The Breakfast Club
"I don't get hassled on the street. People do come up to me and say they enjoy my movies and it's a really good feeling. One day I was in the supermarket and this little girl came up and said, 'Are you Ally? Oh God, I love The Breakfast Club (1985) so much.' It made me feel so good." Ally Sheedy
A member of the original Brat Pack, Ally Sheedy rose to fame in the 1980s after playing roles in the hit films “The Breakfast Club” (1985) and “St. Elmo's Fire” (1985). She has also starred in such films as "Bad Boys" (1983), "WarGames" (1983), "Oxford Blues" (1984), "Maid to Order" (1987), and took home several awards after delivering a standout performance opposite Radha Mitchell in "High Art" (1998). She was recently seen in the 2007 films "Perestroika," "Day Zero," and "Steam." Next, she will team up with Spencer Breslin and Cuba Gooding Jr. for an upcoming comedy movie called "Harold.”
“It's so unfair. The term 'brat pack' is so condescending.” All Sheedy
Trained as a professional ballerina from ages 6 to 14, Sheedy, a recovered drug-addict and bulimic whose prominent New York literary agent mother came out as a lesbian in 1980, released a best selling children's book titled "She Was Nice to Mice" (McGraw-Hill; 1975) when she was only 12. She later released a poetry book titled "Yesterday I Saw the Sun" in 1991.
On a more personal front, the 5' 5" attractive, brown-eyed, chestnut-haired actress was once involved with actor Eric Stoltz and Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora in the 1980s. She is now married to actor David Lansbury, whom she wed in 1992. They have one daughter together.
Childhood and Family:
The eldest child to John Sheedy, a Manhattan-based advertising executive, and Charlotte Baum, a notable New York literary agent, Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy was born on June 13, 1962, in New York, New York. She has two younger siblings, a sister named Meghan and a brother named Patrick. Following their parents' divorce in 1971, Sheedy and her siblings spent half of the week at their mother's house and half of the week at their father's house. Their mother later came out as a lesbian in 1980.
When she was around 6, Sheedy danced with the American Ballet Theatre, which she gave up at age 14 when puberty made her breasts fill out and all the starvation diets led her to developing an eating disorder.
At 12, when she was a student at New York's Bank Street School, Sheedy managed to write a best selling novel titled "She Was Nice to Mice" (McGraw-Hill; 1975), which tells of a mythical encounter between Queen Elizabeth I and an inquisitive mouse. On June 19, 1975, she appeared on the game show “To Tell the Truth.”
“I started writing because I used to tell stories to the children who lived nearby and when I was six I started writing them down. I write poetry and plays too, and writing is important to me. It is important for me to express my feelings and thoughts. If I'm feeling angry or wonderful or upset or happy, I just write it out and reread the feelings over and over again. When I'm depressed, I read something I wrote when I was happy and I can feel a great lift in my spirits. I love writing!” Ally Sheedy
Sheedy was also educated at Columbia Grammar and Prepatory School, in New York, New York, and graduated in 1980. She also went to Ecole Francaise, in New York and studied drama at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, California, where one of her classmates was Michele Greene.
In 1985, she was admitted to Hazelden and was treated for sleeping pill addiction in the 1990s. She would later draw from the experience for her role as a washed-up and drug-addicted photographer in the film “High Art” (1998).
“The fact is nobody gets off drugs unless they really want to and I really wanted to.” Ally Sheedy
On October 10, 1992, Sheedy, who had previously dated actor Eric Stoltz and guitarist Richie Sambora, married her present husband, actor David Lansbury (born on February 25, 1961), the nephew of actress Angela Lansbury and son of Edgar Lansbury, They have one daughter together, Rebecca Elizabeth, who was born on March 15, 1994.
“I'm very happy with the work that I do and I have a lot of time for my daughter, and really, I don't want to be a superstar because it takes a great deal of effort to maintain that kind of life once you've created it.” Ally Sheedy
A member of the nine original members of the 1980s brat pack, Sheedy was a bridesmaid at Demi Moore's and Bruce Willis' wedding.
Trained at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) during 1968 to 1976, Ally Sheedy displayed a talent for writing and wrote the best-selling children's book called "She Was Nice to Mice" (McGraw-Hill; 1975) when she was only 12. She then appeared on the TV game show "To Tell the Truth" (1969) and began receiving offers to contribute her writing for such publications as “The New York Times,” “Village Voice,” and “Ms. Magazine.”
During the promotional tour of her book, Sheedy was asked to do some acting and soon made her debut at age 15 in a TV commercial for Burger King, which was followed by numerous commercials, including one for Colgate toothpaste.
In the early 1980s, she made her early TV appearances in the made-for-television movies "The Best Little Girl in the World," "The Violation of Sarah McDavid," "Homeroom," "The Day the Loving Stopped," "Splendor in the Grass," and CBS Afternoon Playhouse's "I Think I'm Having a Baby." She was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the short-lived NBC drama series "Chicago Story" and the NBC medical drama "St. Elsewhere," as well as had a recurring role in the NBC police procedural drama "Hill Street Blues."
Sheedy entered the film scene in 1983 as Sean Penn's girlfriend in director Rick Rosenthal's juvenile delinquent melodrama "Bad Boys." She followed it up with an applauded performance as Matthew Broderick's friend Jennifer Katherine Mack in John Badham's suspense film "WarGames" (1983), which earned her a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress and a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Young Motion Picture Actress in a Feature Film. She then made her first film with Rob Lowe, playing his Oxford rowing teammate Rona, in writer/director Robert Boris' romantic drama/comedy movie "Oxford Blues" (1984).
