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Elisabeth Shue Bio
Elisabeth 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. In February 2012, she began starring as Julie Finlay in the CBS police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a role she continued to play until the end of the series’ 15th season in 2015.
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, 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 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: 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 Kay the bartender in a cameo scene with Meryl Streep.