What the Hell Happened to Ally Sheedy?

Ally Sheedy

Ally Sheedy

Ally Sheedy rose to fame as part of the Brat Pack in the 1980’s.  In the middle of the decade, she starred in two of the most iconic coming-of-age movies of the decade.  Like a lot of her fellow Brat Packers, Sheedy’s  movie career cooled off quickly as the decade came to an end.  In the 90’s, Sheedy seemed to disappear.

What the hell happened?

Ally Sheedy - She Was Nice to Mice - 1975

Ally Sheedy – She Was Nice to Mice – 1975

In 1975, Sheedy authored a best-selling children’s book at the age of 12.  The book was about a mouse who is transported back in time to England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.  How does a 12-year-old get a book published?  It helps to have connections.  Her mother was a writer who knew a lot of editors.  When one such friend was visiting, Sheedy acted out and read from her book.  The editor was impressed and took the project back to McGraw Hill.

Alley Sheedy - To Tell the Truth - 1975

Ally Sheedy – To Tell the Truth – 1975

The success of the book lead to Sheedy’s appearance on the TV game show, To Tell the Truth.  The premise of the show was that a panel of celebrities would be given the description of someone with an unusual background.  Then they would ask questions of three challengers.  Their goal is to identify the person who actually fits the description that was provided.

In 1976, Sheedy appeared on The Mike Douglas Show to promote her book.  When she was asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, Sheedy answered that she wanted to be an actress.  A talent agent saw her on the show and called her up which lead to a string of commercials.  Here’s a commercial Sheedy did for Clearasil in the seventies:

And here’s Sheedy selling toothpaste in 1978:

Continuing the theme of fresh breath, Sheedy appeared in a Tic Tac commercial that same year:

In 1980, Sheedy’s enticing offer of Stove Top stuffing with pork was too good to resist:

Ally Sheedy - Pizza Hut Commercial - 1981

Ally Sheedy – Pizza Hut Commercial – 1981

In 1981, Sheedy was serving up hot pan pizza in commercials for Pizza Hut.

She also had a Coke and a smile at a wedding in a 1981 Coke commercial:

She also let chocolate lovers know that the more it’s whipped, the bigger it gets in a 3 Musketeers commercial.

Seriously, that was their slogan.

Next: Hill Street Blues and Bad Boys


Posted on August 29, 2015, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. Applause, applause! This is an article I’ve been looking forward to for some time now! As usual, chock full of interesting career info, previously unknown facts and signature Lebeau style humor, sometimes subtle, sometimes right there looking at you. 🙂
    War Games is on my top ten permanent list. It was just so breathtakingly well done.
    At any time, I could drop anything and watch it again. It was one of those life changing movies for me in a lot of ways, way beyond simply becoming a lifelong Matthew Broderick fan as well. Everything about the movie was captivating. Reading the backstory sort of brought back that feeling of discovery. Then again, this is precisely the sort of feeling that for me, capture the essence of many of the “Brat Pack” projects. A lot of us of a certain age group appreciate films like St. Elmo’s Fire, even more than the more successful Breakfast Club, for its representation of 80s culture at the time.
    Also, I’m appreciative of the empathy shown in this article, to the Brat Pack actors and actresses and some of the unfair slings and arrows of life they endured as a price of success. I saw pretty much everything Ally Sheedy was in (other than Short Circuit) during that time period, and didn’t have a clue that she even continued working after the 90s. So this was interesting to learn. Finally, I will say that “Maid to Order” is also a very good movie. Formula, maybe? Yet, also a lot of original touches. It had competition when it was released, which may have overshadowed the project to some degree. But again, I’ll never forget that feeling of walking out of the theater after seeing it, just so happy to be alive.


    • Glad you liked it. I went back and dug in a little deeper on WarGames knowing that you were a fan. I’m actually watching St. Elmo’s Fire today. I don’t believe I have ever watched it all the way through before. It strikes me as a “right place, right time” movie. You really had to be at the right place in your life at the right time to form an attachment to it. Even though I didn’t bond with the movie when it was released, I do find it interesting as a piece of pop culture history. It’s an important relic of the Brat Pack era.

      Fairness is always a goal. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Brat Packers got a raw deal. On the one hand, most of them were privileged which is part of why so many people had it out for them. On the other, there was talent there that got wasted because people were jealous. I don’t want to white wash the bad behavior or mistakes that some of these young people made. But I also think it’s important to call out the way the deck was eventually stacked against anyone who was closely associated with the so-called Brat Pack. Young actors have always partied too hard. This one generation got singled out for it.