After losing the lead role in John Hughes' film "Sixteen Candles" (1984) to Molly Ringwald, Sheedy nabbed the role of "The Basketcase" Allison Reynolds, a kleptomaniac and self-described "compulsive liar," opposite Ringwald's "The Princess," in the teen film "The Breakfast Club" (1985), which was directed and written by John Hughes. The film has become a cult classic and has had a tremendous influence on many coming-of-age films since then.
Following her big break, Sheedy joined the Brat Pack in Joel Schumacher's coming-of-age film "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985), portraying Leslie Hunter, Alec's (played by Judd Nelson) yuppie girlfriend. She also appeared in the music video of the film's soundtrack, the #1 hit and Grammy-nominated single sung by John Parr, "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" (1985).
After turning down the Kelly McGillis role in the hit movie starring Tom Cruise, “Top Gun” (1986), Sheedy was reunited with Judd Nelson in Michelle Manning's film adaptation of Ross Macdonald's 1947 novel, "Blue City" (1986), and received a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress for her role. She then co-starred with Steve Guttenberg in John Badham's comedy science fiction film "Short Circuit" (1986) and reportedly was paid $500,000 to star as Jessie Montgomery in Amy Holden Jones' comedy/fantasy film "Maid to Order" (1987).
After appearing in the music video for Bon Jovi's single "Bad Medicine" (1988), Shedy received a Razzie Award's Worst Actress nomination again, this time for her work in Martin Davidson's big screen version of Anne Rivers Siddons' novel, “Heart of Dixie” (1989), in which she starred as a pampered Southern belle named Maggie DeLoach, alongside Virginia Madsen, Phoebe Cates, and Treat Williams.
Sheedy next agreed to play Connie Hopper, the title role's (played by Molly Ringwald) single older sister, in the romantic comedy movie helmed and written by Alan Alda, "Betsy's Wedding," which earned her a third Razzie nomination, this time for Worst Supporting Actress. That same year, she also starred in writer/director Rockne S. O'Bannon's horror/thriller "Fear" (1990), for which she was nominated for Saturn Award's Best Actress for her turn as a psychic named Cayce Bridges who helps police solve murders, and appeared in numerous roles in the music video for the single "No Way" by the rock band "Valentine."
Sheedy published her second book, a poetry book titled "Yesterday I Saw the Sun" (Summit Books; 1991). She also made her off-Broadway acting debut in the play "Advice From a Caterpillar.”
Sheedy was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress for her work in writer/director John Lafia's horror movie "Man's Best Friend" (1993). She then starred in several TV movies before returning to the big screen in the films "One Night Stand" (1995), "Amnesia" (1996), "Macon County Jail" (1997), "Groupies" (1997), "The Definite Maybe" (1997) and "Myth America" (1998).
In 1998, Sheedy scored her best screen role in years as Lucy Berliner, a once glamorous, heroin-addicted and lesbian photographer who becomes involved with a young female intern (played by Radha Mitchell) at a small photographer magazine company, in Lisa Cholodenko's independent movie, "High Art." Her solid performance handed her a Chicago Film Critics Association Award (CFCA) and a Chlotrudis Award nomination for Best Actress. She also took home the Best Female Lead Award from the Independent Spirit Awards as well as Best Actress Awards from the National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Afterward, Sheedy was cast as Jan in Don Scardino's film adaptation of Douglas Carter Beane's play, "Advice from a Caterpillar," as a repressed Hollywood production designer in writers/directors Allison Anders and Kurt Voss' musical comedy "Sugar Town," as one of the daughters of a school bus driving woman (played by Tyne Daly) in Steven Maler's dramatic film "The Autumn Heart," and as a distressed woman in Adrienne Shelly's independent romantic/drama/comedy "I'll Take You There" (all four in 1999).
Sheedy also returned to stage in the title role of Hedwig, the East German transsexual rock star, in the off-Broadway musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," making her the first biological female to play Hedwig.
In 2002, Sheedy co-starred as a mother to Jeremy Sumpter's character and wife to Robby Benson's character in Showtime’s original movie directed by Danny Glover, "Just a Dream," and as Liane Balaban's distracted aunt in writer/director Michael Almereyda's drama, "Happy Here and Now." She continued to add to her resume roles in films like "A Good Night to Die" (2003; with Michael Rapaport, Gary Stretch, and Seymour Cassel), "Shelter Island" (2003; alongside Stephen Baldwin), "Noise" (2004; she co-starred as the mysterious and noisy upstairs neighbor) and "Shooting Livien" (2005; starring Jason Behr).
Recently, in 2007, moviegoers could catch her acting opposite Sam Robards in Slava Tsukerman's dramatic film "Perestroika," with Elijah Wood in Bryan Gunnar Cole's "Day Zero," and starring as a housewife manipulated by her ex-husband in Kyle Schickner's "Steam." She will soon complete her upcoming film with Spencer Breslin and Cuba Gooding Jr., "Harold," a comedy directed by T. Sean Shannon.
MTV Movie: Silver Bucket of Excellence, "The Breakfast Club" (reunion; shared with Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall), 2005
Independent Spirit: Best Female Lead, "High Art," 1999
National Society of Film Critics (NSFC): Best Actress, "High Art," 1999
Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actress, "High Art," 1998