Ally Sheedy

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Ally Sheedy
Sheedy in 2011
Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy

(1962-06-13) June 13, 1962 (age 61)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
Years active1975–present
David Lansbury
(m. 1992; div. 2009)

Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy (born June 13, 1962) is an American actress. She made her feature film debut in Bad Boys (1983) and came to prominence as a member of the Brat Pack with roles in Oxford Blues (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), St. Elmo's Fire (1985), and Blue City (1986). She received three Saturn Award nominations for Best Actress for her performances in WarGames (1983), Fear (1990), and Man's Best Friend (1993). For playing a drug-addicted lesbian photographer in High Art (1998), Sheedy won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. She also starred in the films Twice in a Lifetime (1985), Short Circuit (1986), Betsy's Wedding (1990), Only the Lonely (1991), and Life During Wartime (2009), as well as the series Single Drunk Female (2022–2023).

Early life[edit]

Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy was born in New York City[1] on June 13, 1962, and has a brother and a sister. Her mother, Charlotte (née Baum), is a writer and press agent who was involved in women's and civil rights movements,[2] and her father, John J. Sheedy Jr., is a Manhattan advertising executive.[3] Sheedy's mother is Eastern European Jewish, and her father is of Irish Catholic background.[4] Her maternal grandmother was from Odesa, Ukraine.[5] Her parents divorced in 1971.[6]

She attended the Bank Street School for Children, followed by Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in New York City, graduating in 1980. She started dancing with the American Ballet Theatre at age six[7] and was planning to make it a full-time career. She gave up dance in favor of acting full time, however, and then started studying with acting teacher Harold Guskin.[8] At age 12 she wrote a book, She Was Nice to Mice, which was published by McGraw-Hill Education and became a best-seller.[7] The story was released in 1976 as a spoken word album on the Caedmon label (TC 1506).[9] On June 19, 1975, she appeared on the game show To Tell the Truth as herself promoting the novel which was on the adult reading list.[10][11][12]

At age 18, Sheedy relocated to Los Angeles, California, where she enrolled in the drama department at the University of Southern California.[13] Sheedy concurrently began her acting career and intermittently completed three years' worth of courses toward a BFA degree in acting.[13]


Sheedy started acting in local stage productions as a teenager. After appearing in several television films in 1981, as well as three episodes of the television series Hill Street Blues, she made her feature film debut in Bad Boys (1983), starring Sean Penn, wherein she played Penn's humiliated girlfriend. During the 1980s she had roles in popular films such as WarGames, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Short Circuit, and Maid to Order.

Sheedy starred alongside Radha Mitchell in the 1998 independent film High Art, about a romance between two women and the power of art.[14] Her performance in High Art was recognized with awards from the Independent Spirit Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and National Society of Film Critics.

In 1999, Sheedy took over the lead role in the off-Broadway production of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She was the first cis-gender female to play the part of the genderqueer Hedwig, but her run ended early amid "mixed" reviews.[15] That same year, she was cast as a lead actress in Sugar Town, an independent film that featured an ensemble cast of actors and musicians.[16]

She was reunited with Breakfast Club co-star Anthony Michael Hall when she became a special guest star on his television show The Dead Zone, in the second-season episode "Playing God", from 2003.[17]

Sheedy has also appeared in the episode "Leapin' Lizards" of C.S.I., in which she played a woman who murdered her boyfriend's wife while mixed up in a cult. On March 3, 2008, Sheedy was introduced as the character Sarah in the ABC Family show Kyle XY. In 2009, she played the role of Mr. Yang on the USA Network television show Psych (in the third-season finale), a role that she reprised in the fourth season, fifth season, and seventh season finales.

As of year 2021, Sheedy has been a professor in the theater department at the City College of New York of the City University of New York in the Hamilton Heights section of New York City. She was on an episode of GMA3: What You Need to Know on WABC-TV on May 10, 2023.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Ally Sheedy and her mother, Charlotte, 1975

Sheedy became a vegetarian at the age of 12.[19][20]

Sheedy dated Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi's guitarist, for less than a year in the 1980s. She stated in Los Angeles Times that the relationship led her to abuse drugs, a claim Sambora denied.[21] In 1985, Sheedy was admitted to Hazelden Foundation and in the 1990s was treated for a sleeping pill addiction,[22] an experience she drew on for her role as a drug-addicted photographer in High Art.[23]

On April 12, 1992, Sheedy married actor David Lansbury, the nephew of actress Angela Lansbury and son of Edgar Lansbury, the original producer of Godspell. They have a son, Beckett, born in 1994. Beckett is a trans man from whose transition Sheedy says she "learned a lot".[24] In 2008, Sheedy announced that she and Lansbury had filed for divorce.[1]