      • Good point on “Right place at the right time.” Really, the same could be said of WarGames, as well. (And I did love those extra tidbits, thanks). You have to understand that in 1983, typing on a screen (instead of a typewriter) and getting a response from the computer, which doesn’t make anyone blink today…… even though in the early 80s the PC was beginning to take hold, it was still quite novel then. Computer hacks and Cold War backdrop… it was pretty heady stuff. BTW the actor who played the professor, John Wood, was dynamite.
        If you find Elmo watchable, and you like Sheedy, you might want to check out Maid to Order. Although, possibly it may not be your cup of tea. I’ve no idea if it would hold up well, if it shows up on TV I’ll share some thoughts.


        • My thought going into St Elmo’s Fire was that I had never really given it a fair viewing and that by sitting down and watching it from start to finish I would find an appreciaition of the much-loved coming of age drama. Turns out that the movie is less than the sum of its parts. Watching it from start to finish really made it obvious how ridiculous the movie was and how utterly unlikable all of the characters were – especially the men! Estevez stalks Andie MacDowell, crashes her ski weekend and then pouts in the driveway when he finds out she is there with another man despite the fact that they have no relationship whatsoever. They invite him into their cabin to prevent him from freezing to death in his car, and he sits their throwing a fit when she offers him a pair of warm pajamas. Judd Nelson cheats on Ally Sheedy then throws her out of their apartment when she confronts him about it. Rob Lowe is a irresponsible drunk who just crashed his friend’s car while driving drunk and shows no remorse whatsoever. He has a wife and baby and hits on everything that moves. Can’t keep a job. Spends all his nights at the bar with his friends. And when he finally gets his act together, his happy ending is to abandon his wife and family and move to New York. Spending two hours with these characters is a tall order – unless you laugh at them. Which we did. As bad as St Elmo’s Fire was, and it is objectively a bad movie, I can’t say I didn’t have fun watching it.

          What I would be interested to know is whether or not the movie appeals to people who are currently at that point in their lives. I know new generations still relate to The Breakfast Club because it is a fairly univeral depiction of teen angst. But I think St. Elmo’s Fire is tied to the mid-eighties. If you didn’t grow up with a crush on one of the actors, there’s no reason to watch it.

          I will keep my eyes peeled for Maid to Order. But that kind of high concept comedy is a tough sell for me. The execution has to be top notch. Based on the reviews, it doesn’t sound like that was the case. Even if I dislike the movie, I’d be curious to see Sheedy in her prime headlining a movie I haven’t seen.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Comebacks that didn’t work out:

    As for Ally Sheedy, she’s always been a mediocre actress and not very easy on the eyes. I never got her appeal.

    “High Art” was a pretentious piece of shit film and I work in the art field live in NYC and I still thought it sucked! Very few films truly capture the NYC art scene, perhaps “Basquiat”, “Factory Girl” and “I Shot Andy Warhol”, otherwise most films about the world of ‘high art’ simply don’t work.


    reply 47 06/07/2014

    Sheedy’s bizarre Independent Spirit Award speech made her seem insane. Probably closed whatever doors the award win opened.

    Gosh I’d love to see that speech again unedited.

    someone find it!!!!!


    reply 60 06/07/2014


    • Where’s Ally Sheedy?

      Ally was really pretty and charismatic in Wargames…

      I think she could have been a star at the level of Julia Roberts with the right projects… alas after The Breakfast Club she got caught up in a lousy series of Brat Pack vehicles… and then adapted an oddly frumpy style around the time of Short Circuit.


      reply 34 03/21/2015

      She really was charismatic in her early films. She was better, and prettier, in Wargames and Bad Boys than Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire.

      Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy peaked in the 80s, and seem like different people now.

      If Molly hadn’t turned down Ghost, she may transitioned into adult roles. She was the coolest, most unconventional actress around for a few years.


      reply 37 03/22/2015


  3. I don’t think her decline is really anything remarkable or unexpected. Actually, it’s the other way around: Hollywood is brutal and fickle and unfaithful, and making it to the top of the pack- or even the middle, for that matter- and staying there is remarkable and unexpected. I think she got to where she was partly because of good connections, partly because she was a reasonably good actress with a girl-next-door attractiveness that gave her some flexibility- it was equally plausible to cast her as the love interest or the nerd. However, she got older and aged like a normal person and couldn’t pass for the the nerdy boy’s bombshell anymore, she had unfortunately been too high profile at the start of her career to switch over to being a “character actress”, and her film choices failed to cement her indie status. Thus, she went the way that most actors go eventually. She was unfortunately linked to being part of a ‘trend’, and when the trend expired, so did her perceived viability. She probably should have marketed herself as a character actress from the start and been more true to who she was and what she wanted her niche to be. By the time she figured it out, it was too late. I always kinda liked her myself, because she was different from the actresses that appeared in the type of movies she was in- she seemed like a real person, basically, and smarter than the content of her work would suggest.


