Christine's take on what was cool in the 80s.

Ally Sheedy

Alexandra Elizabeth “Ally” Sheedy

(born June 13, 1962 in NYC). Divorced from David Lansbury, Ally has a daughter, Rebecca born in 1994.

I’ve loved Ally since I was 14 and saw WarGames. The entire movie is a joy of course but Ally’s Jennifer was the one I connected with – although we’re probably supposed to as she was the one who knew nothing about computers. (How times have changed! lol) That said, she was problem solving and grounded and I really liked that about her. I thought Ally was a really good actress; there was just something about her – you just had to watch. Jennifer’s positive, upbeat attitude was refreshing and, in short, Ally made her totally believable as well as very likeable.

Let’s play ThermoNuclear War

The next time I saw her was in The Breakfast Club, which of course the entire planet loved. Allison was my favorite character in the film as I identified the most with her. Ally’s Allison was also intriguing and quite insightful – she has some of the best lines in the movie, really. There was also a poignancy about Allison that just got to me and obviously that was due to Ally’s acting. Post Breakfast Club was St. Elmo’s Fire of course, which she enjoyed as it was the first time she played a ‘grown up’. She also enjoyed working with Emilio and Judd once more. I was actually reading an interview with Molly Ringwald a couple of days ago, oddly, and as many may know, Judd was nearly fired from The Breakfast Club and she said it was Ally who actually talked to him and advized him to tone his attitude down a bit and most likely saved his job. Just thought I’d throw that in there, as it was interesting.

Ally’s character in St. Elmo’s was once again my favorite due to her level headedness and she seemed to have everything together and knew what she wanted. I also pitied her due to Alec’s cheating. Ally, Andrew and Mare were the best things about that movie; their characters seemed the most real. Ally has said with the release of St. Elmo’s and the whole Brat Pack tag that they were being set up to fail. There were expectations that she felt pressure to fulfill and it made her unhappy and you could understand why. It happens a lot now (and then). An actor is touted as the next greatest thing and then…nothing. They disappear for one reason or another. Bad advisers/agents or even if your next movie flops, you’re forgotten. There’s a line in Gladiator that I love – delivered wonderfully by Connie Nielson: ‘The mob is fickle brother. He’ll be forgotten in a month.”  Truer words were never spoken. There wasn’t really another successful Brat Pack movie (with these members at least) after St. Elmo’s Fire. It made Siskel and Ebert’s worst movie list and Rob was nominated for a Razzie. Ally, who had been poised to go onto greater things, never really did after it, which is an honest shame.

As Leslie

I didn’t see Short Circuit – frankly because it looked stupid. Call me a movie snob but I just wasn’t interested and at that point I didn’t go to films just because my favorite actor was in it. Actually, at that point I wasn’t “into” film or actors per se other than perhaps Harrison Ford. I went to whatever looked good. It wasn’t until the late 80′s that I began going to see films just because someone was in it or a certain director had made it. Anyway, I bypassed Short Circuit. I did see a snippet of it on TV once…it was focused on the robot and again, it just seemed so silly I couldn’t sit through it.

One of my favorite Ally movies is Maid To Order. I really loved it and, as usual, she was great in it. It’s a wonderful spin on the Cinderella tale and I think it should have been more successful than it was. If you see it on TV or DVD, watch/rent it – you won’t be disappointed. Tom Skerritt (a fave of mine) is in it, as is Beverly D’Angelo and if I recall correctly, even Katey Sagal makes an appearance.

I should really note that Ally was a published author at age 12. Her book, She Was Nice To Mice was a best seller! Before high school she was writing reviews of kids’ books for the New York Times and the Village Voice as well. How’s that for seriously impressive?! She apparently started writing because she used to tell stories to the kids who lived nearby and when she was six she started writing them down. (Her mother is a writer/literary agent so I’m guessing she learned to write early on). Also at six, she joined the American Ballet Theatre and originally wanted to be a dancer. However, the starvation diets and an eating disorder had her give it up in order to pursue acting instead. She started out in local stage productions before graduating to TV. When she was 18, she left NYC and headed for L.A. where she enrolled in the drama department at USC, and soon landed roles in the television drama Hill Street Blues. The rest, as they say,  is history.

Usually I don’t go past the 80′s on these pages but I just want to point out that if you think Ally dropped off the planet by the 90′s due to a career nose dive, don’t. Disgusted by Hollywood and the advice she was being given plus upset at the loss of her friends (I glean due to the spotlight on the Brat Pack the group made conscious efforts to not be seen together), she left for New York to re-invent herself and delve into the indie world instead.

Anyway, Ally was my fave female Brat Packer and in my opinion, the most talented. I thoroughly enjoyed her 80′s work – Short Circuit aside, of course ;)


The Breakfast Club

St. Elmo’s Fire

Maid To Order