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, Short Circuit and High Art, for which she received critical acclaim.
Sheedy was born in New York City 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, and her father, John J. Sheedy, Jr., is a Manhattan advertising executive. Her mother is Jewish and her father is of Irish Catholic background. Her maternal grandmother was from Odessa, Ukraine. Her parents divorced in 1971.
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 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 children's book, She Was Nice to Mice; the book was published by McGraw-Hill and became a best-seller. On June 19, 1975, she appeared on the game show To Tell the Truth in her role as a young writer.
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, a well-reviewed independent film released in 1998 about a romance between two women and the power of art. She identified with the character of photographer "Lucy Berliner" so much that she flew, at her own expense, to participate in an audition and has said that this character is the closest one to herself she has played. 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. 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.
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.
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 caused her drug abuse, a claim Sambora denied. In 1985, Sheedy was admitted to Hazelden Foundation and in the 1990s was treated for a sleeping pill addiction, an experience which she drew on for her role as a drug-addicted photographer in High Art.
On April 12, 1992, Sheedy married actor David Lansbury, the nephew of actress Angela Lansbury and son of Edgar Lansbury, the producer of the original production of Godspell. The couple have a daughter, Rebecca, born in 1994. In May 2008, Sheedy announced that she and Lansbury had filed for divorce.
|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
|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||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|
|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||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|
|2005||Shooting Livien||Brea Epling|
|2007||Day Zero||Dr. Reynolds|
|2007||The Junior Defenders||Jill Fields||Video|
|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|
|2014||Sins of Our Youth||Vicki|
|1981||CBS Afternoon Playhouse||Cathy||Episode: "I Think I'm Having a Baby"|
|1981||The Best Little Girl in the World||1st Girl||TV movie|
|1981||The Violation of Sarah McDavid||Tracy Barnes||TV movie|
|1981||Homeroom||Karen Chase||TV short|
|1981||The Day the Loving Stopped||Debbie Danner||TV movie|
|1981||Splendor in the Grass||Hazel||TV movie|
|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||TV movie|
|1987||We Are the Children||TV movie|
|1990||The Lost Capone||Kathleen Hart||TV movie|
|1992||Red Shoe Diaries||Karen||Episode: "Accidents Happen"|
|1992||Tattle Tale||Laura Perot||TV movie|
|1993||Lethal Exposure||Chris Cassidy||TV movie|
|1993||The Hidden Room||Julia||Episode: "Hungry Girls"|
|1993||Chantilly Lace||Elizabeth||TV movie|
|1994||Ultimate Betrayal||Adult Mary Rodgers||TV movie|
|1994||Parallel Lives||Louise||TV movie|
|1994||The Haunting of Seacliff Inn||Susan Enright||TV movie|
|1995||The Tin Soldier||Billy's Mom||TV movie|
|1996||The Outer Limits||Carter Jones||Episode: "I Hear You Calling"|
|1996||Hijacked: Flight 285||Deni Patton||TV movie|
|1997||Country Justice||Angie Baker||TV movie|
|1997||Buried Alive II||Laura Riskin||TV movie|
|1998||The Fury Within||Joanna Hanlon||TV movie|
|1999||Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge||Det. Kelly Brooks||TV movie|
|2001||Oz||Lisa Logan||Episode: "Medium Rare"|
|2001||The Warden||Helen Hewitt||TV movie|
|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||TV movie
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||TV movie|
|2003||The Dead Zone||Kate Moore||Episode: "Playing God"|
|2006||The Veteran||Sara Reid||TV movie|
|2007||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Shannon Turner||Episode: "Leapin' Lizards"|
|2008-2009||Kyle XY||Sarah||4 episodes|
|2009||Citizen Jane||Jane Alexander||TV movie|
|2009-2011, 2013||Psych||Mr. Yang||4 episodes|
- 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
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: Best Actress (1998) for High Art
- Independent Spirit Award: Best Female Lead (1999) for High Art
- National Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Actress (1999) for High Art
- MTV Movie Awards: Silver Bucket of Excellence Award (2005) for The Breakfast Club (shared with Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez)
- "Brat Packer Packs Up". New York Magazine. September 13, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
- Leibovich, Lori (May 25, 1989). "Heroin Chic". Salon Magazine.
- "WEDDINGS; Marilyn Webb, John Sheedy Jr". The New York Times. March 21, 1993. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
- "Ally Sheedy Biography (1962–)".
- Collins, Glenn (May 27, 1991). "Celebrating a Place Where for So Many The Good Life Began". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
- Amy Sohn (2011). "Musicians, Mensches, and Muff-Diving: Ally Sheedy by Amy Sohn". Retrieved May 21, 2011.
- Margy Rochlin (June 14, 1998). "Ally Sheedy Makes a Bid To Be Taken Seriously". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- 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.
- To Tell the Truth TVseriesfinale.com
- Ally Sheedy appearance on To Tell the Truth, June 19, 1975. Rebroadcast on Game Show Network and viewed July 2, 2007.
- Ally Sheedy – Biography (IMDb, April 15, 2010)
- Ally Sheedy – Awards (IMDb, April 15, 2010)
- Ally Sheedy Inches Away from "Hedwig" (E! Online, December 17, 1999)
- "Season 2 Overview". The Dead Zone Official Website. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
- Richard Natale (June 10, 1998). "On the Upswing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Rochlin, Margy (June 14, 1998). "FILM; Ally Sheedy Makes a Bid To Be Taken Seriously". The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- Truth's Ally (interview with actress Ally Sheedy, by Elizabeth Weitzman, August 1998)[dead link]
- Sheedy Divorces Husband Contact Music. May 28, 2008.
- 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)