Linda Shaye (born October 12, 1943) is an American film, television, and theatre actress. In a career spanning over forty years, she has appeared in more than a hundred feature films. She is perhaps best known for her starring role as Elise Rainier in the Insidious film series (2010–2018).
Shaye in April 2017
October 12, 1943
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
(m. 19??; died 1968)
(m. 1988; div. 2003)
|Relatives||Robert Shaye (brother)|
Shaye is regarded as a scream queen due to her roles in various horror films, including Alone in the Dark (1982), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Critters (1986) and its sequel Critters 2: The Main Course (1988), Amityville: A New Generation (1993), Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994), Dead End (2003), 2001 Maniacs (2005) and its sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams (2010), Ouija (2014) and its prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016), Tales of Halloween (2015), Abattoir (2016), The Final Wish (2018), Room for Rent (2019), and The Grudge (2020).
Shaye is also well known for her comedic roles in numerous films by the Farrelly brothers, including Dumb and Dumber (1994), Kingpin (1996), There's Something About Mary (1998), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Stuck on You (2003), and The Three Stooges (2012).
Shaye was born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Dorothy (née Katz; 1914 – 1989), a homemaker, and Max Mendle Shaye (1911 – 2004), a painter and supermarket owner affiliated with the Grosse Point Quality Food Co. in Detroit. Her brother is film executive Robert Shaye. Her family is Jewish; her mother was born in Russia, and her paternal grandparents were from Romania, and settled in Michigan.
In 1975, Shaye made her film debut with a small role in Hester Street, followed by small roles in several movies and television shows. In 1978, she appeared in the Jack Nicholson-directed Western Goin' South. "I got a call saying, 'Mr. Nicholson wants you in Mexico for two weeks for this small role called The Parasol Lady'. It was so much fun." She has since appeared in a large number of character roles.
From 1980 to 1996, she has appeared in four films by director Walter Hill: The Long Riders, Brewster's Millions, Extreme Prejudice and Last Man Standing. In 1984, Shaye played a teacher in A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film was distributed by New Line Cinema, the company founded by the actress' older brother Robert Shaye. She has admitted the family connection helped her a little. "My brother said, 'Put my sister in your movie!'"
In 1994, she had her breakout comedy role of Mrs. Nuegeboren in the Farrelly Brothers' Dumb and Dumber. The film was released on December 16, 1994. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it was a commercial success and developed a cult following in the years since its release. The Farrellys then subsequently cast her as Woody Harrelson's gruesome landlady in Kingpin. Later, again giving her a role as Cameron Diaz's character's overtanned neighbor Magda in the 1998 hit There's Something About Mary. The Farrellys said, 'We want her to look like an old leather bag,' " recalled Shaye. "It was four hours every time they put on the makeup." The film was a sleeper hit, and was the highest-grossing comedy of 1998 in North America as well as the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year. For her performance, Shaye was nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy. She followed this with 1999's Detroit Rock City as an uptight mother waging a personal war against the band Kiss.
In 2003, Shaye appeared alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz in Boat Trip as Sonya, a horny tanning coach who becomes obsessed with Sanz's character. That same year she co-starred with Ray Wise and Alexandra Holden in the cult horror film Dead End as Laura Harrington, and as Jenny Buono, the mother of 1970s Los Angeles serial killer Angelo Buono in The Hillside Strangler. For her role in Dead End, Shaye received positive reviews and was nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2005, Shaye appeared in the film 2001 Maniacs as Granny Boone and again in the sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams. The next year she had a supporting role in the thriller Snakes on a Plane, playing Grace, the senior flight attendant who acts as the flight's purser. In 2007, she appeared in the short films Sponsored By, Under The Gun, Midnight Snack, Time Upon a Once, Old Home Boyz, Backseat Driving Test, and The Yes Men which were directed by contestants on the reality show On the Lot.
In 2011, Shaye played medium Elise, a supporting role, in the horror film Insidious. "It scared the daylights out of me," said Shaye. "I read it in bed, and when I finished, I took it downstairs and locked it in the closet. I really was chilled to the bone by the story." The film was released on April 1, 2011, and received positive reviews. It grossed a total of $97,009,150 worldwide. It was the most profitable film of 2011. Shaye received positive reviews and was nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Fright Meter Award for Best Supporting Actress, and a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
On November 19, 2012, it was officially announced that Shaye, Patrick Wilson, and Rose Byrne would reprise their roles from the first film. The film was released September 13, 2013. It received mixed reviews and was a box office success.