In January 2018, Sheedy tweeted the #MeToo hashtag along with the names of James Franco and Christian Slater, implying that they have been sexually abusive to her, but later deleted the tweets. Franco later stated that he did not know why Sheedy tweeted the accusations.[25][26]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Bad Boys J.C. Walenski
WarGames Jennifer Mack
1984 Oxford Blues Rona
1985 The Breakfast Club Allison Reynolds
St. Elmo's Fire Leslie Hunter
Twice in a Lifetime Helen Mackenzie
1986 Blue City Annie Rayford
Short Circuit Stephanie Speck
1987 Maid to Order Jessie Montgomery
1988 She's Having a Baby Herself Uncredited Cameo
1988 Short Circuit 2 Stephanie Speck Voice cameo (uncredited)[citation needed]
1989 Heart of Dixie Maggie DeLoach
1990 Betsy's Wedding Connie Hopper
Fear Cayce Bridges
1991 Only the Lonely Theresa Luna
1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Pam Block Cameo
1993 The Pickle Molly-Girl/Herself
Man's Best Friend Lori Tanner
1994 Red Shoe Diaries 4: Auto Erotica Karen Video; segment: "The Fling"
1995 One Night Stand Mickey Sanderson
1997 Amnesia Martha Keller
The Definite Maybe Joanne
Macon County Jail Susan Reed
Highball Ally Sheedy
1998 High Art Lucy Berliner
1999 Sugar Town Liz
The Autumn Heart Deborah
I'll Take You There Bernice
Advice from a Caterpillar Jan
2002 Just a Dream Maureen Sturbuck
Happy Here and Now Lois
2003 A Good Night to Die Marie
Shelter Island Louise 'Lou' Delamere
2004 Noise Charlotte Bancroft
2005 Shooting Livien Brea Epling
2007 Day Zero Dr. Reynolds
The Junior Defenders Jill Fields Video
Steam Laurie
2008 Harold Maureen Reynolds
2009 Perestroika Helen
Life During Wartime Helen Jordan
2010 Welcome to the Rileys Harriet
Ten Stories Tall Jackie
2014 Sins of Our Youth Vicki
Fugly! Stoddard
2016 Little Sister Joani Lunsford
X-Men: Apocalypse Scott Summers' teacher Cameo


Year Title Role Notes
1981 CBS Afternoon Playhouse Cathy Episode: "I Think I'm Having a Baby"
The Best Little Girl in the World 1st Girl Movie
The Violation of Sarah McDavid Tracy Barnes
Homeroom Karen Chase TV short
The Day the Loving Stopped Debbie Danner Movie
Splendor in the Grass Hazel
1982 Chicago Story Episode: "Bright Lights, Big City"
St. Elsewhere Diane Episode: "Samuels and the Kid"
1983 Hill Street Blues Kristen 3 episodes
Deadly Lessons Marita Armstrong Movie
1990 The Lost Capone Kathleen Hart
1992 Red Shoe Diaries Karen Episode: "Accidents Happen"
Tattle Tale Laura Perot Movie
1993 Lethal Exposure Chris Cassidy
The Hidden Room Julia Episode: "Hungry Girls"
Chantilly Lace Elizabeth Movie
1994 Ultimate Betrayal Adult Mary Rodgers
Parallel Lives Louise
The Haunting of Seacliff Inn Susan Enright
1995 The Tin Soldier Billy's Mom
1996 The Outer Limits Carter Jones Episode: "I Hear You Calling"
Hijacked: Flight 285 Deni Patton Movie
1997 Country Justice Angie Baker
Buried Alive II Laura Riskin
1998 The Fury Within Joanna Hanlon
1999 Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge Det. Kelly Brooks
2001 Oz Lisa Logan Episode: "Medium Rare"
The Warden Helen Hewitt Movie
Strange Frequency Lee Bonner Episode: "Daydream Believer"
2002 Once and Again Miriam Rose Miller Episode: "Aaron's List of Dreams"
The Interrogation of Michael Crowe Cheryl Crowe Movie
2003 Life on the Line
The Dead Zone Kate Moore Episode: "Playing God"
2006 The Veteran Sara Reid Movie
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Shannon Turner Episode: "Leapin' Lizards"
2008–2009 Kyle XY Sarah 4 episodes
2009 Citizen Jane Jane Alexander Movie
2009–2011/13 Psych Yang 4 episodes
2014 Not with My Daughter (a.k.a. Client Seduction) Melissa Eco Movie
2022–2023 Single Drunk Female Carol Main role[27]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Sheedy in 2003
Year Association Category Work Result
1983 Saturn Award Best Actress WarGames Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Young Motion Picture Actress in a Feature Film Nominated
1990 Saturn Awards Best Actress Fear Nominated
1993 Man's Best Friend Nominated
1999 Independent Spirit Awards Best Female Lead High Art Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actress (tie) Won
National Society of Film Critics Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Best Actress (2nd place) Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated
2005 MTV Movie Awards Silver Bucket of Excellence Award
(shared with other main cast members)
The Breakfast Club Won
2010 Gotham Independent Film Awards Best Ensemble Performance Life During Wartime Nominated