    • In hindsight, yes, the trajectory of Sheedy’s career is hardly surprising. But if you asked someone from 1982-1985 if Sheedy would be washed up by 1987, I doubt many would have seen that coming. She seemed to have so much promise. Yes, she was going to end up here eventually because there are very few decent film roles for actresses Sheedy’s age. But in the early to mid-80s, you certainly would have expected Sheedy to have a few good years in her. Unfortunately, that Brat Pack backlash was a career killer. The actors who made it out on the other side were the ones who were the least closely associated with the John Hughes era.


      • Yeah. As you can see, Jennifer Jason Leigh was a peer who did similar work and was also more normal-person-pretty than a Hollywood bombshell, and things worked out really well for her. However, Leigh is a top notch actress who made much better choices. You try out a genre or medium and character type and bomb it, you don’t get another chance, and yet a success, like Ally had with ‘High Art’ and Patrick Swayze had with ‘To Wong Foo…’ doesn’t guarantee that there’s more where that came from, for some reason.
        What a person comes away with reading you blogs is that in Hollywood, one wrong move can kill you forever, but it depends on a number of factors- from looks to connections to your body of work up to that point, to dumb luck and whichever way the wind blows in terms of trends. Certain types of actors and popular in certain periods for certain reasons, and then at another point, their look or persona just doesn’t sell anymore.


  4. I’ve been thinking about that last comment, Lebeau. It’s a very good observation you make – that the characters in St. Elmo’s Fire are not all that sympathetic, and the movie is dated – can’t dispute that. If i watched it all the way through today, would the movie be more irritating than likeable? Hard to say. I knew a lot of loveable assholes in the 80s who were just like the characters in the movie. Thing is they were such real people, you knew who you were dealing with and life was like being part of a comedy ensemble, I look around today and you almost never know who anyone really is. I try not to get too mired in 70s and 80s nostalgia, but I miss the times. We weren’t like the people in Hangover, we related to the Brat Pack. In all honesty we aspired to be them, kind of uncool to admit out loud.


    • If you were the right age in 1995, there was nothing uncool about wanting to be a Brat Packer. For a brief shining moment, they were the height of cool. No reason to be embarrassed by that.

      Although I have never been a fan of St Elmo’s Fire specifically, I still feel some degree of nostalgia for the movie because of who is in it and what it represents. As movies go, it’s not very good. I sure hope you didn’t know anyone as one dimensional as the characters in this movie. They are all defined by a single character trait. Moore is the party girl. Nelson is a yuppie. Estevez is a hopeless romantic. Winningham is a virgin. Lowe is a screw up. There’s no depth to any of them.

      But if you were in your 20s when St Elmo’s Fire was cool, none of that mattered. It was a movie that would have spoken to a young person at that time. Who cares that it wasn’t actually very good. I feel the same way about Reality Bites.


      • I first saw St. Elmo’s Fire on cable in the late 80’s (when I was in my late teens) and absolutely fell in love with it. Looking back, it may have had a lot to do with the sound track and the fact that it was filmed in autumn with all the leaves changing. But I think I also identified with the whole “trying to find yourself” thing at that age.

        But watching it again recently as a forty-something year-old, it’s one of those movies that just hasn’t stood the test of time for me. Most of the characters seem incredibly immature and I found myself kind of annoyed by them. For instance, none of them could seem to have a conversation with another person unless they had a drink in their hand or a cigarette in their hand (or both). I mean, really??

        But despite that, I too still feel a bit of nostalgia for the movie.


        • That’s pretty much where I stand. It’s funny you bring up drinks and smokes. People used to smoke a lot more in movies and on TV. I’ve been watching reruns of Twin Peaks recently and there’s a ton of smoking. Today, you wouldn’t see that on a network TV show. In movies, smoking used to be code for cool. Especially for a director like Joel Schumacher. I can see him putting lit cigarettes in all of his actors’ hands. Schumacher was really talented at giving his movies striking visuals. The autumn palette in the movie was really gorgeous.

          St Elmo’s Fire’s primary appeal now is nostalgia. It will probably always work for me on that level. But if you don’t have nostalgia for the mid 80s and the Brat Pack era, it’s just silly.


        • St. Elmo’s Fire

          St. Elmo’s Fire is referenced all the time, and is considered to be in the same league as John Hughes comedies. But it really is a sh***y movie.

          If it weren’t for the title song and the very good musical score, there are not many redeeming qualities about it.

          Demi Moore gives the most realistic performance. Ally Sheedy is high-school play level bad in every scene, and seems coked up with her nervous delivery.

          Rob Lowe jumping onto stage yelling, “Let’s rock!” is cringeworthy. Judd Nelson has none of his appeal from “The Breakfast Club.” Demi Moore’s gay friend is a stereotypical, flouncing flamer, and she refers to Kevin being gay as a problem. Mare Winningham is the most bizarre casting, and doesn’t fit with any of them.