Shaye returned as Elise, this time in the leading role, in the third and fourth installments of the Insidious franchise, Insidious: Chapter 3 and Insidious: The Last Key. Speaking of the role in the third film, Shaye said "Elise has become this sort of bad ass in this installment, I can't even tell you how much fun that was for me. I'm not taking names!" Insidious: Chapter 3 received a mixed response from critics, and Shaye's performance was well-received by critics and audiences. Rotten Tomatoes lists a 59% approval rating, with the site's critical consensus reading "Insidious: Chapter 3 isn't as terrifying as the original, although it boasts surprising thematic depth and is enlivened by another fine performance from Lin Shaye." A writer from The Wrap opined that Shaye "shines" in the film. The Oakland Post Online said, "Shaye is able to give the film most of its heart. Many of the horror scenes rely on her to be either the calming voice or the badass heroine, and Shaye plays both of those roles perfectly," also adding, "Insidious: Chapter 3 could have been a disaster, but thanks to some genuinely scary moments and veteran acting from Lin Shaye, the film is able to be mostly enjoyable."
In 2020, Shaye received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Digital Drama Series for her guest role on the dark comedy web series EastSiders.
Shaye has been married twice. Her first husband, writer and musician Marshall Rubinoff, died in 1968 at age 24. In 1988, she married actor Clayton Landey, with whom she appeared in 2002's Wish You Were Dead. The couple had one child before divorcing in 2003.
|1977||A Secret Space||Amy|
|1978||Goin' South||Parasol Lady|
|1980||The Long Riders||Kate|
|1982||Alone in the Dark||Receptionist at Haven|
|Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again||Nurse with Telegram|
|1984||A Nightmare on Elm Street||Teacher|
|1985||Brewster's Millions||Journalist at Rally|
|1987||My Demon Lover||Anemic Counter Girl|
|Extreme Prejudice||Employment Office Clerk|
|The Hidden||Carol Miller|
|The Running Man||Propaganda Officer|
|1988||Critters 2: The Main Course||Sal|
|Lucky Stiff||Bratty Kid's Mom|
|1990||Book of Love||Mrs. Flynn|
|Pump Up the Volume||PTA Parent #3|
|1993||Loaded Weapon 1||Witness|
|Three of Hearts||Operator|
|Brain Smasher... A Love Story||Makeup Artist|
|Amityville: A New Generation||Nurse Turner|
|Even Cowgirls Get the Blues||Rubber Rose Maid|
|1994||Corrina, Corrina||Repeat Nanny|
|Wes Craven's New Nightmare||Nurse|
|Dumb & Dumber||Mrs. Margie Neugeboren|
|1995||The Nature of the Beast||Carol Powell|
|Last Man Standing||The Madame|
|1998||Living Out Loud||Lisa's Nurse|
|There's Something About Mary||Magda|
|Behind the Zipper with Magda||Magda||Short film|
|1999||Detroit Rock City||Mrs. Bruce|
|2000||Me, Myself & Irene||Mrs. Caleron||Scenes deleted|
|2001||Say It Isn't So||Nurse Bautista|
|A Letter from My Father||Elise|
|2002||Wish You Were Dead||Jinny Macintosh|
|Man of the Year||Flora|
|Boat Trip||Coach Sonya|
|Who's Your Daddy?||Ms. Harding|
|National Lampoon's Barely Legal||Tequila|
|Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd||Margie Neugeboren|
|Dead End||Laura Harrington|
|Stuck on You||Makeup Babe|
|2004||The Almost Guys||Repo Boss|
|Cross Bronx||Barbara Green|
|The Latin Lover||Emilia||Short film|
|A Cinderella Story||Mrs. Wells|
|Cellular||Exotic Car Driver|
|Wear Something Nice||Mom||Short film|
|The Hillside Strangler||Jenny Buono|
|2005||Hate Crime||Kathleen Slansky|
|Confessions of an Action Star||Samantha Jones|
|2001 Maniacs||Granny Boon|
|Drop Dead Sexy||Ma Muzzy|
|Jesus, Mary and Joey||Lulu|
|Hoboken Hollow||Mrs. Brodrick|
|Bachelor Party Vegas||Cassandra|
|Hood of Horror||Clara|
|Snakes on a Plane||Grace|
|Surf School||Larry's Mom|
|Down the P.C.H.||Wendy O'Hara|
|National Lampoon's Pledge This!||Miss Prin|
|2007||The Election||The Wife||Short film|
|Chasing Robert||Martha the Bookie|
|Homo Erectus||Museum Guide|
|Doggie Heaven||Woman||Short film|
|2009||My Sister's Keeper||Nurse Adele|
|American Cowslip||Lou Anne|
|Dark Moon Rising||Sunny|
|Yellow Brook||Narrator||Short film|
