Shaye in Beverly Hills, California, April 2017
October 12, 1943
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
Marshall Rubinoff (?–1968; his death)|
Clayton Landey (1988–2003; divorced; 1 child)
|Relatives||Robert Shaye (brother)|
Linda Shaye (born October 12, 1943) is an American theater, film, and television actress. In a career spanning over forty years, she has appeared in over ninety feature films and is regarded as a scream queen due to her roles in various horror franchises or films including A Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters, Insidious, Dead End, 2001 Maniacs and its sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, Alone in the Dark, Amityville: A New Generation, Tales of Halloween, Abattoir, Ouija, and its prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil. Shaye is also known for her comedic roles in many films by the Farrelly brothers, including Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and There's Something About Mary.
Shaye was born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Dorothy (née Katz), a homemaker, and Max Mendle Shaye, a painter and supermarket owner. Her brother is film executive Robert Shaye. Her family is Jewish; her mother was born in Russia, and her paternal grandparents were from Romania. Shaye studied acting at the University of Michigan before she moved to New York to appear in Off Broadway productions. In 1977, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career.
In 1975, she made her film debut with a small role in Hester Street, followed by small roles in several movies and television shows. In 1978, she appeared in the Jack Nicholson-directed Western Goin' South. "I got a call saying, 'Mr. Nicholson wants you in Mexico for two weeks for this small role called The Parasol Lady'. It was so much fun." She has since appeared in a large number of character roles.
From 1980 to 1996, she has appeared in four films by director Walter Hill: The Long Riders, Brewster's Millions, Extreme Prejudice and Last Man Standing. In 1984, Shaye played a teacher in A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film was distributed by New Line Cinema, the company founded by the actress' older brother Robert Shaye. She has admitted the family connection helped her a little. "My brother said, 'Put my sister in your movie!'"
In 1994, she had her breakout comedy role of Mrs. Nuegeboren in the Farrelly Brothers' Dumb and Dumber. The film was released on December 16, 1994. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it was a commercial success and developed a cult following in the years since its release. The Farrellys then subsequently cast her as Woody Harrelson's gruesome landlady in Kingpin. Later, again giving her a role as Cameron Diaz's character's overtanned neighbor Magda in the 1998 hit There's Something About Mary. The Farrellys said, 'We want her to look like an old leather bag,' " recalled Shaye. "It was four hours every time they put on the makeup." The film was a sleeper hit, and was the highest-grossing comedy of 1998 in North America as well as the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year. For her performance, Shaye was nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy. She followed this with 1999's Detroit Rock City as an uptight mother waging a personal war against the band Kiss.
In 2003, Shaye appeared alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz in Boat Trip as Sonya, a horny tanning coach who begins stalking Sanz's character. That same year she co-starred with Ray Wise and Alexandra Holden in the cult horror film Dead End as Laura Harrington, and as Jenny Buono, the mother of 1970s Los Angeles serial killer Angelo Buono in The Hillside Strangler. For her role in Dead End, Shaye received positive reviews and was nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2005, Shaye appeared in the film 2001 Maniacs as Granny Boone and again in the sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams. The next year she had a supporting role in the thriller Snakes on a Plane, playing Grace, the senior flight attendant who acts as the flight's purser. In 2007, she appeared in the short films Sponsored By, Under The Gun, Midnight Snack, Time Upon a Once, Old Home Boyz, Backseat Driving Test, and The Yes Men which were directed by contestants on the reality show On the Lot.
In 2011, Shaye played medium Elise, a supporting role, in the horror film Insidious. "It scared the daylights out of me," said Shaye. "I read it in bed, and when I finished, I took it downstairs and locked it in the closet. I really was chilled to the bone by the story." The film was released on April 1, 2011, and received positive reviews. It grossed a total of $97,009,150 worldwide. It was the most profitable film of 2011. Shaye received positive reviews and was nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Fright Meter Award for Best Supporting Actress, and a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
On November 19, 2012, it was officially announced that Shaye, Patrick Wilson, and Rose Byrne would reprise their roles from the first film. The film was released September 13, 2013. It received mixed reviews and was a box office success.