          Robert Downey Jr. was originally considered for Rob Lowe’s role. Other actors considered or turned down roles: Brooke Shields, Tatum O’Neal, Jodie Foster, Joan Cusack, C. Thomas Howell, Jamie lee Curtis, Melanie Griffith, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elisabeth Shue, Bridget Fonda, Anthony Edwards, Lea Thompson
          Did you see this movie when it came out and what do you think of it now?

          —Anonymous (95 views)

          18 replies 2 44 minutes ago

          I saw it with my mom!

          Ally has always had that weird unnatural way of delivering her lines, but yeah, it was especially bad in this movie. It was like she wanted to chew her lips off.

          I remember that everyone in this movie seemed fake and unnatural. It made the 20’s seem really fucking depressing. Which they are, but I was too young to know that.


          reply 6 33 minutes ago

          I don’t know if anyone will remember this part, but there is this scene where Ally Sheedy hands over a check to pay for some furniture. And it’s one of the most obvious, worst acted few seconds I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s so deliberate and overdone, that she probably was coked-up since it seems so unnatural.


          reply 7 27 minutes ago

          I wanted to comfort Andrew McCarthy and his unrequited love for Ally Sheedy (who I can’t see how 2 men were so crazy about her)


          reply 10 34 minutes ago

          I always thought the only performance which was appealing was Andrew McCarthy’s. Demi Moore’s raspy voice and annoying character were deeply irritating; Judd Nelson’s mightily flaring nostrils were equally distracting; and Emilio Estevez’s character came across as a stalker. Rob Lowe was bland (and I have never found his waxen features attractive), and although mare Winningham was by far the best actor in the cast, her part was horrible. And yes, Ally Sheedy came across as a complete amateur. I always felt she deserved more acclaim when she made her big comeback with “High Art”: she not only was excellent, but it was the first time she ever revealed she could act!


          reply 14 27 minutes ago

          Wow. Demi Moore is only 54. Her career ended young. It seems like she has been a has been for years now.

          And where is Ally Sheedy? Does she ever work anymore? She had that brief success with High Art and was even in Oscar contention and then she faded away almost as quickly.

          She supposedly made some really erratic speech when she won an Independent Spirit Award for it but I’ve never been able to find it online.


          reply 17 11 minutes ago


  5. Good read; on a lighter note, I got a real chuckle out of that 3 Musketeers commercial. On a serious note, the latest features that I’ve seen with Ally Sheedy headlined are “High Art” (excellent) and “Noise” (caught it a few years ago on late night cable; I thought it was okay).
    What really interested me is Sheedy’s published book of poetry. I have a total respect for the medium (I mostly do free verse myself, usually with a psychological bent), and I see her book is going for a song on Amazon (looks like the shipping and handling will cost more than the book), so I’m going to pick it up. I really liked Val Kilmer’s poetry (shout out to a “What The Hell Happened To…” fav), so maybe I’ll like this as well.


    • Man, she took a beating on that poetry book. If you buy it she may call and thank you personally. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • The seven people that commented on Amazon all had great things to say about it, and even though it’s a small number that rated the book overall, it received all 4’s and 5’s. I think if this book was written by someone with the name of JoBeth McCrary and looked at objectively, it would have received solid reviews (then again, it may have had more trouble getting published). I’m going to find out for myself, but i have a good feeling. I’m used to just reading other individuals’ work and forming my own opinion anyway, so this is right up my alley. Akin to what Sheedy said, as long as someone’s written words are coming from an honest place, it can’t be all that bad (too many word snobs and spiteful critics out there, I think).


        • I think you hit the nail on the head. It didn’t matter what the book was like, the literary world was going to devour any Brat Packer who dared try to enter it.


        • I’ve received and read Ally Sheedy’s book of poetry. I think it’s very strong (all art is subjective and all that, for sure). As famous people go, I feel it’s comparable to the writings of Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, and our man Val Kilmer. Now, if an everyday person such as say, Cheryl Outlaw, mother of three, wrote this, I doubt there would be any vitriol directed towards it. Shame those with such a “badatude” because of some cheesy grudge due to snarky labeling.
          Anyway, some of my favorites from Sheedy’s book are “Round 2”, “In Dublin”, “My Disease”, “Hollywood-1981” and “Hollywood- 1988”.
          There’s an inscription in my copy too from 1992; whoever this was handed to was given a few books by the inscriber, and is told that they will be remembered fondly. Well, that’s good word as well.


  6. Nostalgia Critic: Short Circuit 1 & 2


  7. Wow. What happened to her? you don’t say.
    I was in a redneck bar (Tin Nickel or something) in Ocala FLA around 2004
    and the girl I was talking to invited her friend over.
    Looked exactly like Ally Sheedy and she smiled and she had
    that Ally Sheedy crooked front tooth too, but denied everything. Any chance Ally
    ended up in Ocala?


