- Elisabeth Judson Shue
October 06, 1963 (age 57)
- Davis Guggenheim (m. 1994)
- James Shue, Anne Harms
Elisabeth Judson Shue (born October 6, 1963) is an American actress, known for her roles in the films The Karate Kid (1984), Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Cocktail (1988), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Soapdish (1991), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), The Saint (1997), and Hollow Man (2000). She has won several acting awards and has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. She starred as Julie Finlay in the CBS police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from 2012 to 2015.
Shue was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Anne Brewster (née Wells; b. 1938), and James William Shue (1936–2013), a one-time congressional candidate, lawyer, and real estate developer, who was president of the International Food and Beverage Corporation. Her mother was a vice president in the private banking division of the Chemical Banking Corporation. Shue grew up in South Orange, New Jersey. Her parents divorced when she was nine. Shue's mother is a descendant of Pilgrim leader William Brewster, while her father's family emigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania in the early 19th century. Shue was raised with her three brothers (William, Andrew and John) and was very close to them. Her younger brother, Andrew, is also an actor, best known for his role as Billy Campbell in the Fox series Melrose Place. Shue graduated from Columbia High School, in Maplewood, New Jersey, where she and Andrew were inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1994. She has two half-siblings from her father's remarriage, Jenna and Harvey Shue.
Shue attended Wellesley College and, in her junior year, was inspired by a friend to work in television commercials as a way to pay for college. She transferred to Harvard University in 1985, from which she withdrew to pursue her acting career one semester short of earning her degree. The same year she left Harvard, 1988, her older brother, William, died in a swimming accident while on a family vacation. She returned to Harvard in 1997 and completed her B.A. in political science in 2000.
1980s and early 1990s
During her studies at Columbia High School and after her parents' divorce, Shue acted in television commercials. Shue became a common sight in ads for Burger King, DeBeers diamonds, and Hellmann's mayonnaise.
Shue made her feature film debut in 1984, when she co-starred opposite Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid as the love interest of Macchio's character. Shue had a role as the teenage daughter of a military family in the short-lived series Call to Glory and, in 1986, starred alongside Terence Stamp in the British simian horror film Link. She continued with Adventures in Babysitting (her first starring role), Cocktail as the love interest of Tom Cruise's character and the comedies Soapdish and The Marrying Man with Sally Field and Alec Baldwin, respectively. In 1989 she starred as Dr. Cythnia Lair in the 1989 Film "Body Wars" which was used at Epcot in an ATLAS Simulator attraction in the Wonders Of Life Pavilion until 2007. She appeared as Jennifer Parker in the 1989 Back to the Future Part II and the 1990 Back to the Future Part III, succeeding Claudia Wells, who declined to reprise the role from Back to the Future because of a family illness.
In May 1990, Shue made her Broadway debut in Some American Abroad at the Lincoln Center. Also on Broadway, in 1993, she performed in Tina Howe's production of Birth and After Birth. Also in 1993, she played Robert Downey Jr.'s girlfriend in the romantic comedy Heart and Souls.
Although often cast as a girl-next-door type, Shue starred as a prostitute in the 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas with Nicolas Cage. The role earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She was also nominated for a BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG Award for Best Actress, and won Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and the National Society of Film Critics Awards. Her career flourished after her Oscar nomination, landing her diverse roles. She starred in The Trigger Effect in 1996. Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry showcased her comedic abilities amongst heavyweight co-stars Billy Crystal, Demi Moore, Robin Williams and Stanley Tucci. Shue also displayed some action movie skills in the 1997 spy remake The Saint as Val Kilmer's love interest. The thriller Palmetto (1998) afforded her the chance to play a film noir-ish femme fatale opposite Woody Harrelson; and Paul Verhoeven's Hollow Man (2000) with Kevin Bacon proved another summer blockbuster.
In 1999, Shue starred with Aaron Eckhart in Molly as an autistic young woman who undergoes an operation that allows her to become more "normal." She played a mother that reveals her dark past to her teenaged daughter in the 2001 ABC movie Oprah Winfrey Presents: Amy and Isabelle. Shue also had supporting roles in Cousin Bette with Jessica Lange, Hide and Seek opposite Robert De Niro, and Mysterious Skin opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
In 2007, Shue and her two brothers produced Gracie. She had a role in the film loosely based on her own experiences as the only girl on a boys' soccer team. Andrew initially conceived of it as a story about their late brother William, the oldest Shue sibling, who was the captain of the high school soccer team; he died in a freak accident, while the family was on a vacation in 1988. The character of Johnny was based on Will.
In 2008, Shue starred in Hamlet 2 as a fictionalized version of herself. In the film, she has quit acting to become a nurse and is the favorite actress of Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan). In 2009, Shue appeared on the seventh season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm as an actress competing with Cheryl Hines's character for the part of George's ex-wife for the Seinfeld reunion. In 2010, Shue top-lined the horror flick Piranha 3D as Sheriff Julie Forester.
In 2012, Shue appeared in three wide-release theatrical films: the thriller House at the End of the Street with Jennifer Lawrence; Curtis Hanson's Chasing Mavericks opposite Gerard Butler; and David Frankel's Hope Springs as Karen the bartender in a cameo scene with Meryl Streep. Also in 2012, Shue joined the cast of Season 12's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Julie Finlay opposite Ted Danson, and replacing Marg Helgenberger. Finlay is the newest CSI, who just finished anger-management classes. She continued in the role until the end of Season 15 where her character's fate was left hanging in the balance, later revealed in the two-part 2015 TV movie wrap-up finale of the entire series to have died (Shue did not appear). During her time on the series Shue re-united with Back to the Future alumna Lea Thompson, who guest starred in an episode of Season 14.
In 2014 she appeared as a cougar in Behaving Badly along with Selena Gomez, Nat Wolff and Heather Graham. In 2015 she guest-starred in an episode of the Patrick Stewart series Blunt Talk.
In 2017, she appeared in Battle of the Sexes, opposite Steve Carell and Emma Stone. She will co-star in Eli Roth's remake of Death Wish, playing Bruce Willis's character's wife, a role played by Hope Lange in the original starring Charles Bronson, where the character was raped and murdered. In the movie, Shue will be re-united with Vincent D'Onofrio, who appeared in Adventures in Babysitting with her.
Shue is married to film director Davis Guggenheim. The couple have three children: Miles William (1997), Stella Street (2001), and Agnes Charles (2006).