Adrienne Shelly

Actress, writer, director

Adrienne Shelly, who starred in several of Hal Hartley’s movies and went on to write and direct her own features, died of an apparent suicide Wednesday in her Greenwich Village office. She was 40.

Born in Queens as Adrienne Levine, the petite actress became an important part of the New York independent film scene with her first screen appearances in Hartley’s “Trust” and “The Unbelievable Truth.”

She also worked onstage with New York’s Workhouse Theater.

Shelly went on to appear in studio and indie films including “Big Girls Don’t Cry … They Get Even,” “Sleeping With Strangers,” “Teresa’s Tattoo,” “Sleep With Me” and “Wrestling With Alligators.”

On TV, she appeared in “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order.”

Her most recent appearance was in last year’s “Factotum,” based on a Charles Bukowski story, co-starring with Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor.

Shelly made her feature writing/directing debut with 1997 comedy “Sudden Manhattan,” in which she also starred. That film was followed by romantic comedy “I’ll Take You There,” with Ally Sheedy, which she wrote and directed.

Shelly’s latest directorial effort, “Waitress,” starring Keri Russell, Cheryl Hines and Jeremy Sisto, was recently completed, according to Michael Roiff of Night & Day Prods., which produced the film. Producers have been in talks with potential Sundance reps, but hadn’t signed any agreements.

Shelly is survived by her husband, Andrew Ostroy, and a daughter.

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