  8. The Mother Brain Files Underrated Actors Special: Ally Sheedy

    Ally Sheedy was born in the Big Apple in 1962. Her mother was not only a talented writer and press agent but she was also heavily involved with both the civil rights and women’s rights movements of the 1960s. Sheedy’s father was an advertising executive. At an early age, Sheedy studied and performed with the American Ballet Theatre. Dancing was a huge passion for her and she had planned to pursue it as an adult; however, puberty and the sensitivity of her weight ended that dream. By age 12, Sheedy wrote a children’s book called She Was Nice to Mice, a fictional encounter between Queen Elizabeth I and a curious mouse. McGraw-Hill published the book and not only became a best seller in 1975 but also served as the catalyst for Sheedy to pursue an acting career.

    After appearing on The Mike Douglas Show along side her mother, Sheedy, at age 15, immediately got representation and started working in Broadway shows and commercials. By 18, she moved to Los Angeles, studied drama at USC, and worked in various television shows and made-for-TV movies. Her first major film was in the Sean Penn 1983 juvenile prison movie, Bad Boys. It served as an interesting choice for a film debut as Sheedy played the sympathetic girlfriend of Penn’s troubled character who lands in a juvenile facility after a robbery gone bad. To make things worse, Penn’s enemy decides to rape Sheedy and get caught on purpose so he can kill him in the slammer. The rape scene alone was very graphic for the time. But it was an early sign that Sheedy was not just another pretty face in Hollywood.

    Sheedy’s next film, John Badham’s Wargames, proved to be an even bigger hit in 1983. She played the girlfriend of Matthew Broderick’s likable computer nerd who unlocks a gaming program that immediately stages a possible World War III. Some film enthusiasts may say that this was the performance that made young men fall in love with Sheedy. She embodied the girl next door persona with a mix of wonder towards Broderick’s hacking skills with an almost innocent sensuality. There’s a small moment in the film when Broderick is about to leave his room and Sheedy’s character playfully barricades him with her legs. The awkward moment of flirtation to me is one of the most realistic depictions of teenage puppy love in cinema history.

    Sheedy continued to be pigeonholed in love interest roles until two significant 1985 films forever cemented her place in an exclusive club of 60s-born actors known as the ‘Brat Pack’. The first was John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club where Sheedy played the reclusive Allison Reynolds who is one of 5 Chicago teens stuck in detention on a Saturday. Hughes already had a winner in his hands with the combination of talented actors he had in place (Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, and Molly Ringwald). But it was Sheedy of all the actors who was willing to trash her good looks in favor of playing a character who couldn’t give a damn in the world about how people perceived her but still has a great deal of vulnerability. The scene where she talks about how your heart dies when you become an adult still sends chills up and down my spine. The other Brat Pack flick, St. Elmo’s Fire, was inferior in comparison to Breakfast Club but still had the same appeal to teens and young adults. Sheedy played the yuppie girlfriend of the more ambitious Judd Nelson and winds up in a love triangle between him and Andrew McCarthy’s poetic but lovelorn writer character. Sheedy displayed more strength as a character in this film. Her ultimate rejection of both men at the end is almost a reflection of her mother’s stance in the women’s rights movement where a woman should not even be caught in a tug of war between two men trying to control her.

    Short Circuit came next in 1986 and reunited Sheedy with director John Badham had had Sheedy playing an avid animal lover who takes in the living, breathing military robot called Number 5 (known best to fans as Johnny 5). Not much to say about this classic except that it takes a lot of talent to act with a robot controlled by puppeteers and Sheedy pulled it off with ease. Short Circuit, however, was Sheedy’s last big hit of the 80s. The stigma of being part of the Brat Pack had more of a negative impact on her young career which led to box office misfires like Blue City, Made to Order, Heart of Dixie, and Betsy’s Wedding. On top of that, Sheedy was battling her eating disorder and her addiction to prescription drugs. What could have been another Hollywood tragedy was not as Sheedy successfully fought both addictions and started to look and feel more healthier.

    After fighting her personal demons, Sheedy reunited with John Hughes was producing the Chris Columbus 1991 romantic comedy, Only the Lonely. Sheedy played the daughter of a funeral home owner who falls in love with a Chicago cop played by John Candy who still lives with his mother. It should have been a big comeback performance for Sheedy who was also sharing the screen with icon and John Wayne regular, Maureen O’Hara, as Candy’s obsessive mother. But the movie underperformed and for the next several years Sheedy found herself in one bad movie after another. Then in 1998, Sheedy turned her attention to the independent scene by playing a drug addicted lesbian photographer in Lisa Cholodenko’s High Art. The role, based on the eccentric grunge style photographer Nan Goldin, won Sheedy various indie awards and rave reviews from critics. By then she found her true calling as an actress and turned her back on Hollywood for good.

