Lin Shaye

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Lin Shaye
Lin Shaye 2017.jpg
Shaye in April 2017
Linda Shaye

(1943-10-12) October 12, 1943 (age 79)
Alma mater University of Michigan
Years active1971–present
Spouse(s)Marshall Rubinoff
(m. 19??; died 1968)
(m. 1988;div. 2003)
Relatives Robert Shaye (brother)

Linda Shaye (born October 12, 1943) is an American film, television, and theater 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), and as Magda in There's Something About Mary .


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), The Grudge (2020), and the Insidious universe. And midnight man

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), Detroit Rock City (1999), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Stuck on You (2003), and The Three Stooges (2012).

Early life

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. [1] Her family is Jewish; her mother was born in Russia, and her paternal grandparents were from Romania, and settled in Michigan. [2] [3] [4]

Shaye studied acting at the University of Michigan before she moved to New York to appear in Off Broadway productions. In 1977, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. [5]


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." [6] 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!'" [6]

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. [7] [8] The Farrellys then subsequently cast her as Woody Harrelson's gruesome landlady in Kingpin . Next they gave 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." [6] 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 . [9] 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." [6] The film was released on April 1, 2011, and received positive reviews. It grossed a total of $97,009,150 worldwide. [10] It was the most profitable film of 2011. [11] 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. [12] The film was released September 13, 2013. It received mixed reviews and was a box office success. [13]

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 . [14] [15] 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!" [6] 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." [16] A writer from The Wrap opined that Shaye "shines" in the film. [17] 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." [18]

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 . [19] In April, 2020, Shaye gave an exclusive interview to Ukrainian horror writer Denis Bushlatov. For the time being it is the only interview given to the Russian horror community. [20]

Personal life

Shaye has been married twice. Her first husband, writer and musician Marshall Rubinoff, died in 1968 at age 24. [21] In 1988, she married actor Clayton Landey, with whom she appeared in 2002's Wish You Were Dead . The couple had one child [5] before divorcing in 2003.



1975 Hester Street Whore
1977A Secret SpaceAmy
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
1986 Critters Sally
1987 My Demon Lover Anemic Counter Girl
Extreme Prejudice Employment Office Clerk
Slam Dance Librarian
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
1992 Roadside Prophets Celeste
1993 Loaded Weapon 1 Witness
The Temp Rosemary
Three of Hearts Operator
Brainsmasher... 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
1996 Kingpin Landlady
Last Man Standing The Madame
1997 Trading Favors Darla
1998 Living Out Loud Lisa's Nurse
There's Something About Mary Magda
Behind the Zipper with MagdaMagdaShort film
1999 Detroit Rock City Mrs. Bruce
2000 Me, Myself & Irene Mrs. CaleronScenes deleted
Attention Shoppers Libby
2001 Say It Isn't So Nurse Bautista
A Letter from My FatherElise
Without CharlieUnknown
2002 Wish You Were Dead Jinny MacIntosh
ContagionLaura Crowley
Man of the YearFlora
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 BronxBarbara Green
The Latin LoverEmiliaShort film
A Cinderella Story Mrs. Wells
Cellular Exotic Car Driver
Wear Something NiceMomShort 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
Born Killers Willow
Jesus, Mary and JoeyLulu
2006 Unbeatable Harold Jeannie
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
Driftwood Nancy Forrester
National Lampoon's Pledge This! Miss Prin
2007The ElectionThe WifeShort film
Chasing RobertMartha, The Bookie
Homo Erectus Museum Guide
Kush Susan
2008 Killer Pad Marge
Asylum String's Mother
Chronic Town Nurse
Doggie HeavenWomanShort film
2009 My Sister's Keeper Nurse Adele
American Cowslip Lou Anne
Stuntmen'Bumble' Jackson
Dark Moon Rising Sunny
Yellow BrookNarratorShort film
2010 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams Granny Boone
The Penthouse Frances
Pickin' & Grinnin'Bonnie Johnson
Small Town Saturday Night Phyllis
The Accidental Death of Joey by SueMrs. Rawlings
The Land of the AstronautsMrs. Harris
Insidious Elise Rainier
Killer by Nature Leona Whitmore
VideoDome Rent-O-RamaThe LushShort film
Sex Tax: Based on a True StoryLydia Friedman
2011Sedona: The Motion PictureClaire
Losing Control Dolores
A Good Old Fashioned Orgy Dody
Chillerama Baglady / Nurse Maleva
Take Me Home Jill
Rosewood Lane Mrs. Hawthorne
Red & Blue MarblesJanitor
Jackie Goldberg: Private Dick Violet
Dead of Nowhere 3DMeemawShort film
Black VelvetPool Lady
2012 The Three Stooges Nursery Nurse
FDR: American Badass! Eleanor Roosevelt
Jewtopia Dr. Sutton
3 Days of Normal May
Noobz Mrs. Theodore
Life's an ItchGloria
Dr. 420Dr. 420Short film
2013 Insidious: Chapter 2 Elise Rainier
All American Christmas CarolBarbara Belnap
Crazy Kind of Love Denise Mack
Big Ass Spider! Mrs. Jefferson
2014Lost TimeMysterious Woman
The Signal Mirabelle
Grace: The PossessionHelen
Ouija Paulina Zander
2015 Don Quixote The Grand Lady
Insidious: Chapter 3 Elise Rainier
Tales of Halloween Lynn's MotherSegment: "Grim Grinning Ghost"
Sick PeopleWaitress / Sandra
Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves Helen Keller
2016Texas HeartMrs. Smith
Director's Cut Captain Wheeler
Jack Goes Home Teresa
Abattoir Allie
Buster's Mal Heart Pauline
The Midnight Man Anna Luster
Ouija: Origin of Evil Paulina Zander
2017Mountain TopMuriel 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
Gothic Harvest Griselda
The Final Wish Kate Hammond
The Old World!The Aunt (voice)Short film
2019 Room for Rent JoyceAlso producer
Get GoneMama Maxwell
AmbitionLady Bum
Bayou TalesMargot
2020 The Grudge Faith Matheson
The VoicesVagabond
DreamkatcherRuthAlso executive producer
Jackson's HoleNetter
The Call Edith Cranston
2021 Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman Mrs. Bundy
Frank and Penelope Ophelia
TBA Killing Winston Jones Madeline JonesCompleted
Max Reload and the Nether BlastersMrs. WylderPost-production
The GnashingJuliePost-production