  • She Was Nice to Mice, McGraw-Hill, 1975, ISBN 0-440-47844-8
  • Yesterday I Saw the Sun: Poems, Summit Books, 1991, ISBN 0-671-73130-0


  1. ^ a b Robledo, S. Jhoanna (September 13, 2009). "Brat Packer Packs Up". New York magazine. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  2. ^ Leibovich, Lori (June 26, 1998). "Heroine Chic". Salon. San Francisco, California. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "WEDDINGS; Marilyn Webb, John Sheedy Jr". The New York Times. March 21, 1993. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Collins, Glenn (May 27, 1991). "Celebrating a Place Where for So Many The Good Life Began". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  5. ^ Sohn, Amy (2011). "Musicians, Mensches, and Muff-Diving: Ally Sheedy by Amy Sohn". Archived from the original on October 19, 2021. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  6. ^ Rochlin, Margy (June 14, 1998). "Ally Sheedy Makes a Bid To Be Taken Seriously". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Dretzka, Gary (June 28, 1998). "Back from the edge, Ally Sheedy may be on the verge of another breakthrough". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
  8. ^ Neumaier, Joe (July 17, 2010). "New York native Ally Sheedy never strays far from the Upper West Side". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "Ally Sheedy - She Was Nice To Mice (1976, Vinyl) - Discogs". Caedmon Records. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  10. ^ "A Young Ally Sheedy on 'To Tell the Truth' in 1975". The Retroist. July 15, 2013. Archived from the original on October 7, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Ally Sheedy at age 13 on "To Tell the Truth" (1975) on YouTube
  12. ^ She Was Nice To Mice at Google Books
  13. ^ a b Willistein, Paul (May 9, 1986). "A NEW CONNECTION WITH 'SHORT CIRCUIT,' ALLY SHEEDY PLUGS INTO A STARRING ROLE". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on November 21, 2020.
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 3, 1998). "High Art Movie Review & Film Summary (1998)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 15, 2017 – via
  15. ^ Keller, Julie (December 17, 1999). "Ally Sheedy Inches Away from "Hedwig"". E! Online. Los Angeles, California: NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  16. ^ Thomas, Kevin (September 17, 1999). "Down and Out in 'Sugar Town' After Fame Has Fled". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  17. ^ "Season 2 Overview". The Dead Zone Official Website. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  18. ^ "Ally Sheedy Reflects on Her Iconic Role in the Breakfast Club: 'I Still Really Love It'".
  19. ^ Mann, Roderick. (1987). "Busy Ally Sheedy Finds a 'Maid to Order' Role". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  20. ^ O`Malley, Kathy. (1987). For Ally Sheedy, Life is, Like, Just Fine, You Know?. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  21. ^ Natale, Richard (June 10, 1998). "On the Upswing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  22. ^ Rochlin, Margy (June 14, 1998). "FILM; Ally Sheedy Makes a Bid To Be Taken Seriously". The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  23. ^ Winters, Laura (June 21, 1998). "Ally Sheedy, Leaver of the Pack". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  24. ^ Nahas, Aili (January 27, 2022). "Ally Sheedy Says She 'Learned a Lot' from Her Son Beckett's Trans Journey". People. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  25. ^ Yahr, Emily (January 11, 2018). "Seth Meyers presses James Franco on why he hasn't contacted Ally Sheedy about her tweets". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  26. ^ Robinson, Joanna (January 7, 2018). "Why Did Ally Sheedy Call out Golden Globe Winner James Franco on Twitter?". Vanity Fair. New York City. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  27. ^ White, Peter (December 9, 2020). "Sofia Black-D'Elia & Ally Sheedy To Star In Freeform Pilot 'Single Drunk Female' From Simone Finch, Jenni Konner & Phil Traill, Leslye Headland To Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 9, 2020. Retrieved February 26, 2021.

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