    Ally Sheedy today continues to perform in various independent films and guest star on television shows such as Oz, The Dead Zone, CSI, and Psych. She’s also done numerous specials and interviews on the career of her Breakfast Club writer/director, John Hughes, who sadly passed away in 2009. While she never made it to the level of her contemporaries like Julia Roberts and Demi Moore, Sheedy formed her own identity as an actress without the Hollywood machine. To cap this piece on a personal note, I almost had an opportunity to work with Ally on my first feature film called Priceless back in 2007. I could never forget the feeling I got the day I received a phone call from one of my actors who actually went to school with her and told me that she was in the running for one of the smaller but significant roles in the film. Unfortunately, I was too scared at the time to take the chance of working with her because of her extensive body of work and my perception of her as a movie star. I do hope that I’ll get another chance to work with her one day. I even have a particular script in mind for Ally to play a character far different and perhaps tougher than her usual roles.


  9. I generally enjoy the articles, however I usually find myself weary after reading them. I feel the content could be dramatically reduced; I don’t feel the plot summaries add much value. I understand the page layout may not be in your control, but the multiple images and youtube clips make navigating through the various pages a chore.

    Your occasional jabs seem cruel and unsubstantiated, and aren’t even necessarily directed at the subject of the article.


    • Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad you mostly enjoy the articles. I’m actually looking to make some changes to the formula going forward. I’m always tweaking both the site and the series. I don’t think the brief plot summaries will be going anywhere though. I don’t like to assume that every reader knows what every movie is about. I think part of the appeal of the series is that you might find a movie featuring one of your favorite stars that you didn’t know about and might want to check out. But I am probably going to be more selective with the use of clips.

      As for the jokes, I try to keep them on the side of “all in good fun”. If there are any comments that you feel are “cruel” or “unsubstantiated”, let me know which ones and I will review them. I strive for fairness. If I missed the mark somewhere, I would like to know so I can make whatever changes are needed.

      Thanks for reading.


      • On the topic of new films being discovered, the Cameron Crowe writeup brought to my attention “The Wild Life”. I like that entire cast, and I really like the look of Jenny Wright’s brunette hair in the photo accompanying the description of the film as well (I only remember her as a blonde, and I’m going back to “The World According to Garp” and as far forward as “The Lawnmower Man”).


  10. Name Some Of The Worst Hollywood Collapses

    I vote for Ally Sheedy. She was one of the most talented members of Brat Pack, and gave an especially memorable performance in The Breakfast Club. She was in some other popular films of that era, but after a while, it seems she couldn’t get arrested.

    Then in 1998, she gave a brilliant performance in a well-regarded indie drama, High Art. She won a bunch of awards for it. She seem poised for a second act career revival, but then she made the mistake of taking the lead role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She was bizarrely miscast, missed a lot of performances, and earned bad reviews.

    And that was pretty much it. She still works, but has done nothing memorable for ages. Supposedly she had a drug problem, but I suspect there are mental health issues as well.


    reply 270 Last Friday at 1:24 AM


    • Worst theater performance/production you’ve ever seen

      Ally Sheedy’s Hedwig was a major train wreck. No wonder they fired her before the end of the run.

      —Anonymous (389 views)

      28 replies Last Thursday at 7:03 PM



        Terrible movie but watchable. People just went to see it for the cast few of which who could actually act. About Last Night was Demi’s best movie. Ally Sheedy was never very good, even in Breakfast Club she seemed forced. Rob Lowe’s character was ridiculous. Andrew McCarthy was probably the best character, he should’ve come out as gay, not in love with Sheedy.


        reply 42 Last Sunday at 7:22 AM

        Judd Nelson is good throughout The Breakfast Club, but Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Michael Hall have scenes that are poorly acted.. It’s surprising there weren’t better takes to use.


        reply 51 Last Sunday at 8:11 AM

        Andie was worse than even usual in the movie, as a doctor, no less — “He’ll freeze!” — but at least she wasn’t looped.

        Demi and Mare looked like Streep in comparison to Ally Sheedy who is at her most awful here. That voice and those weird ass Valley Girl on Acid inflections. “Jules, we love you!” as Demi tries to commit Suicide by Breeze (there was a lot of potential freezing in this movie and that doesn’t even count the perfect frozen daquiri the gay guy carries around in one scene).


        reply 95 Last Sunday at 3:23 PM

        This was filmed when Molly Ringwald was still capable of delivering a good performance.

