Ally Sheedy

Active - 1981 - 2016  |   Born - Jun 13, 1962 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Thriller

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Brown-eyed, chestnut-haired actress Ally Sheedy has been involved with acting for most of her life. The daughter of a literary agent mother, she began making commercials and appearing on-stage at the age of 15. She was something of a precocious author, as well: When only 12-years-old, she published a children's book, She Was Nice to Mice. (Sheedy has also been published in such periodicals as The New York Times). After high school, the New York-born actress headed west to the University of California where, in addition to her studies, she appeared in TV movies. She began her feature-film career at 21 playing adolescent girls in films such as Bad Boys and WarGames (both 1983), and joined the so-called Brat Pack in 1985 after appearing in John Hughes' The Breakfast Club and Joel Schumacher's St. Elmo's Fire. Despite the huge success of both films, many of her subsequent efforts were relative disappointments, and, by the early '90s, she had slipped into all but complete obscurity. However, her career was revived in 1998 thanks to a starring role as a drug-addicted lesbian photographer in the widely acclaimed High Art. Sheedy won raves for her raw, touching performance, and, in short time, again found herself working steadily. In 1999, she appeared in Allison Anders' Sugar Town and The Autumn Heart, the latter premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to her film work, Sheedy continued to work in the theater, taking over John Cameron Mitchell's title role in the popular New York production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a story about a German entertainer who is neither a man nor a woman but a fascinating composite of both. As the 21st century began, Sheedy continued to work steadily in varied projects like Happy Here and Now, Noise, Harold, and Life During Wartime -- Todd Solondz's sort-of sequel to his black comedy Happiness.

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  • Danced with the American Ballet Theatre from ages 6 to 14. 
  • Penned the best-selling children's book She Was Nice to Mice when she was 12 years old.
  • Began acting in her teens.
  • Breakthrough role was as Allison Reynolds in the 1985 hit The Breakfast Club.
  • Battled bulimia and was treated for an addiction to sleeping pills in the '90s.