Real name: Elisabeth Shue
Birthdate: October 6, 1963
Partner: Davis Guggenheim
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Shue was born in Wilmington, Delaware. Her mother, Anne Harms (née Wells), is a bank executive who was the vice president of the private division of the Chemical Banking Corporation. Her father, James Shue, is a lawyer and real estate developer who was the president of the International Food and Beverage Corporation and was active in Republican politics, having once unsuccessfully run for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey. Shue's family was upper class and well-educated. Shue grew up in Bergen and Essex counties in New Jersey. Her parents divorced while she was in the fourth grade. Shue graduated from Columbia High School, in Maplewood, New Jersey, and attended Wellesley College and Harvard University, from which she withdrew to pursue her acting career. She returned to Harvard, 15 years after withdrawing, to finish her degree in Government in 2000. Shue was awarded entrance into Columbia High School's Hall of Fame in 1994, along with her brother, Andrew.
In 1984, she co-starred in The Karate Kid as the onscreen girlfriend of Ralph Macchio, and had a role as the teenage daughter of a military family in the short-lived series Call to Glory. She continued her acting work with Adventures in Babysitting, her first starring role, Cocktail, Soapdish, and The Marrying Man. She also appeared in Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III as Jennifer Parker, replacing original actress Claudia Wells who declined to reprise the role from Back to the Future.
Trying to shed her girl-next-door image, Shue took a chance on a low-budget, high-risk project called Leaving Las Vegas. Her portrayal of a prostitute mixed up with a suicidal alcoholic played by Nicolas Cage earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Since then, she has starred in The Trigger Effect, The Saint, Deconstructing Harry, Palmetto, and Hollow Man.
Shue was going to star across Jim Carrey in The Number 23 but she became pregnant just weeks before filming and she ended up losing the part to Virginia Madsen. In 2006, Shue and her two brothers produced Gracie, a movie about a teenage girl with an interest in soccer, in part based on Elisabeth's own experience. It is in part filmed on location in areas where she grew up.
Known among her friends and family as "Lisa", Shue is married to Davis Guggenheim, director of the HBO TV series Deadwood and An Inconvenient Truth. They have a son, Miles William (b. November 11, 1997), and two daughters, Stella Street (b. March 19, 2001) and Agnes Charles (b. June 18, 2006). Shue is the daughter-in-law of Charles and Marion Guggenheim, and sister-in-law to Guggenheim children Jonathan and Grace.
Her brother is actor Andrew Shue, of Melrose Place fame. Another brother, William, died in 1988 at the age of 26 from a freak swimming accident while on family vacation. Son Miles's second name is in homage to Will.