        I would have rather seen Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly or Mia Sara instead of Ally Sheedy in that role.


        reply 98 Last Sunday at 3:46 PM

        This movie is almost pure camp so Ally’s goofy performance fits right in. There’s so much to love/hate about this film.


        reply 100 Last Sunday at 4:10 PM

        Ally Sheedy was surprisingly good in Wargames, and as Sean Penn’s girlfriend in Bad Boys . She had lost that appeal by the time St.Elmo’s Fire was filmed.


        reply 101 Last Sunday at 4:39 PM

        Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall are terrible when they attempt at playing stoned in The Breakfast Club. I can’t believe they couldn’t get a better performance out of them for that scene Ally Sheedy’s character was a cartoon, like Emily the strange. The Breakfast Club is overrated.


        reply 102 Last Sunday at 4:47 PM

        Ally Sheedy is an awful, awful actress and was not that attractive either. I never understood why her and the equally awful Andrew McCarthy had careers.


        reply 122 Yesterday at 7:51 AM

        “I don’t know if anyone will remember this part, but there is this scene where Ally Sheedy hands over a check to pay for some furniture. And it’s one of the most obvious, worst acted few seconds I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s so deliberate and overdone, that she probably was coked-up since it seems so unnatural.”

        So funny, I have my own similar Sheedy moment in the same film but not the great one you point out: there’s a brief moment as Sheedy is entering the party Kirby is throwing and she “sees” a friend O.S. and gives a wave and it looks like the phoniest bit of business ever on film. You can tell she doesn’t connect to anybody. Hadn’t considered coke but you may be right because it is hard to mess up a bit of silent business like that. Either that or she was just that awful an actress.


        reply 128 Yesterday at 2:23 PM

        She really was just that awful an actress. Have you seen The Breakfast Club?


        reply 130 Yesterday at 2:25 PM

        Yeah, she had built up some good will from “War Games” (and had looked pretty in that one too) and the Sean Penn one too. i liked her in “Breakfast Club” — as long as she didn’t speak. That Valley Girl voice was already terrible by then. I think she was nuts the whole time and the world didn’t know it until later around the time she won her Spirit Award and ruined her comeback with that nutty speech.


        reply 131 Yesterday at 2:34 PM

        Ally Sheedy seemed to get worse throughout the ’80s. Maybe it was more coke or she just wanted to be as shrill as possible. “Short Circuit” and “Maid to Order” are two examples of how she would overact and act hyper in almost every scene.


        reply 139 Yesterday at 9:15 PM

        Lisa Eilbacher (remember her?) from “An Officer an a Gentlemen” and “Beverly Hills Cop,” possibly coked up, telling David Letterman how she lost out on “the biggest film in life – ‘Short Circuit” to Ally Sheedy.


        reply 140 6 hours ago

        It’s strange how Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall we’re so on point in their youth. But as adults, they’ve all become awkward, humorless with no charisma.


        reply 145 4 hours ago

        Always wondered how the routinely awful Sheedy was able to deliver such a great performance in High Art. God, in St. Elmos’s Fire, each time she said “Alekkkkk” I wanted to punch her in the face.


        reply 150 34 minutes ago


  11. Just in case you forgot, Sheedy’s birthday will be on Monday the 13th as she turns 54!


  12. The Brat Pack

    Saw Ally Sheedy interviewed on Charlie Rose when High Art was released, and she did sound bitter. She mentioned how Hollywood told her she wasn’t pretty enough and she needed to get a boob job while she aspired to be like Gena Rowlands. I’m not mocking Sheedy because I’ve always liked her, but you have to wonder about her friendship with Moore. It did seem as if Moore dumped her. The interview was really interesting because of its honesty. Moore was turning herself into this sex object and throwing herself at Bruce Willis and Sheedy found all of this distasteful.


    reply 34 7 hours ago


  13. Why the heck do sites I had been to & I saw a news story( in 2009 ) say that Ally Sheedy died??


  14. HI Lebeau, among her long list of movies, I only watch “Maid to Order”.. That’s remind me of what ever happened to Beverly D’Angelo who played the godmother.



    Lets go back in the day. This actress was A list. Mostly movies and always quirky. When this group of people had a “pretty” movie she was not usually invited. When they needed reality and good acting they cast her. She has worked infrequently since her heyday. Producers and directors grew up with her movies and want to cast her, but the roles are generally a cameo or stunt casting. Nothing real. Then, along came this A list director. He had a project for her. He found out she knew this up and coming barely legal actor. Our director heard the actor is gay, but had not been able to close the deal no matter how many carrots he offered. He had a very very big carrot to offer and that is not some sexual innuendo. He had a big part in a franchise but the actor wasn’t interested in the casting couch route. Our director offered our actress a few roles here and there an even a guest gig in the franchise at some point if she could talk the actor into having sex with the director. For two months she worked on it and the actor, still a teenager at the time, hooked up with the director. The director cast the actor in the role. The director then cast our actress in a role to watch over the actor and make sure he stayed available to the director. For a year, that was her job. To monitor the sex life of the actor and make sure he only hooked up with the director. This guy is so strange. He did come through on the roles and the guest gig in the franchise though.

    Actress: Ally Sheedy

    A list director: Bryan Singer

    Project: “X-Men: Apocalypse” (Scott Summers/Cyclops)

    Guest gig: “X-Men: Apocalypse” (Scott’s Teacher)


  16. Re: Maid to Order (1987) Starring Ally Sheedy and Beverly D’Angelo

    She went from the iconic and legendary Breakfast Club to this.


