Adrienne Levine (June 24, 1966 – November 1, 2006), better known by the stage name Adrienne Shelly (sometimes credited as Adrienne Shelley), was an American actress, film director and screenwriter. She became known for roles in independent films such as 1989's The Unbelievable Truth and 1990's Trust. She wrote, co-starred in, and directed the 2007 posthumously-released film Waitress.On November 1, 2006, Shelly was found dead, hanging in the shower of her West Village work studio apartment. The initial examination of the scene did not reveal any suspicious circumstances, and police apparently believed it to be a suicide. Her husband insisted she would never have taken her own life, and brought about a re-examination of the bathroom that disclosed a suspect footprint. Police arrested Diego Pillco, a 19-year-old, who confessed to killing Shelly and making it look as if she had committed suicide.Shelly's husband established the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which awards scholarships, production grants, finishing funds, and living stipends to artists. In her honor, the Women Film Critics Circle gives an annual Adrienne Shelly Award to the film that it finds "most passionately opposes violence against women."
Shelly, who took her professional surname from her late father's given name, was married to Andy Ostroy, the chairman and CEO of the marketing firm Belardi/Ostroy. They had a daughter, Sophie (born 2003), who was two years old at the time of her mother's death. Shelly described herself as an "optimistic agnostic."
Shelly was born Adrienne Levine in Queens to Sheldon M. Levine and Elaine Langbaum. She had two brothers, Jeff and Mark, and was raised on Long Island. She began performing when she was about 10 at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center. Shelly made her professional debut in a summer stock production of the musical Annie while a student at Jericho High School in Jericho, New York. She went on to Boston University, majoring in film production, but dropped out after her junior year and moved to Manhattan.
Movies & TV shows
Years Later: The Unbelievable Truth and Its Consequences
A series of impromptu interviews with Hal Hartley, Adrienne Shelly, and some of Hartley's other most frequent collaborators on his style, career, and process.
Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of "Factotum" author Charles Bukowski, wanders around Los Angeles, CA trying to live off jobs which don't interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. ...
A handsome and successful young man with a lovely fiancée, James Jackson seems to have everything going for him, but his life begins to unravel when he develops an acute sense of paranoia. At first, h...
Searching for Debra Winger
As women working in the entertainment industry, they face a lot of pressures.
The Atlantis Conspiracy
Lauren Marcus (Amanda Donohoe) reluctantly moves back to New York City and is forced to decide whether she wants to reconnect with the life she abruptly left behind. When a mystery stemming from a sui...
Tom and Perri are a successful couple living in New York City with their dog. Tom was angry that someone would drive away from the scene of the accident without any remorse and that he was crushed by ...
Wrestling with Alligators
All that Maddy Hawkins has ever wanted was a family she could call her own. Even in 1959, the simplest things are difficult to find...Maddy, a street-wise teenage runaway, believes she has created thi...
2 Movies · 1 TV show
When a hard-luck parolee moves in with his brother in hopes of a fresh start, he's sure to be warm for his brother's bored young wife. He tried to turn a quick buck in an insurance fraud operation.
The daily lives of prisoners in Emerald City, an experimental unit of the Oswald Maximum Security Prison where in groups of Muslims, Latinos, Italians, and Aryans stick close to their friends and enem...
Lois Lives a Little
Adrienne Shelly's 1997 short film
Sleeping with Strangers
Daniel is in danger of losing his inn after another more modern establishment opens next door and steals his guests. He goes to the bank for a loan, but they tell him to hope for a miracle. Then a lim...
Opera No. 1
Hal Hartley made a short film.
The Road Killers
After a young boy is almost run over by a maniac on a highway, a re-enactment and confrontation by the boy's father with the driver sets off conflicts with a carful of maniacs.
Mathematician Teresa just wanted to study during the College spring break. But her friends, who want her to live a little, drag her out to parties. The next thing she knows, she has been drugged, kidn...
Sleep with Me
The romantic comedy features the marriage and turbulent relationship of Joseph and Sarah, with Joseph's best friend Frank trying hard to cope with letting the love of his life marry his best friend. S...
1 Movie · 1 TV show
Matthew has a chance to go on a date with a model by pretending he is someone else. She tries to kill him on the date, but all the evidence points to Matthew. Gloria, who has been wishing Matthew woul...
Homicide: Life on the Street
An American police procedural depicts a fictional version of the Baltimore Police Department's Homicide Unit.
Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me
Eli was caught in the act by Twinkle, an heiress who coerced him into a sexual relationship. He is a fugitive in search of a new identity after their violent break-up. A man lands in a trailer park an...
Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even
A girl fed up with her quirky, dysfunctional family runs away from home, causing all of them to spend time with each other.
2 Movies · 1 TV show
Maria, a pregnant high school dropout, met Matthew, an electronics repairman, after being thrown away from home. The two begin a romance that is built on mutual admiration and trust.
Law & Order
From two different vantage points, the police investigation and the prosecution in court, follows a crime.
Lonely in America
After immigrating to New York City, a native of East India stumbles his way onto the corporate fast-track.