Lin Shaye: biography
Lin Shaye is known for her roles in comedies and horrors. Although the actress has not had many lead parts, each episode with her becomes memorable and bright. The demonologist Elise Rainier from the Insidious movie series is, perhaps, the most recognizable role of Shaye; it brought her numerous fans, critics’ appreciation, and the title “the queen of horrors”.
Childhood and youth
Linda Shaye was born on October 12, 1943, in Detroit, Michigan. The father, Max Mendle Shaye, owned a supermarket and also worked as a painter; the mother, Dorothy Katz, kept the house and brought up the kids: the son Robert and the daughter Linda.
The family had Jewish roots; the mother came from Russia, and the paternal grandparents moved to the United States from Romania. The children inherited their father’s artistic nature: they liked acting early. Robert became a producer and founded one of the largest cinematographic companies in America, New Line Cinema.
Linda was fond of theater. As soon as the young woman graduated from school, she enrolled at the University of Michigan to study drama. Finishing her studies, she went to New York, the capital of the American theater, to make her dream come true and join in the Broadway. However, life did not go as planned; Shaye participated in several non-Broadway performances and moved to Los Angeles in 1975 to try herself in cinematography.
Shaye debuted in the movie Hester Street about Jewish emigrants in the 19-20th centuries. It was a significant ticket for success, and movie makers began to invite the artist to episodic roles.
1977 was marked with two projects: Sex and the Married Woman and A Secret Space. Jack Nicholson’s Goin’ South promised to be a road-opener for the actress: although her role was minor, she would collaborate with Nicholson himself, John Belushi, and Christopher Lloyd. However, the comedy failed.
Success seemed to be slipping away from Shaye; she had to take part in small episodes. Finally, she appeared in the legendary horror A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) by Wes Craven.
Linda personified a high-school teacher whose students had the same nightmare with Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a maniac with a burned face and blade fingers. By the way, Robert Shaye helped his sister receive the role. In 2015, the actress told USA Today:
“I'm forever grateful to my big brother, who really started my horror career”.
In 1986 and 1988, the woman appeared in two parts of the fantastic comedy Critters. The movie about little malicious creatures who wanted to destroy Earth was a success and brought the artist much popularity.
The beginning of the next decade gave a break in horrors; the actress changed her stage type for a while and played in the romantic comedies Book of Love (1990) and Three of Hearts (1993), the dramas Pump Up the Volume (1990) and The Temp (1993), the comedies Roadside Prophets (1992) and Loaded Weapon 1 (1993).
In 1994, Lin gained the part of Mrs. Neugeboren in the iconic comedy Dumb & Dumber by the Farrelly brothers; the actress’s name went down the history of comedies, and directors were so charmed with her talent that they began to invite her to their top-grossing movies.
In 1996, one could see Shaye in the comedy Kingpin with Woody Allen and Bill Murray. Two years later, Shaye personified Magda, the weird and frumpy neighbor of the main character (Cameron Diaz) in the romcom There’s Something About Mary.
The new century brought a permanent flow of work. The movies Detroit Rock City (1999), Who’s Your Daddy? (2002), Dead End (2003), Stuck on You (2003), A Cinderella Story (2004), and National Lampoon’s Pledge This! (2006) were released.
At the same time, the artist did not give up television and had small parts in ER, My Name Is Earl, and Falcon Crest.
Participating in numerous projects, Shaye reached the peak of her career only in 2011 when James Wan’s Insidious was presented. She played the famous demonologist, Elise Rainier, who helped the Lambert family return their son from the world of the evil spirits. According to Lin, she did not accept the role at once:
“I didn't want that thing by my head when I went to sleep”.
Eventually, the artist took the role and earned much fame thanks to one of the most popular horror franchises in Hollywood; the audience could see her in all four parts. Other horror masterpieces followed soon: Grace: The Possession (2014), Ouija (2014), Tales of Halloween (2015), Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016), and The Midnight Man (2016).
The latest part, Insidious: The Last Key, was premiered in 2018. The same year, Lin Shaye participated in the horror The Final Wish and played the main character’s mother; the young man’s life is full of mysterious events after his father’s death.
The actress has been married twice. She married Marshall Rubinoff when she was very young; the spouses lived together until the husband died in 1968. The couple had no children.
The second marriage happened only 20 years later, in 20. Lin’s stage partner in Wish You Were Dead, Clayton Landey, became her husband. Their son, Lee J. Landey, was born in 1989. However, the marriage finished with a divorce in 2003.
2019 is going to be favorable for the actress’s fans and lovers of horrors: the movies Jackson’s Hole, Grudge, Room for Rent, and Bayou Tales will be released soon.
The artist has no social network pages, but many fan pages on Instagram and other sources publish her recent photos.
Lin Shaye’s net worth is $800,000 in 2019.
- 1975 – Hester Street
- 1978 – Goin’ South
- 1984 – A Nightmare on Elm Street
- 1986 – Critters
- 1988 – Lucky Stiff
- 1992 – Roadside Prophets
- 1994 – Dumb & Dumber
- 1998 – There’s Something About Mary
- 2004 – A Cinderella Story
- 2008 – Asylum
- 2011 – Insidious
- 2014 – Grace: The Possession
- 2016 – Abattoir
- 2018 – Insidious: The Last Key