The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Stars of the '80s
Ally Sheedy
Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy was born 13 June 1962 in New York, NY. The oldest of three children, her father was an advertising exec while her mother was a leading literary agent. At age 12, while attending the Bank Street School, Ally wrote a children's book that involved a mouse and Queen Elizabeth I. Entitled She Was Nice to Mice, the work was published by McGraw-Hill and became a bestseller. Between the ages of 6 and 14, Ally danced with the American Ballet Theatre; during the summers she would recruit her friends and stage shows for her Fire Island neighbors. The success of She Was Nice to Mice led to an appearance on the Mike Douglas Show; an agent saw the show and signed her up. Work in television commercials led to roles in after-school specials. She also appeared on Broadway. At 18 Ally headed for Los Angeles and enrolled in the University of Southern California drama department. Before long she'd found work in a series of made-for-TV dramas that included The Best Little Girl in the World, Spendor in the Grass and Homerun, as well as a recurring role on the police series Hill Street Blues. In 1983 she made her feature film debut as Sean Penn's naive girlfriend in Bad Boys, and then costarred with Matthew Broderick in the successful WarGames. The following year she auditioned for the role played by Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles. She went on to star with Rob Lowe in Oxford Blues before landing her most important roles, in the Brat Pack hit films The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire (both in 1985). In 1986 she turned down the female lead in Top Gun (played by Kelly McGillis) and ended the decade with a string of average-at-best movies including Blue City and Maid to Order. In the 1990s, Ally appeared in such feature films as Only the Lonely (1991), Chantilly Lace (1993), Macon County Jail (1997) and High Art (1998). In the latter she won critical acclaim for her performance as a once-famous photographer brought low by a drug addiction.
-- JM

1980s Filmography
Bad Boys (1983)
WarGames (1983)
Oxford Blues (1984)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
St. Elmo's Fire (1985)
Twice In A Lifetime (1985)
Blue City (1986)
Short Circuit (1986)
Maid to Order (1987)
Heart of Dixie (1989)


Critics' Comments

The Breakfast Club (1985)
"Allison (Ally Sheedy) is the basket case, who professes to have done virtually every sexual practice in the book and generally behaves like an all-around weirdo. . . .I find myself irresistibly drawn to Sheedyís Allison. Maybe itís because Iím the theater kid who enjoys acting out, maybe itís that her problems are the least expounded-upon and the most insinuated, and maybe it has something to do with how adorable I find this character: the cheese-puff sandwich, the random bursts of laughter, the dandruff 'snow' on the landscape drawing."
-- Shay Casey, Film Written Magazine

Short Circuit (1986)
"There is a third major character in the movie, a young woman played by Ally Sheedy, who loves animals. She has cats and birds and rabbits running all over her house, and she's a pushover for anything that seems like a homeless endangered species. So when No. 5 turns up at her door, of course she adopts it, and of course she wants to protect it from those mean scientists, and of course she thinks that No. 5 isn't a robot at all, but can actually think. . . . It's basically a kid's movie, and quite possibly the kids will like it. But they'll have to be fairly young kids - this movie is totally eclipsed by such vaguely similar films as E.T. and War Games (which also starred Sheedy, playing a teenager who was a lot smarter than her adult this time)."  
-- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Maid to Order (1987)
"Sheedy, who starred in The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire, was last seen opposite a lovable robot in Short Circuit, and it's as if some of her costar's style rubbed off. She's positively mechanical, so close-lipped you'd think she had lockjaw. Her performance is as empty as the life of the spoiled heiress Jessica, a characterless coke-sniffer who is magically mutated into a penniless bum by her fairy godmother."
-- Rita Kempley, Washington Post


With Andrew McCarthy in St. Elmo's Fire.