Ally Sheedy is an American actress and Acting Coach, probably best known for her roles in the 1980’s classic films, “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire”.
- 1 Early Life and Educational Background
Early Life and Educational Background
Alexandra Elizabeth ‘Ally’ Sheedy was born on the 13th June 1962, in New York City, USA to Charlotte Baum and John J. Sheedy Jr. She has two siblings, a sister named Meghan and a brother named Patrick. Her mother is a writer and press agent, while her father is an advertising executive based in Manhattan. Her parents divorced when she was nine years old.
For her education, she attended the Bank Street School for Children, followed by matriculating from the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in 1980. From a young age, Ally had a keen interest in dancing, and at the age of six she began dancing with the American Ballet Theatre. She considered a career as a professional dancer, but finally opted for a career in acting. She learnt acting from Harold Guskin, the legendary Acting Coach for a few years, then at 18, she moved to Los Angeles, California, and enrolled at the University of Southern California, where she studied drama, and three years later graduated with a BFA degree in Acting.
Career – Actress
Ally began her acting career while she was still in university. She first appeared on television in a number of commercials for companies such as McDonald’s and Colgate, on which she was noticed by Talent Scouts who were impressed by her work, and offered her roles.
She made her television show debut in 1981, in “CBS Afternoon Playhouse”, followed by roles that same year in “The Best Little Girl in the World”, “The Violation of Sarah McDavid”, and “Homeroom”. The following year, she had support roles in “Chicago Story” and “St. Elsewhere”, before her big break came in 1983, with the films, “Bad Boys” as J.C. Walenski, and “War Games” as Jennifer Mack, for which she got nominated for the Best Actress at the Saturn Awards, and Young Artist Awards. Ally’s most popular role came in 1985, as basket-case Allison Reynolds in “The Breakfast Club”, followed by roles in “St Elmo’s Fire” and “Twice in a Lifetime”, all of which became hit films.
Further roles followed in the films “Maid to Order”, “Heart of Dixie”, “Betsy’s Wedding” and “Only the Lonely”, along with roles in television shows “Red Shoe Diaries”, “The Hidden Room” and “The Outer Limits”. Ally also appeared in television movies including “Lethal Exposure”, “Parallel Lives” and “The Fury Within”., before her role in the independent film “High Art” earned her several awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Independent Spirit Awards, and the National Society of Film Critics.
Her most recent film appearances were in “Little Sister”, “Sins of our Youth” and a brief cameo in “X-men: Apocalypse” as well as recurring roles in the television shows “Kyle XY” and “Psych”. Currently, she has a main role in the Freeform Original Sitcom “Single Drunk Female”.
Post her successful acting career, Ally gives back to the community by teaching high school and college students in and around New York City. She taught a film class and co-directed productions at La Guardia High School for a couple of years, trained her students for college and other auditions. She is also a private tutor at My Learning Springboard, coaching students in preparation for auditions. Additionally, she teaches an acting and film class at City University of New York and the City College campus.
She recently taught a Master Class in Acting on Camera at the University of Pittsburgh, for Pitt Film and Media Studies students. The Senior Lecturer, Carl Kurlander said of the event, ‘What Ally shared with these students was truly remarkable, reflecting her experience of being in over 90 films and TV shows…What Ally gave to these students was truly life-changing and spoke to more than just acting on camera, but had important lessons for life’
Ally had a keen interest in writing from an young age, and at the age of 12, she wrote her first book entitled “She Was Nice to Mice”, based on a fictitious adventure of Queen Elizabeth and a curious mouse, was published by Mcgraw-Hill Education and became a New York Times best-seller. This led to freelance opportunities for the young Ally, who was offered jobs with Ms Magazine, The New York Times, and other magazines.
In 1991, she presented a page from one of her poems to James Silverman, president of Summit Books who was impressed. Consequently, her collection of poems entitled, “Yesterday I Saw the Sun” was published. Currently, she works as a freelance book editor under an unknown name.
Ex-boyfriend— Richie Sambora
The actress dated Richie Sambora, guitarist for the popular rock band Bon Jovi, for a few months in 1985. Ally cited the relationship as a cause for her drug abuse, revealing, ‘I went to rehab [for] sleeping pills. I started taking them when I was in a really toxic relationship. The person I was with was a real drug addict, and the sleeping pills had something to do with that rocker sort of schedule’. Her friends including Demi Moore had to intervene, and the actress was admitted to Hazelden Foundation, a substance abuse center in Minneapolis, where she successfully overcame her addiction. On the other hand, Richie denied all the claims made by Ally.
Ex-husband— David Lansbury
Ally first met actor David, son of iconic producer Edgar Lansbury and nephew of the actress Angela Lansbury, when they were appearing in the off-Broadway play, “Advice From a Caterpillar”. They fell in love and dated for 9 months, before tying the knot on the 12th of April 1992, in a private ceremony. Two years later, they welcomed their first child they named Rebecca Lansbury, but after 16 years of marriage, Ally announced that the couple had divorced in 2008. Their split was amicable, and the pair have remained on friendly terms.