Shaye returned as Elise, this time in the leading role, in the third and fourth installments of the Insidious franchise, Insidious: Chapter 3 and Insidious: The Last Key. Speaking of the role in the third film, Shaye said "Elise has become this sort of bad ass in this installment, I can't even tell you how much fun that was for me. I'm not taking names!" Insidious: Chapter 3 received a mixed response from critics, and Shaye's performance was well-received by critics and audiences. Rotten Tomatoes lists a 59% approval rating, with the site's critical consensus reading "Insidious: Chapter 3 isn't as terrifying as the original, although it boasts surprising thematic depth and is enlivened by another fine performance from Lin Shaye." A writer from The Wrap opined that Shaye "shines" in the film. The Oakland Post Online said, "Shaye is able to give the film most of its heart. Many of the horror scenes rely on her to be either the calming voice or the badass heroine, and Shaye plays both of those roles perfectly," also adding, "Insidious: Chapter 3 could have been a disaster, but thanks to some genuinely scary moments and veteran acting from Lin Shaye, the film is able to be mostly enjoyable."
Shaye has been married twice. Her first husband died in 1968. In 1988, she married actor Clayton Landey, with whom she appeared in 2002's Wish You Were Dead. The couple had one child before divorcing in 2003.
|1977||Sex and the Married Woman||Sandra||Television film|
|1978||Goin' South||Parasol Lady|
|1979||The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal||Freida||Television film|
|1979||The Seeding of Sarah Burns||2nd Nurse||Television film|
|1980||The Long Riders||Kate|
|1980||A Cry for Love||N/A||Television film|
|1982||Alone in the Dark||Receptionist at Haven|
|1982||Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again||Nurse with Telegram|
|1984||Summer Fantasy||Woman on beach||Television film|
|1984||A Nightmare on Elm Street||Teacher|
|1985||Brewster's Millions||Journalist at Rally|
|1987||Extreme Prejudice||Employment Office Clerk|
|1987||The Hidden||Carol Miller|
|1987||The Running Man||Propaganda Officer|
|1988||Critters 2: The Main Course||Sal|
|1988||Lucky Stiff||Bratty Kid's Mom|
|1990||Book of Love||Mrs. Flynn|
|1990||Pump Up the Volume||PTA Parent #3|
|1993||Loaded Weapon 1||Witness|
|1993||Three of Hearts||Operator|
|1993||Amityville: A New Generation||Nurse Turner|
|1993||Even Cowgirls Get the Blues||Rubber Rose Maid|
|1994||Corrina, Corrina||Repeat Nanny|
|1994||Wes Craven's New Nightmare||Nurse|
|1994||Dumb & Dumber||Mrs. Neugeboren|
|1995||The Nature of the Beast||Carol Powell|
|1996||Last Man Standing||The Madame|
|1998||Living Out Loud||Lisa's Nurse|
|1998||There's Something About Mary||Magda||Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy|
|1999||Detroit Rock City||Mrs. Bruce|
|2001||Say It Isn't So||Nurse Bautista|
|2002||Wish You Were Dead||Jinny Macintosh|
|2002||Boat Trip||Coach Sonya|
|2003||Who's Your Daddy?||Ms. Harding|
|2003||National Lampoon's Barely Legal||Tequila|
|2003||Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd||Margie|
|2003||Dead End||Laura Harrington||Nominated—Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|2003||Stuck on You||Makeup Babe|
|2004||The Hillside Strangler||Jenny Buono|
|2004||The Latin Lover||Emilia||Short film|
|2004||A Cinderella Story||Mrs. Wells|
|2004||Cellular||Exotic Car Driver|
|2005||Hate Crime||Kathleen Slansky|
|2005||Confessions of an Action Star||Samantha Jones|
|2005||2001 Maniacs||Granny Boon|
|2005||Drop Dead Sexy||Ma Muzzy|
|2006||Bachelor Party Vegas||Cassandra|
|2006||Hood of Horror||Clara|
|2006||Snakes on a Plane||Grace|
|2006||National Lampoon's Pledge This!||Miss Prin|
|2006||Hoboken Hollow||Mrs. Brodrick|
|2007||Homo Erectus||Museum Guide|
|2009||My Sister's Keeper||Nurse Adele|
|2009||American Cowslip||Lou Anne|
|2010||Small Town Saturday Night||Phyllis|
|2010||2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams||Granny Boone|
|2010||Killer by Nature||Leona Whitmore|
|2011||Insidious||Elise Rainier||Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress|
Fright Meter Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
|2011||Sedona: The Motion Picture||Claire|
|2011||A Good Old Fashioned Orgy||Dody|
|2011||Take Me Home||Jill|
|2011||Rosewood Lane||Mrs. Hawthorne|
|2012||The Three Stooges||Nursery Nurse|
|2012||FDR: American Badass!||Eleanor Roosevelt|
|2013||Insidious: Chapter 2||Elise Rainier|
|2013||Crazy Kind of Love||Denise Mack||also known as Long Time Gone|
|2013||Big Ass Spider!||Mrs. Jefferson|
|2014||Grace: The Possession||Helen|
|2015||Don Quixote||The Grand Lady|
|2015||Insidious: Chapter 3||Elise Rainier|
