Underground Film Journal

Adrienne Shelly

Adrienne Shelly was an American actress and filmmaker based in New York City. She was murdered in 2006.

She began her career in the late '80s starring in two movies by Hal Hartley, The Unbelievable Truth and Trust, following which she appeared in mostly independent films. She also wrote and directed several movies herself, such as 1996's Sudden Manhattan and the posthumously released Waitress (2007).

In 2006, she was strangled to death by an undocumented Ecudorian construction worker who had snuck into her apartment in order to rob it. Immediately following killing Shelley, her murderer tried to make her death look like a suicide by hanging.


Waitress (2007)
The Shadows of Bob and Zelda (2000)
I’ll Take You There (1999)
Lois Lives a Little (1997)
Sudden Manhattan (1996)
Urban Legend (1994)