Jump to content

Lin Shaye

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lin Shaye
Shaye in 2017
Born (1943-10-12) October 12, 1943 (age 80)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)Marshall Rubinoff
(m. 19??; died 1968)
(m. 1988; div. 2003)
RelativesRobert Shaye (brother)

Lin Shaye (born October 12, 1943)[1] is an American actress. In a career spanning over fifty years, Shaye has appeared in more than a hundred feature films. She is regarded as a scream queen due to her roles in various horror productions, which include the films Alone in the Dark (1982), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Critters (1986) and its sequel Critters 2: The Main Course (1988), Amityville: A New Generation (1993), Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994), Dead End (2003), 2001 Maniacs (2005) and its sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams (2010), Ouija (2014) and its prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016), Tales of Halloween (2015), Abattoir (2016), The Final Wish (2018), Room for Rent (2019), The Grudge (2020), and the Insidious film series (2010–2023).

Shaye is also well known for her comedic roles in numerous films by the Farrelly brothers, including Dumb and Dumber (1994), Kingpin (1996), There's Something About Mary (1998), Detroit Rock City (1999), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Stuck on You (2003), and The Three Stooges (2012).

Early life[edit]

Born in Detroit, Michigan,[1] Shaye is the sister of film executive Robert Shaye.[2] Her family is Jewish; her mother was born in Russia, and her paternal grandparents were from Romania, and settled in Michigan.[3][4][5]

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.[6]


In 1975, Shaye 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."[7] 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!'"[7]

In 1994, she had her breakout comedy role of Mrs. Neugeboren 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.[8][9] The Farrellys then subsequently cast her as Woody Harrelson's gruesome landlady in Kingpin. Next they gave 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."[7] 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.[citation needed] 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 becomes obsessed with 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.[citation needed]

In 2005, Shaye appeared in the film 2001 Maniacs as Granny Boone and again in the sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams.[10] 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."[7] The film was released on April 1, 2011, and received positive reviews. It grossed a total of $97,009,150 worldwide.[11] It was the most profitable film of 2011.[12] 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.[13] The film was released September 13, 2013. It received mixed reviews and was a box office success.[14]

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.[15][16] 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!"[7] 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."[17] A writer from The Wrap opined that Shaye "shines" in the film.[18] 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."[19]