  17. This may sound strange, but Ally Sheedy’s poetry (I knew I’d like the book!), has helped me out while dealing with a rocky time. So, I liked her as a performer anyway (she was my favorite character in “The Breakfast Club”; I guess to call her a flake with flakes would be selling her short), but I liked a lot of the other stuff in the back end (specifically “High Art”), and just thought she was was pretty cool. actually, I like all those guys and gals from that group (I stinks they got sold out), I suppose I just like Judd Nelson & Ally Sheedy more.


  18. To throw a life shot out there, I’m probably Judd Nelson throwing his fist in the air. Do I like “Blue City”? He he I do. Wow, I love this crew.


  19. Wow, Lisa Eibacher; I thought she was awesome in two roles: “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Manhunt:Search For The Night Stalker”.


  20. I don’t care about the harvey weinstein nonsence either; obviously the power went straight from his brain to his package of peanuts, but hopefuuly to a future film.


  21. I miss my mom A LOT, but no, my heart won’t die:-). Am I like my parents? Oh yeah, more than I ever grew. It’s like that song by the band Spandau Ballet, “I bought a ticket to the world, but I’ve come back again”.
    Yeah, I’m not “back” yet, but I’m working on it:-)


  22. Why couldn’t Ally Sheedy sustain her acting career beyond the Brat Pack?

    After The Breakfast Club (1985) (which is where you probably know her from) her career seems to have taken her dive which is deceptive since she has never stopped working. If you look at Ally Sheedy’s IMDB profile, Ally Sheedy, you can see that she has been working steadily since the early 1980’s and just because she isn’t in any high profile movies, she is thought of as some kind of a failure.However, she is like most other actors who did (a) successful movie(s) and thereafter continuing to act but are scoffed at or questioned endlessly because you don’t see them in a high profile movie again. In Sheedy’s case, she did most of those high profile movies when she was very young and it is difficult making that transition into mature movies when you are mostly known for playing young people or in her case, teenagers even though she was already 23 when she played a high school student in The Breakfast Club.

    An excerpt from the interview she did with her one time co-star Molly Ringwald has Sheedy (and Ringwald) explaining it in her own words what happened to her career Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy on How ‘The Breakfast Club’ Helped And Hurt Their Careers

    Ringwald: That’s true. For a long time, people thought I was a teenager way beyond when it was clear I was no longer a teenager. The movie has run so much on television. I think it’s hard for people to separate. But I think enough time has gone by for that to change.

    Did that help or hurt you get roles?

    Ringwald: I think it’s made it challenging. I also have to take my own personal choices into account. I did leave the country and live in Paris. I think that affected things too. In retrospect, I wanted to have some experiences out of the public eye.

    Sheedy: After “The Breakfast Club,” I got to do a whole bunch of things. Then there was a period of time, “the Brat Pack” thing became a backlash. It felt derogatory — these kids had too much too quickly. There was a dip in my career. When you’re working this long, things go in cycles.

    Ringwald: I think as time goes on, there are new people and new actors. There’s no escaping that. And you have a comeback.

    Did the term “Brat Pack” hurt your feelings?

    Sheedy: Yeah. I wanted to become Debra Winger. I kept thinking how was I going to make the shift to adult roles, now that we’ve been thrown this thing called “the Brat Pack,” which basically means young and bratty. It made things a little difficult.

    Ringwald: It didn’t feel like a positive or fair moniker for sure. I found it objectifying.

    And the reality of Hollywood is not everyone can be like Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks and it is a lot more difficult for female actors especially if you’re mostly known for your looks. Even though Sheedy was never known for hers, early on set fame like hers are also harmful in that audiences and movie studios alike will not be able to get past her earlier roles. Nowadays, child actors like Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have probably better handlers and management who help guide them through their way as they grow up to making mature movies but back then, there was not much insight into it.

    Maybe Sheedy is contented to be able to just continue acting or maybe she did fight for the roles which producers simply didn’t want to give to her. Either way, we won’t know but it doesn’t mean she’s a failure of any kind. It just means that the Hollywood machine is an unpredictable one where one actress can sustain her fame, as talentless as she may be and another actress who is much better, cannot. There are many actors and actresses who are continually working who have never gained the recognition they have otherwise earned or deserved but it doesn’t mean anything other than the fickle industry they belong in.

    And it’d be useful to note that acting, especially in Hollywood, isn’t like a normal 9 to 5 career where you can have the same career for decades on end. The entertainment market changes and movies which would have never been possible once are now the norm i.e. superhero movies etc. And there are thousands of actors vying for the same roles which makes it even more difficult to get the right role for yourself. What they can do is to continue choosing the best projects they can find, even if it’s a minor role in a forgettable movie because when they retire one day, people will look at their work, which is what will speak for itself.


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