television film


  • She Was Nice to Mice, McGraw-Hill, 1975, ISBN 0-440-47844-8
  • Yesterday I Saw the Sun: Poems, Summit Books, 1991, ISBN 0-671-73130-0



  1. ^ "Today in history".  
  2. ^ a b "Brat Packer Packs Up". New York Magazine. September 13, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  3. ^ Leibovich, Lori (May 25, 1989). "Heroin Chic". Salon Magazine. 
  4. ^ "WEDDINGS; Marilyn Webb, John Sheedy Jr". The New York Times. March 21, 1993. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Ally Sheedy Biography (1962–)". 
  6. ^ Collins, Glenn (May 27, 1991). "Celebrating a Place Where for So Many The Good Life Began". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  7. ^ Amy Sohn (2011). "Musicians, Mensches, and Muff-Diving: Ally Sheedy by Amy Sohn". Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  8. ^ Margy Rochlin (June 14, 1998). "Ally Sheedy Makes a Bid To Be Taken Seriously". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Gary Dretzka (June 28, 1998). "Back from the edge, Ally Sheedy may be on the verge of another breakthrough". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 3, 2010. 
  10. ^ To Tell the Truth
  11. ^ Ally Sheedy appearance on To Tell the Truth, June 19, 1975. Rebroadcast on Game Show Network and viewed July 2, 2007.
  12. ^ Alexandra Sheedy on To Tell The Truth (YouTube)
  13. ^ Ally Sheedy Inches Away from "Hedwig" (E! Online, December 17, 1999)
  14. ^ "Season 2 Overview". The Dead Zone Official Website. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  15. ^ Richard Natale (June 10, 1998). "On the Upswing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  16. ^ Rochlin, Margy (June 14, 1998). "FILM; Ally Sheedy Makes a Bid To Be Taken Seriously". The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  17. ^ Truth's Ally (interview with actress Ally Sheedy, by Elizabeth Weitzman, August 1998)
  18. ^ Sheedy Divorces Husband Contact Music. May 28, 2008.

External links

  • Ally Sheedy at the Internet Movie Database
  • Ally Sheedy at AllMovie
  • Salon interview (June 25, 1998)
  • New York Magazine interview (June 15, 1998)
  • "Breakfast Club" cast interview at the Chicago Tribune (February 17, 1985)
  • "The Poetry of Ally Sheedy: A Look Back" (February 24, 2012)
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