1977Sex and the Married WomanSandraTelevision film
Eight Is Enough UnknownEpisode: "The Return of Auntie V"
1979 The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal FreidaTelevision film
The Seeding of Sarah Burns2nd NurseTelevision film
1980A Cry for LoveUnknownTelevision film
1984 Why Me? UnknownTelevision film
Summer FantasyWoman On BeachTelevision film
1985 The Twilight Zone Kate SimmonsEpisode: "Chameleon"
1986 Cagney & Lacey SecretaryEpisode: "DWI"
Falcon Crest Smoking Female PrisonerEpisode: "Unholy Alliances"
1987 Who's the Boss? Mrs. PadnickEpisode: "Mona"
Mistress Woman CustomerTelevision film
1988 Highway to Heaven Lila BarnesEpisode: "A Mother's Love"
1991 Life Goes On Parent #2Episode: "Life After Death"
1992Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last ChapterInmateTelevision film
1993 Torch Song TeamsterTelevision film
Sisters Nightmare Host #2Episode: "Sleepless in Winnetka"
1994In the Line of Duty: The Price of VengeanceForeman #2Television film
My So-Called Life Parent #2Episode: "Guns and Gossip"
1995 Sketch Artist II: Hands That See BonnieTelevision film
Trial by FirePhyllis CardellTelevision film
1996 Project ALF WaitressTelevision film
Frasier AnneEpisode: "The Focus Group"
1997 Perversions of Science The NurseEpisode: "Dream of Doom"
1998Breakfast with EinsteinMiss DesmondTelevision film
Becker Mrs. CooperEpisode: "Take These Pills and Shove 'Em"
2000 Arliss UnknownEpisode: "The Value of Honesty"
2004 Crossing Jordan Leather LaurenEpisode: "Is That Plutonium in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?"
2006 My Name Is Earl Paul's MomEpisode: "Number One"
2007 On the Lot Various RolesUnknown episodes
Dirty Sexy Money Leslie DonovanEpisode: "The Game"
2009 ER MargaretEpisode: "And in the End..."
2010Next Stop MurderDetective ReesonTelevision film
Farewell Mr. KringleZeldaTelevision film
2011Brave New WorldKathyUnaired pilot
2012Matchmaker SantaDebbieTelevision film
Waffle HutJerrie WolfTelevision film
2013 Private Practice Mrs. TaylorEpisode: "Full Release"
Kroll Show UnknownEpisode: "Soaked in Success"
2015 Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight Mrs. Abramson3 episodes
2016 Still the King RuthieEpisode: “Mother Trucker”
American Gothic LilaEpisode: "The Artist in His Museum"
Grip and ElectricGlenda4 episodes
2019 EastSiders Diane2 episodes
2020 Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Dottie Minter6 episodes

Video games

YearTitleVoice roleNotes
2000Code BlueLeslie Miller
2022 The Quarry Constance Hackett [22] Voice, motion capture and likeness

Awards and nominations

1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actress – ComedyThere's Something About MaryNominated
2002 Method Fest Independent Film Festival Best Supporting ActressWon
2004Peñíscola Comedy Film FestivalBest ActressDead EndWon
2005Breckenridge Festival Of FilmBest Supporting ActressHate CrimeWon
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting ActressDead EndNominated
2011Fright Meter AwardsBest Supporting ActressInsidiousWon
2012Cyber-Horror AwardsBest Supporting ActressInsidiousNominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting ActressInsidiousWon
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress InsidiousNominated
2014Fright Meter AwardsBest Ensemble CastInsidious: Chapter 2Nominated
2016Fright Meter AwardsBest Leading ActressInsidious: Chapter 3Nominated
2019HorrorHound Film FestLegend AwardHerselfWon
2019Fright Meter AwardsBest ActressRoom for RentNominated
Action On Film International Film Festival Best Supporting ActressGet GoneNominated
2020 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Performer in a Digital Drama SeriesEastsidersWon

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