Shelly, Adrienne: Actress-Writer-Director

Adrienne Shelly is the gifted director-screenwriter of “Waitress,” in which she also plays the role of Dawn.

Until her death in New York City in 2006 at the age of forty, Adrienne Shelly was living a dual life as a mother and an award-winning filmmaker. An accomplished actress, she starred in some twenty independent films, including Hal Hartley's two best features, THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH and TRUST.

Shelly had been featured in two recent documentaries about women in film: Rosanna Arquettes “Searching for Debra Winger” and “In Their Own Words” for the Independent Film Channel. More recently, Shelly appeared in Bent Hamers FACTOTUM, based on the Charles Bukowski book, co-starring Matt Dillon, Marisa Tomei, and Lili Taylor, which premiered at the 2006 Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals.

As a writer/director, Shelly previously helmed two feature films, SUDDEN MANHATTAN and ILL TAKE YOU THERE, starring Ally Sheedy. Her films screened at numerous festivals across the country, including The Telluride Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen where she received was honored with a Best Director prize. Additionally, she wrote and directed three short films, including “Lois Lives A Little” for Lifetime that received a Cable Ace nomination.

Shelly was a founding board member of the GenArt Film Festival in New York City, for which she programmed the “Women Shorts” series. She also sat on the board of prominent film festivals around the world, including Rotterdam, Dallas U.S. Film Fest, Portugal, and the Aspen Shorts Fest. She often taught acting at One on One Studios in Manhattan, and recently taught a workshop in acting, writing and directing for New York University.

Shelly wrote and directed numerous plays for Naked Angels, Westbeth Theater, and Alice's 4th Floor and was Creative Director of the Missing Children Theater Company for five years.

Born on Long Island, New York, Shelly attended Boston Universitys School Of Communications where she majored in film with a minor in creative writing.

She is survived by her husband Andy Ostroy and their daughter, Sophie.