In 2020, Shaye received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Digital Drama Series for her guest role on the dark comedy web series EastSiders.[20] In April, 2020, Shaye gave an exclusive interview to Ukrainian horror writer Denis Bushlatov. For the time being it is the only interview given to the Russian horror community.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Shaye has been married twice. Her first husband, writer and musician Marshall Rubinoff, died in 1968 at age 24.[22] In 1988, she married actor Clayton Landey, with whom she appeared in 2002's Wish You Were Dead. The couple had one child[6] before divorcing in 2003.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1975 Hester Street Whore
1977 A Secret Space Amy
1978 Goin' South Parasol lady
1980 The Long Riders Kate
1982 Alone in the Dark Receptionist at haven
Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again Nurse with telegram
1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street Teacher
1985 Brewster's Millions Journalist at rally
1986 Critters Sally
1987 My Demon Lover Anemic counter girl
Extreme Prejudice Employment office clerk
Slam Dance Librarian
The Hidden Carol Miller
The Running Man Propaganda officer
1988 Critters 2: The Main Course Sal
Lucky Stiff Bratty kid's mom
1990 Book of Love Mrs. Flynn
Pump Up the Volume PTA parent #3
1992 Roadside Prophets Celeste
1993 Loaded Weapon 1 Witness
The Temp Rosemary
Three of Hearts Operator
Brainsmasher... A Love Story Makeup artist
Amityville: A New Generation Nurse Turner
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Rubber Rose maid
1994 Corrina, Corrina Repeat nanny
Wes Craven's New Nightmare Nurse
Dumb & Dumber Mrs. Margie Neugeboren
1995 The Nature of the Beast Carol Powell
1996 Kingpin Landlady
Last Man Standing The Madame
1997 Trading Favors Darla
1998 Living Out Loud Lisa's nurse
There's Something About Mary Magda
Behind the Zipper with Magda Magda Short film
1999 Detroit Rock City Mrs. Bruce
2000 Me, Myself & Irene Mrs. Caleron Scenes deleted
Attention Shoppers Libby
2001 Say It Isn't So Nurse Bautista
A Letter from My Father Elise
Without Charlie Unknown
2002 Wish You Were Dead Jinny MacIntosh
Contagion Laura Crowley
Man of the Year Flora
Boat Trip Coach Sonya
Who's Your Daddy? Ms. Harding
2003 Manfast Marge
National Lampoon's Barely Legal Tequila
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Margie Neugeboren
Dead End Laura Harrington
Stuck on You Makeup babe
2004 The Almost Guys Repo boss
Cross Bronx Barbara Green
The Latin Lover Emilia Short film
A Cinderella Story Mrs. Wells
Cellular Exotic car driver
Wear Something Nice Mom Short film
The Hillside Strangler Jenny Buono
2005 Hate Crime Kathleen Slansky
Confessions of an Action Star Samantha Jones
2001 Maniacs Granny Boon
Drop Dead Sexy Ma Muzzy
Born Killers Willow
Jesus, Mary and Joey Lulu
2006 Unbeatable Harold Jeannie
Hoboken Hollow Mrs. Brodrick
Bachelor Party Vegas Cassandra
Hood of Horror Clara
Snakes on a Plane Grace
Surf School Larry's mom
Down the P.C.H. Wendy O'Hara
Driftwood Nancy Forrester
National Lampoon's Pledge This! Miss Prin
2007 The Election The Wife Short film
Chasing Robert Martha, the Bookie
Homo Erectus Museum guide
Kush Susan
2008 Killer Pad Marge
Asylum String's mother
Chronic Town Nurse
Doggie Heaven Woman Short film
2009 My Sister's Keeper Nurse Adele
American Cowslip Lou Anne
Stuntmen "Bumble" Jackson
Dark Moon Rising Sunny
Yellow Brook Narrator Short film
2010 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams Granny Boone
The Penthouse Frances
Pickin' & Grinnin' Bonnie Johnson
Small Town Saturday Night Phyllis
The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue Mrs. Rawlings
The Land of the Astronauts Mrs. Harris
Insidious Elise Rainier
Killer by Nature Leona Whitmore
VideoDome Rent-O-Rama The Lush Short film
Sex Tax: Based on a True Story Lydia Friedman
2011 Sedona Claire
Losing Control Dolores
A Good Old Fashioned Orgy Dody
Chillerama Baglady / Nurse Maleva
Take Me Home Jill
Rosewood Lane Mrs. Hawthorne
Red & Blue Marbles Janitor
Jackie Goldberg: Private Dick Violet
Dead of Nowhere 3D Meemaw Short film
Black Velvet Pool lady
2012 The Three Stooges Nursery nurse
FDR: American Badass! Eleanor Roosevelt
Jewtopia Dr. Sutton
3 Days of Normal May
Noobz Mrs. Theodore
Life's an Itch Gloria
Dr. 420 Dr. 420 Short film
2013 Insidious: Chapter 2 Elise Rainier
All American Christmas Carol Barbara Belnap
Crazy Kind of Love Denise Mack
Big Ass Spider! Mrs. Jefferson
2014 Lost Time Mysterious woman
The Signal Mirabelle
Grace: The Possession Helen
Ouija Paulina Zander
2015 Don Quixote The Grand Lady
Insidious: Chapter 3 Elise Rainier
Tales of Halloween Lynn's mother Segment: "Grim Grinning Ghost"
Sick People Waitress / Sandra
Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves Helen Keller
2016 Texas Heart Mrs. Smith
Director's Cut Captain Wheeler
Jack Goes Home Teresa
Abattoir Allie
Buster's Mal Heart Pauline
The Midnight Man Anna Luster
Ouija: Origin of Evil Paulina Zander
2017 Mountain Top Muriel Miller
Grow House Mrs. Gilliam
All About the Money Mrs. Womack
The Black Room Mrs. Black
2018 Insidious: The Last Key Elise Rainier
Los Angeles Overnight Cousins
Gothic Harvest Griselda
The Final Wish Kate Hammond
The Old World! The Aunt (voice) Short film
2019 Room for Rent Joyce Also producer
Get Gone Mama Maxwell
Ambition Lady Bum
Bayou Tales Margot
2020 The Grudge Faith Matheson
The Voices Vagabond
Dreamkatcher Ruth Also executive producer
Jackson's Hole Netter
The Call Edith Cranston
2021 Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman Mrs. Bundy
Frank and Penelope Ophelia
2022 We Are Gathered Here Today Jean Cole [23]
2023 Insidious: The Red Door Elise Rainier [24]
TBA Killing Winston Jones Madeline Jones
Max Reload and the Nether Blasters Mrs. Wylder Post-production
The Gnashing Julie Post-production
Scared to Death


