“I have a lot of family members in the arts and entertainment, and my dad is a director. But it took me a long time to...embrace that identity. When I was young, I wanted to do anything but that. I remember wanting to get into advertising. I think I just wanted to do something that used the left side of the brain, something practical and stable. But it’s really true--you can’t escape your destiny.” Marley Shelton
American actress Marley Shelton, whose fresh-faced girl-next-door beauty has adapted effortlessly to both comic and dramatic roles, became famous after playing the love interest of Tobey Maguire in hit comedy Pleasantville (1998) and as Chris O’Donnell’s sweetheart in The Bachelor (1999). Initially making an impact as lifeguard Wendy in The Sandlot (1993), the blonde actress offered the glamorous scene-stealing role of daughter Tricia Nixon in the biopic film Nixon (1995). Her more recent and forthcoming credits include Sugar & Spice (2001), Bubble Boy (2001), Uptown Girls (2003), Sin City (2005), American Dreamz (2006), Jesus, Mary and Joey (2006), The Last Kiss (2006), The Fifth Patient (2006) and Grind House (2007).
As for her romantic life, one of Stuff magazine’s “102 Sexiest Women In The World in 2002,” Shelton dated “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” actor Nicholas Brendon when she was in high school. The actor was Shelton’s high school prom date. She is the wife of producer Beau Flynn, whom she wedded in 2001.
Childhood and Family:
In Los Angeles, California, Marley E. Shelton was born on April 12, 1974. She is the daughter of Christopher Shelton, a director and producer, and Carol Stromme, a school teacher and ex-singer. Both of her parents participated in local theater productions. She has three sisters, Corinne (older), Erin (younger) and Samantha (younger; who is also an actress).
Growing up in Eagle Rock, Marley attended Eagle Rock High School. While there, she joined the cheerleading team and was voted “Prom Queen” in her senior year. A lively girl, she was also a part-time worker at such stores as Wet Seal and Contempo. Despite her busy days, as a teen Marley was never attracted on the world of theater. After graduating, she continued her studies at the University of California in Los Angeles.
In July 2001, Marley married her fiancé, producer Beau Flynn, and the couple remains together up to now.
Born into an entertainment family, the teenaged Marley Shelton was never interested in acting. Instead, she became highly involved in her school cheerleading squad. It was in her late teen that Shelton began to recognize her calling and, in 1990, she won her first acting job as a guest star in an episode of the short-lived CBS sitcom “The Family Man.” Billed early on as Marlee Shelton, the young player made the leap to the wide screen with a condemn supporting role as Amanda in Lawrence Kasdan’s crime-drama Grand Canyon (1991), which starred Danny Glover, Kevin Kline and Steve Martin.
A handful of guest spots on TV series followed, including turned as Becky Sue in the ABC hit “Family Matters” (1992), but it was Shelton’s sophomore film role as lust-inducing young lifeguard Wendy in directed David M. Evans’ baseball-themed children’s feature The Sandlot (1993) that earned her notice. The same year, Shelton also debuted on TV movie with a supporting part in the action In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco and costarred as a bothered teen named Brandy in the primetime soap “Angel Falls.” The series, which also starred Jean Simmons, Shirley Knight, Peggy Lipton and James Brolin, however, was axed after only a single season.
Shelton then took on roles in television films A Friend to Die For, the syndicated special Hercules in the Underworld (starred opposite Anthony Quinn and Kevin Sorbo) and Take Me Home Again (all 1994), before essaying a high-profile supporting part in Oliver Stone’s striving presidental biopic Nixon (1995), starring Anthony Hopkins. The role, as the president’s teenage daughter Tricia, helped set her career on the rise.
Following parts in the children’s actioner Warriors of Virtue (1997) and the little-seen comedy Trojan War (1997, starred Will Friedle and Jennifer Love Hewitt), Shelton scored her first major hit with director Gary Ross critically acclaimed Pleasantville (1998), where she was cast as Tobey Maguire’s girlfriend Margaret. The same year, she also had a feature role as a hit blonde girl in Hairshirt (1998) and appeared in the pilot episode of the remake series “Fantasy Island.” In 1999, she costarred with Dennis Hopper in Lured Innocence, was cast as one of a trio of snooty popular high school girls in the Drew Barrymore vehicle Never Been Kissed, as well as joined her father for a short film titled Protect-O-Man, portraying an agoraphobic. In the Gary Sinyor-helmed The Bachelor (1999), Shelton gained some popularity as Natalie, the long-suffering lover of Chris O’Donnell’s titular commitment-phobe and also Renee Zellweger’s sardonic younger sister. The romance comedy also featured Brooke Shields, Jennifer Esposito and Mariah Carey.
The great supporting performer finally received a leading lady status in 2001 when director Francine McDougall had her play a cheerleader-turned-young mother and criminal in the high-school set black comedy Sugar and Spice. She was then additionally featured in films like Valentine (2001, with Denise Richards and David Boreanaz) and the comedy Bubble Boy (2001, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal), before winning the leads in On the Borderline (2001), the romantic comedy Just a Kiss (2002) and her father’s comedy Moving Alan (2003, costarred with her sister Samantha). Shelton found herself acting opposite Scott Caan and Jeff Goldblum in Dallas 362 (2003), teamed up Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning in Uptown Girls (2003) and appeared in the low-budgeted Grand Theft Parsons (2003). In 2005, she stepped back into major Hollywood production by making a memorable cameo as the customer in Sin City, jointly directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Millers.
Recently appearing in musical American Dreamz (2006, starred Hugh Grant, Mandy Moore and Dennis Quaid) and the comedy Jesus, Mary and Joey (2006), Shelton is scheduled to have parts in the upcoming The Last Kiss (2006), the thriller The Fifth Patient (2006, with Brendan Fehr) and the horror Grind House (2007) for directors/writers Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.