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), 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. In February 2012, she began starring as Julie Finlay in the CBS police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Shue was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Anne Brewster (nÃ©e Wells), and James William Shue (1936â"2013), a one-time congressional candidate, lawyer, and real estate developer, who was president of the International Food and Beverage Corporation. Her mother was vice president of 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 was 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, Will, Andrew, and John, and was very close to her siblings. 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 re-marriage, 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 with 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 BA 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. She appeared as Jennifer Parker in the 1989 Back to the Future Part II and the 1990 Back to the Future Part III, replacing 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 supernatural romantic comedy ensemble 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 then 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. 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 early 2012, Shue joined the cast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Julie Finlay, replacing Marg Helgenberger, who played Catherine Willows. Finlay is the newest CSI, who just finished anger-management classes. Also in 2012, Shue appeared in three wide release theatrical films: with Jennifer Lawrence in the thriller House at the End of the Street; opposite Gerard Butler in Curtis Hanson's Chasing Mavericks; and as Kay the bartender in a cameo scene with Meryl Streep in David Frankel's Hope Springs.
Known to her friends and family as Lisa, Shue is married to film director Davis Guggenheim. Their son, Miles William, was born on November 11, 1997. She gave birth to her first daughter, Stella Street, on March 19, 2001. Her third child, Agnes Charles, was born on June 18, 2006. Her son's middle name is in honor of her eldest brother, William.
Awards and nominations
1984 â" The Karate Kid
- Won â" Young Artist Awards Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama
1986 â" Link
- Nominated â" Saturn Award for Best Actress
1995 â" Leaving Las Vegas
- Won â" Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
- Won â" Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
- Won â" National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
- Nominated â" Academy Award for Best Actress
- Nominated â" BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
- Nominated â" Golden Globe Award for Best Actress â" Motion Picture Drama
- Nominated â" Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
- Elisabeth Shue at the Internet Movie Database
- Elisabeth Shue at FEARnet