|2010||2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams||Granny Boone|
|Pickin' & Grinnin'||Bonnie Johnson|
|Small Town Saturday Night||Phyllis|
|The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue||Mrs. Rawlings|
|The Land of the Astronauts||Mrs. Harris|
|Killer by Nature||Leona Whitmore|
|VideoDome Rent-O-Rama||The Lush||Short film|
|Sex Tax: Based on a True Story||Lydia Friedman|
|2011||Sedona: The Motion Picture||Claire|
|A Good Old Fashioned Orgy||Dody|
|Chillerama||Baglady / Nurse Maleva|
|Take Me Home||Jill|
|Rosewood Lane||Mrs. Hawthorne|
|Red & Blue Marbles||Janitor|
|Jackie Goldberg: Private Dick||Violet|
|Dead of Nowhere 3D||Meemaw||Short film|
|Black Velvet||Pool Lady|
|2012||The Three Stooges||Nursery Nurse|
|FDR: American Badass!||Eleanor Roosevelt|
|3 Days of Normal||May|
|Life's an Itch||Gloria|
|Dr. 420||Dr. 420||Short film|
|2013||Insidious: Chapter 2||Elise Rainier|
|All American Christmas Carol||Barbara Belnap|
|Crazy Kind of Love||Denise Mack|
|Big Ass Spider!||Mrs. Jefferson|
|2014||Lost Time||Mysterious Woman|
|Grace: The Possession||Helen|
|2015||Don Quixote||The Grand Lady|
|Insidious: Chapter 3||Elise Rainier|
|Tales of Halloween||Lynn's Mother||Segment: "Grim Grinning Ghost"|
|Sick People||Waitress / Sandra|
|Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves||Helen Keller|
|2016||Texas Heart||Mrs. Smith|
|Director's Cut||Captain Wheeler|
|Jack Goes Home||Teresa|
|Buster's Mal Heart||Pauline|
|The Midnight Man||Anna Luster|
|Ouija: Origin of Evil||Paulina Zander|
|2017||Mountain Top||Muriel Miller|
|Grow House||Mrs. Gilliam|
|All About the Money||Mrs. Womack|
|The Black Room||Mrs. Black|
|2018||Insidious: The Last Key||Elise Rainier|
|Los Angeles Overnight||Cousins|
|The Final Wish||Kate Hammond|
|The Old World!||The Aunt (voice)||Short film|
|2019||Room for Rent||Joyce||Also producer|
|Get Gone||Mama Maxwell|
|2020||The Grudge||Faith Matheson|
|Dreamkatcher||Ruth||Also executive producer|
|TBA||Killing Winston Jones||Madeline Jones||Completed|
|Max Reload and the Nether Blasters||Mrs. Wylder||Post-production|
|1977||Sex and the Married Woman||Sandra||Television film|
|Eight Is Enough||Unknown||Episode: "The Return of Auntie V"|
|1979||The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal||Freida||Television film|
|The Seeding of Sarah Burns||2nd Nurse||Television film|
|1980||A Cry for Love||Unknown||Television film|
|1984||Why Me?||Unknown||Television film|
|Summer Fantasy||Woman on Beach||Television film|
|1985||The New Twilight Zone||Kate Simmons||Episode: "Chameleon"|
|1986||Cagney & Lacey||Secretary||Episode: "DWI"|
|Falcon Crest||Smoking Female Prisoner||Episode: "Unholy Alliances"|
|1987||Who's the Boss?||Mrs. Padnick||Episode: "Mona"|
|Mistress||Woman Customer||Television film|
|1988||Highway to Heaven||Lila Barnes||Episode: "A Mother's Love"|
|1991||Life Goes On||Parent #2||Episode: "Life After Death"|
|1992||Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter||Inmate||Television film|
|1993||Torch Song||Teamster||Television film|
|Sisters||Nightmare Host #2||Episode: "Sleepless in Winnetka"|
|1994||In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance||Foreman #2||Television film|
|My So-Called Life||Parent #2||Episode: "Guns and Gossip"|
|1995||Sketch Artist II: Hands That See||Bonnie||Television film|
|Trial by Fire||Phyllis Cardell||Television film|
|1996||Project ALF||Waitress||Television film|
|Frasier||Anne||Episode: "The Focus Group"|
|1997||Perversions of Science||The Nurse||Episode: "Dream of Doom"|
|1998||Breakfast with Einstein||Miss Desmond||Television film|
|Becker||Mrs. Cooper||Episode: "Take These Pills and Shove 'Em"|
|2000||Arliss||Unknown||Episode: "The Value of Honesty"|
|2004||Crossing Jordan||Leather Lauren||Episode: "Is That Plutonium in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?"|
|2006||My Name Is Earl||Paul's Mom||Episode: "Number One"|
|2007||On the Lot||Various||Unknown episodes|
|Dirty Sexy Money||Leslie Donovan||Episode: "The Game"|
|2009||ER||Margaret||Episode: "And in the End..."|
|2010||Next Stop Murder||Detective Reeson||Television film|