|2015||Tales of Halloween||Lynn's Mother|
|2015||Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves||Helen Keller|
|2016||Buster's Mal Heart||Pauline|
|2016||The Midnight Man||Anna|
|2016||Ouija: Origin of Evil||Paulina Zander|
|2017||Grow House||Mrs. Gilliam|
|2017||The Black Room||Mrs. Black|
|2018||Insidious: The Last Key||Elise Rainier|
|TBA||2001 Maniacs 3||Granny Boone|
|1977||Eight Is Enough||N/A||Episode: "The Return of Auntie V"|
|1985||The New Twilight Zone||Kate Simmons||Episode: "Chameleon"|
|1986||Cagney & Lacey||Secretary||Episode: "DWI"|
|1986||Falcon Crest||Smoking Female Prisoner||Episode: "Unholy Alliances"|
|1987||Who's the Boss?||Mrs. Padnick||Episode: "Mona"|
|1988||Highway to Heaven||Lila Barnes||Episode: "A Mother's Love"|
|1991||Life Goes On||Parent #2||Episode: "Life After Death"|
|1993||Sisters||Nightmare Host #2||Episode: "Sleepless in Winnetka"|
|1994||My So-Called Life||Parent #2||Episode: "Guns and Gossip"|
|1996||Frasier||Anne||Episode: "The Focus Group"|
|1997||Perversions of Science||The Nurse||Episode: "Dream of Doom"|
|1998||Becker||Mrs. Cooper||Episode: "Take These Pills and Shove 'Em"|
|2004||Crossing Jordan||Leather Lauren||Episode: "Is That Plutonium in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?"|
|2006||My Name Is Earl||Paul's mom||Episode: "Number One"|
|2007||Dirty Sexy Money||Leslie Donovan||Episode: "The Game"|
|2009||ER||Margaret||Episode: "And in the End..."|
|2013||Private Practice||Mrs. Taylor||Episode: "Full Release"|
|2015||Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight||Mrs. Abramson||3 episodes|
|2016||Still the King||Ruthie||Episode: “Mother Trucker”|
|2016||American Gothic||Lila||Episode: "The Artist in His Museum"|
|2016||Grip and Electric||Glenda||4 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|1999||Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy||There's Something About Mary||Nominated|
|2002||Method Fest Independent Film Festival||Best Supporting Actress||N/A||Won|
|2004||Peñíscola Comedy Film Festival||Best Actress||Dead End||Won|
|2005||Breckenridge Festival Of Film||Best Supporting Actress||Hate Crime||Won|
|2005||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Dead End||Nominated|
|2012||Cyber-Horror Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Insidious||Nominated|
|2012||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Insidious||Won|
|2011||Fright Meter Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Insidious||Won|
|2012||Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Insidious||Nominated|
|2014||Fright Meter Awards||Best Ensemble Cast||Insidious: Chapter 2||Nominated|
|2016||Fright Meter Awards||Best Leading Actress||Insidious: Chapter 3||Nominated|
- Hochman, Steve (August 15, 1999). "Lin Shaye / Actor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Stack, Peter (August 11, 1999). "'Mary' Star's Time to Shine / Lin Shaye changes her persona for 'Detroit Rock City'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Sheridan, Patricia (June 1, 2015). "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Lin Shaye". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- "Kissing Fool". People. Time Inc. 50 (9): 210. September 14, 1998. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Collis, Clark (June 5, 2015). "How Lin Shaye became this summer's unlikeliest action star in Insidious: Chapter 3". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Box Office Information for Dumb and Dumber. The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "Top 10 Cult Comedies". Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- "New 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams Clip – Granny's Grotesque Cookin'". DreadCentral.
- "Insidious (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- WorstPreviews.com Staff (February 3, 2012). "James Wan in Talks to Direct "Insidious" Sequel". WorstPreviews. WorstPreviews.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Kit, Borys (November 19, 2012). "Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne Coming Back for 'Insidious' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- "Insidious Chapter 2 (2013)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- Outlaw, Kofi (March 11, 2014). "Insidious 3 Will Introduce New Story and Characters; Ghost Hunters Will Return". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Lin Shaye Haunted in New 'Insidious: Chapter 3' Still
- "Insidious: Chapter 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- 'Insidious: Chapter 3' Review – Lin Shaye Shines as the Original Female Ghost buster
- "Insidious: Chapter 3" scares, Lin Shaye shines[permanent dead link]