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Sex and the Married Woman Sandra Television film
Eight Is Enough Unknown Episode: "The Return of Auntie V"
1979 The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal Freida Television film
The Seeding of Sarah Burns 2nd nurse Television film
1980 A Cry for Love Unknown Television film
1984 Why Me? Unknown Television film
Summer Fantasy Woman on beach Television film
1985 The Twilight Zone Kate Simmons Episode: "Chameleon"
1986 Cagney & Lacey Secretary Episode: "DWI"
Falcon Crest Smoking female prisoner Episode: "Unholy Alliances"
1987 Who's the Boss? Mrs. Padnick Episode: "Mona"
Mistress Woman customer Television film
1988 Highway to Heaven Lila Barnes Episode: "A Mother's Love"
1991 Life Goes On Parent #2 Episode: "Life After Death"
1992 Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter Inmate Television film
1993 Torch Song Teamster Television film
Sisters Nightmare host #2 Episode: "Sleepless in Winnetka"
1994 In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance Foreman #2 Television film
My So-Called Life Parent #2 Episode: "Guns and Gossip"
1995 Sketch Artist II: Hands That See Bonnie Television film
Trial by Fire Phyllis Cardell Television film
1996 Project ALF Waitress Television film
Frasier Anne Episode: "The Focus Group"
1997 Perversions of Science The Nurse Episode: "Dream of Doom"
1998 Breakfast with Einstein Miss Desmond Television film
Becker Mrs. Cooper Episode: "Take These Pills and Shove 'Em"
2000 Arliss Unknown Episode: "The Value of Honesty"
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 On the Lot Various roles Unknown episodes
Dirty Sexy Money Leslie Donovan Episode: "The Game"
2009 ER Margaret Episode: "And in the End..."
2010 Next Stop Murder Detective Reeson Television film
Farewell Mr. Kringle Zelda Television film
2012 Matchmaker Santa Debbie Television film
Waffle Hut Jerrie Wolf Television film
2013 Private Practice Mrs. Taylor Episode: "Full Release"
Kroll Show Unknown Episode: "Soaked in Success"
2015 Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight Mrs. Abramson 3 episodes
2016 Still the King Ruthie Episode: “Mother Trucker”
American Gothic Lila Episode: "The Artist in His Museum"
Grip and Electric Glenda 4 episodes
2019 EastSiders Diane 2 episodes
2020 Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Dottie Minter 6 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
2000 Code Blue Leslie Miller
2022 The Quarry Constance Hackett[25] Voice, motion capture and likeness

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy There's Something About Mary Nominated
2002 Method Fest Independent Film Festival Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 Peñíscola Comedy Film Festival Best Actress Dead End Won
2005 Breckenridge Festival Of Film Best Supporting Actress Hate Crime Won
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actress Dead End Nominated
2011 Fright Meter Awards Best Supporting Actress Insidious Won
2012 Cyber-Horror Awards Best Supporting Actress Insidious Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actress Insidious Won
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
2019 HorrorHound Film Fest Legend Award Herself Won
2019 Fright Meter Awards Best Actress Room for Rent Nominated
Action On Film International Film Festival Best Supporting Actress Get Gone Nominated
2020 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Performer in a Digital Drama Series Eastsiders Won


  1. ^ a b "Your Horoscope: Birthday Gal". Montreal Gazette. October 12, 2017. p. C5. ProQuest 2001605621. Actress Lin Shaye was born in Detroit on the day in 1943. This birthday gal's massive resume includes playing Elise Rainier in the 'Insidious' franchise and memorable roles in such films as 'There's Something About Mary,' 'Dumb and Dumber' and 'Kingpin.'
  2. ^ Hochman, Steve (August 15, 1999). "Lin Shaye / Actor". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  3. ^ "Shaye, Lin (2001 Manaics) - Dread Central". Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Sheridan, Patricia (June 1, 2015). "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Lin Shaye". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Kissing Fool". People. 50 (9). Time Inc.: 210. September 14, 1998. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e 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.
  8. ^ Box Office Information for Dumb and Dumber. The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "Top 10 Cult Comedies". March 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  10. ^ "New 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams Clip – Granny's Grotesque Cookin'". DreadCentral. October 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "Insidious (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  12. ^ WorstPreviews.com Staff (February 3, 2012). "James Wan in Talks to Direct "Insidious" Sequel". WorstPreviews. WorstPreviews.com. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (November 19, 2012). "Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne Coming Back for 'Insidious' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  14. ^ "Insidious Chapter 2 (2013)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  15. ^ Outlaw, Kofi (March 11, 2014). "Insidious 3 Will Introduce New Story and Characters; Ghost Hunters Will Return". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  16. ^ Lin Shaye Haunted in New 'Insidious: Chapter 3' Still
  17. ^ "Insidious: Chapter 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  18. ^ 'Insidious: Chapter 3' Review – Lin Shaye Shines as the Original Female Ghost buster
  19. ^ "Insidious: Chapter 3" scares, Lin Shaye shines[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (July 19, 2020). "Daytime Emmy Awards Winners List: Amazon Tops Digital Dramas With 'The Bay', 'After Forever' And 'Studio City'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  21. ^ "Лин Шэй: "Кино в моих планах не значилось"".
  22. ^ Marshall Rubinoff: In Memoriam. Fifth Estate. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  23. ^ "We Are Gathered Here Today Featured, Reviews Film Threat". Film Threat. September 28, 2022. Retrieved June 30, 2023.
  24. ^ Squires, John (April 19, 2023). "'Insidious: The Red Door' Trailer – Patrick Wilson Directs Final Chapter in Lambert Family Saga". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved May 1, 2023.
  25. ^ "Official Website of The Quarry Horror Game | The Quarry". quarrygame.2k.com. Retrieved March 17, 2022.

External links[edit]