|Farewell Mr. Kringle||Zelda||Television film|
|2011||Brave New World||Kathy||Unaired pilot|
|2012||Matchmaker Santa||Debbie||Television film|
|Waffle Hut||Jerrie Wolf||Television film|
|2013||Private Practice||Mrs. Taylor||Episode: "Full Release"|
|Kroll Show||Unknown||Episode: "Soaked in Success"|
|2015||Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight||Mrs. Abramson||3 episodes|
|2016||Still the King||Ruthie||Episode: “Mother Trucker”|
|American Gothic||Lila||Episode: "The Artist in His Museum"|
|Grip and Electric||Glenda||4 episodes|
|2020||Penny Dreadful: City of Angels||Dottie Minter||6 episodes|
|2000||Code Blue||Leslie Miller|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1999||Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy||There's Something About Mary||Nominated|
|2002||Method Fest Independent Film Festival||Best Supporting Actress||N/A||Won|
|2004||Peñíscola Comedy Film Festival||Best Actress||Dead End||Won|
|2005||Breckenridge Festival Of Film||Best Supporting Actress||Hate Crime||Won|
|Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Dead End||Nominated|
|2011||Fright Meter Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Insidious||Won|
|2012||Cyber-Horror Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Insidious||Nominated|
|Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Insidious||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Insidious||Nominated|
|2014||Fright Meter Awards||Best Ensemble Cast||Insidious: Chapter 2||Nominated|
|2016||Fright Meter Awards||Best Leading Actress||Insidious: Chapter 3||Nominated|
|2019||HorrorHound Film Fest||Legend Award||Herself||Won|
|2019||Fright Meter Awards||Best Actress||Room for Rent||Nominated|
|Action On Film International Film Festival||Best Supporting Actress||Get Gone||Nominated|
|2020||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Performer in a Digital Drama Series||Eastsiders||Won|
- Hochman, Steve (August 15, 1999). "Lin Shaye / Actor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Stack, Peter (August 11, 1999). "'Mary' Star's Time to Shine / Lin Shaye changes her persona for 'Detroit Rock City'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Sheridan, Patricia (June 1, 2015). "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Lin Shaye". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- "Kissing Fool". People. Time Inc. 50 (9): 210. September 14, 1998. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Collis, Clark (June 5, 2015). "How Lin Shaye became this summer's unlikeliest action star in Insidious: Chapter 3". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Box Office Information for Dumb and Dumber. The Wrap. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- "Top 10 Cult Comedies". Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- "New 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams Clip – Granny's Grotesque Cookin'". DreadCentral.
- "Insidious (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- WorstPreviews.com Staff (February 3, 2012). "James Wan in Talks to Direct "Insidious" Sequel". WorstPreviews. WorstPreviews.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Kit, Borys (November 19, 2012). "Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne Coming Back for 'Insidious' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- "Insidious Chapter 2 (2013)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- Outlaw, Kofi (March 11, 2014). "Insidious 3 Will Introduce New Story and Characters; Ghost Hunters Will Return". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Lin Shaye Haunted in New 'Insidious: Chapter 3' Still
- "Insidious: Chapter 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- 'Insidious: Chapter 3' Review – Lin Shaye Shines as the Original Female Ghost buster
- "Insidious: Chapter 3" scares, Lin Shaye shines[permanent dead link]
- Ramos, Dino-Ray (July 19, 2020). "Daytime Emmy Awards Winners List: Amazon Tops Digital Dramas With 'The Bay', 'After Forever' And 'Studio City'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- Marshall Rubinoff: In Memoriam. Fifth Estate. Retrieved May 21, 2019.