Son— Beckett Lansbury
The only child of Ally and David spent his childhood in Upper West Side, Manhattan, and grew up with his mother and his grandmothers—Ally’s mother and her spouse— who are in a same-sex relationship. Not much is known of her early years and education.
On the second episode of our new podcast, "We Are Family," actress Ally Sheedy and her son Beckett Lansbury, who is transgender, talk about their journey through his transition and how parents can support kids who are transgender. 🏳️🌈❤️ Listen here: https://t.co/KIthNjOvEH pic.twitter.com/Obls0D8LSg
— Parents (@parentsmagazine) June 16, 2020
At age 15, Rebecca publicly announced that she was bisexual, after getting support from her family. She said, ‘… I came out to my mom and I was terrified. And I didn’t know why I was so scared. There was never necessarily like a fear of rejection simply because like I had been exposed to, you know, to queerness and my grandmothers who were queer’. After getting educated on gender identity, gender-fluid, non-binary and genderqueer, she began to think where exactly she fitted in gender-wise. A few years later while at college, he started using masculine pronouns: he/they and changed his name to Becket. Around the same time, his transition to male began with testosterone hormones. He wrote about his journey, and documented it on Instagram.
Ally Sheedy is proud of her son, and tries her best to be supportive of him. She said, ‘Beck doesn’t hide anything. And I feel very comfortable talking to anyone whose kid is just beginning the process of transition. Parents need to educate themselves. It’s natural to have fears about your kids, no matter what. But in this case, Beck is in a really great place in his life. I give him the room to run, and I just really try to just watch’. The mother-son duo recently appeared on We Are Family Podcast to talk about Beckett’s journey, and parenting transgender kids.
Unlike his parents, Beckett did not pursue a career in front of the camera, and instead became a science teacher. In his free time, he does work in sexual violence prevention.
In January of 2018, the actress tweeted the hashtag and tagged Christian Slater and James Franco, along with a series of questioning tweets that were since deleted. The actress worked with James when he directed her in the off-Broadway play “The Long Shrift” in 2014.
It has remained unclear what exactly transpired between Ally and James, since she didn’t clarify anything. On the other hand, James said that he didn’t know why she would tag him, stating, ‘The [tweets] I read were not accurate. But one of the things that I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had…’.
Hobbies, Favorite Things and Interesting Facts
- Ally has been a vegetarian since she was 12 years old.
- The actress has become used to her students recognising her. In an interview with People she shared, ‘Some of them Google me, or they have a great filmography in their head and they’ve seen what I’ve done…’.
- She is still in touch with her “Breakfast Club” co-star, Molly Ringwald almost 35 years later. ‘What we have is a shared experience which is very specific and unique, it’s a comfortable sort of closeness. We’ve both lived through this particular thing that it became and has continued to go on and be…’
- Similar to her “Breakfast Club” character, the actress felt like an outcast in real life due to her many achievements in a short time. ‘I don’t know why I accomplished so many things when I was young. It was just the way I was”.
- She enjoys the silence and comfort of her home. She confessed on Yahoo, ‘I’m a loner. I do not like to go out ever, so I have actually not had that difficult a time with the isolation aspects of COVID’.
- During the COVID pandemic, she was introduced to streaming services such as Netflix and discovered ‘wonderful stuff’ such as “The Crown”, “The Underground Railroad”, “When They See Us” and “Euphoria”.
- Ally’s favorite thing to do is watch the news, read a book or spend time in silence.
- At school, Beckett had to watch his mother’s film for one of his classes, and he praised her accordingly. She recalls,’… he told me it was a good movie, that he liked my character, and that he thought I did a good job. He was the audience member I was most concerned about, so it was a relief’.
- When asked of potential partners, she said, ‘I am completely done with men. I have been for years. I just feel like I’ve been through so many different phases and this feels good to me. Now, if I could just stay in this place where I’m happy with my house and my dog. I have a few close friends, whom I love. This is enough’.
Appearance and Clothing Style
The actress stands at a height of 5ft 4ins (1.65m) and weighs about 127lbs (58kgs). Among other features, she has brown hair, dark brown eyes and a slim body, with vital statistics of 34-25-33. Ally is of Caucasian ethnicity, American nationality, and mixed Eastern European and Irish ancestry. As of 2020, Ally is 60 years old.
Net worth and Salary
Ally Sheedy has had a largely successful acting career— appearing in more than 50 films and television shows, and has gathered an impressive net worth estimated at close to $6 million, according to authoritative sources. This figure is expected to increase as she continues getting more offers. Another source of income is her job as an Acting Coach, although it’s unclear how much she earns from this job. She also does editorial work.