Adrienne Shelly, Offbeat Actress of Stage and Film, Dies at 40

Obituaries   Adrienne Shelly, Offbeat Actress of Stage and Film, Dies at 40
 
Adrienne Shelly, who gained fame as filmmaker Hal Hartley's early muse, was found dead on Nov. 1 in her apartment in Greenwich Village, an apparent suicide.
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Photo by Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Ms. Shelly was discovered hanging from a shower rod in the bathroom by her husband, Andrew Ostroy. Police are investigating the death. Ms. Shelly, a Long Island native born Adrienne Levine, became an independent movie icon as the star of Hartley's Chekhovian film comedies "The Unbelievable Truth" (1989) and "Trust" (1990). Petite, blonde and pretty in a waif-like way, she was a master at embodying Hartley's deapan, yet soulful comic vision of everyday life.

She also appeared in a number of productions with the Manhattan stage company Workhouse Theatre Ltd., and, in 1991, starred in the New Group production of Paradise Island, playing a daughter who takes a disasterous vacation with her mother.

None of her subsequent film roles matched the success of the Hartley films. In recent years, she had turned to directing and screenwriting, often starring in her own projects. Her latest film, "Waitress," starring Keri Russell, was recently completed.

She is survived by her husband and a three-year-old daughter, Sophie.

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