Family & Companions
An attractive blonde who is much younger-looking than the wackos she plays, Lin Shaye made her feature debut in Jack Nicholson's "Goin' South" (1978) soon after arriving in Los Angles. A favorite of Walter Hill, having worked in four of his films (as of 1999), she also acted in eight pictures produced by her older brother Robert Shaye before the Farrelly brothers rescued her from anonymity, giving her the first of her memorably unpleasant characters, an irate, upper-class dog owner in "Dumb and Dumber" (1994). As she told Stephen Schaefer in the BOSTON HERALD (August 11, 1999), "I come out to the set and Pete [Farrelly] says--and remember, this is their first movie too--'She screams when they open the door.' I said, 'What if instead of screaming, I had them do my hair like a poodle? And since people are like their dogs, if she goes'--and I did a little poodle cry."
The Farrellys, recognizing her as a kindred spirit, have cast her in every one of their pictures (to date), but Shaye was at her scene-stealing best in "There's Something About Mary" (1998) as Magda, the grotesquely sun-burned Miami matron (whose dog Matt Dillon accidentally electrocutes). When the pooch started licking her face in one scene, she seized the moment and began enthusiastically French-kissing the terrier, prompting Cameron Diaz to tell PEOPLE (September 14, 1998), "It was one of the funniest and most disgusting and disturbing things I've seen." She entered a different kind of dementia as the God-fearing, KISS-hating mom in Adam Rifkin's "Detroit Rock City" (1999) and returned to the low-brow land of Farrelly in "Me, Myself and Irene" (2000). With her profile higher than ever, Shaye has made known her desire for some normal roles while also hoping that the Farrellys never do a movie without her.
Cast (Feature Film)
Made TV debut in "Sex and the Married Woman"
Feature debut in Jack Nicholson's "Goin' South"
Made first film with director Walter Hill, "The Long Riders"
Acted for the first time in a film produced by brother, "Alone in the Dark"
First film with Wes Craven, "A Nightmare on Elm Street"; produced for brother's company New Line Cinema
Reteamed with Hill on "Brewster's Millions"
Third film with Hill, "Extreme Prejudice"
Portrayed Faye Dunaway's secretary in "The Temp"
First film with the Farrelly brothers, "Dumb and Dumber", portraying irate upper-class dog owner Mrs Nuegeboren
Acted in "Wes Craven's New Nightmare"
Fourth film with Hill, "Last Man Standing"
Played "the angriest, ugliest woman on the planet" in the Farrelly's comedy "Kingpin"
Delivered howlingly funny turn as Magda, the overly tan roommate of Cameron Diaz's title character, in the Farrelly's "There's Something About Mary"
Portrayed God-fearing, KISS-hating mom in Adam Rifkin's "Detroit Rock City"
Supported Jim Carrey in the Farrelly brothers' "Me, Myself and Irene"
First film with husband Clayton Landey, "Wish You Were Dead"
Featured roles in the Farrelly brothers "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd" and "Stuck On You"
Cast in the modern day fairytale "A Cinderella Story" starring Hilary Duff
Appeared in the hit horror film "Insidious"
Reprised her role in "Insidious: Chapter 2"
Nabbed a supporting role in "Tales of Halloween"
Played Elise Rainier for a third time in "Insidious: Chapter 3"
Appeared as Glenda in the short-lived "Grip and Electric"
Played Helen Keller in horror comedy "Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves"
Played Mrs. Womack in action/adventure/comedy "All About the Money"