Elisabeth Shue Biography

(Best Known for Her Role in the Film 'Leaving Las Vegas' and TV Series ' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation')

Birthday: October 6, 1963 (Libra)

Born In: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Elisabeth Judson Shue is an American actress best known for her performance in films like ‘The Karate Kid,’ ‘Adventures in Babysitting,’ and ‘Leaving Las Vegas.’ She is also known for her roles in television series, such as ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’ Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, she studied at ‘Columbia High School’ in Maplewood, New Jersey, and later attended ‘Wellesley College’ and ‘Harvard University.’ While in college, she started trying her hand at acting. Initially, she appeared in television commercials and became the face of several brands. She made her film debut in the early-80s. In 1984, she appeared in the hugely successful martial arts drama film ‘The Karate Kid.’ Since then, she has played diverse roles in films and television series, proving her versatility as an actress. Foremost on her filmography is the 1995 romantic drama film ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ in which she portrayed the role of a toughened prostitute. She earned critical acclaim for her performance in the movie and won several awards in the best actress category; she also received nominations for ‘Academy Award,’ ‘Golden Globe,’ and ‘BAFTA.’ As far as her personal life is concerned, she is married to Davis Guggenheim with whom she has three children.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Elisabeth Judson Shue

Age: 60 Years, 60 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Davis Guggenheim (m. 1994)

father: James William Shue

mother: Anne Brewster

siblings: Andrew Shue, Jenna Shue, William Shue

children: Agnes Charles Guggenheim, Miles William Guggenheim, Stella Street Guggenheim

Born Country: United States

Actresses American Women

Height: 5'2" (157 cm), 5'2" Females

Ancestry: British American, German American

U.S. State: Delaware

More Facts

education: Harvard University

Childhood & Early Life

Elisabeth Shue was born on 6 October 1963, in Wilmington, Delaware, USA. Her mother Anne Brewster (née Wells) worked for the ‘Chemical Banking Corporation,’ while her father James William Shue was a lawyer and real estate developer. Elisabeth is of German and English ancestry.

She grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, with her three brothers: William, Andrew (also an actor), and John. Her parents divorced when she was nine years old.

She also has two half-siblings, Jenna and Harvey Shue, from her father's remarriage.

In 1982, she graduated from ‘Columbia High School’ in Maplewood, New Jersey.

 After high school, she attended ‘Wellesley College.’ Around the same time, she also began acting in television commercials to pay for her college education.

In 1985, she transferred to ‘Harvard University’; she fell one semester short of earning her bachelor’s degree in 1988 as she got busy with her acting career.

In 1988, she lost her older brother William in a swimming accident while on a family vacation. Later, she returned to ‘Harvard’ in 1997 and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in the year 2000.

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Elisabeth Shue began her acting career quite early. When she was still a student, she began acting in television commercials. Subsequently, she became the face of brands like ‘Burger King,’ ‘De Beers,’ and ‘Hellmann's.’

In 1984, she appeared in the popular film ‘The Karate Kid,’ starring opposite Ralph Macchio. The same year, she also played the role of a military family’s teenage daughter in the ABC television series ‘Call to Glory’ (1984-85).

In 1986, she appeared in the British horror film ‘Link.’ The following year, she played her first major role in ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ (1987).

In 1988, she appeared alongside Tom Cruise in ‘Cocktail.’ The following year, she played the role of ‘Jennifer Parker’ in the science fiction movie ‘Back to the Future Part II’ (1989). She also appeared in its sequel ‘Back to the Future Part III’ in 1990.

In May 1990, she made her Broadway debut in ‘Some American Abroad’ at ‘Lincoln Center.’ In 1991, she appeared in two comedy films, ‘Soapdish’ and ‘The Marrying Man.’

In 1993, she performed on Broadway in Tina Howe's production of ‘Birth and After Birth.’ The same year, she also appeared in the fantasy comedy drama film ‘Heart and Souls.’

Elisabeth Shue played the role of a prostitute in the 1995 film ‘Leaving Las Vegas,’ co-starring with Nicolas Cage. The role earned her critical acclaim, including an ‘Academy Award’ nomination.

Having proved her mettle, she began appearing in diverse roles. She starred in a thriller titled ‘The Trigger Effect’ in 1996. The following year, she appeared in Woody Allen's comedy ‘Deconstructing Harry.’

 In 1997, she appeared in ‘The Saint’ where she demonstrated her impressive action skills. The following year, she played a femme fatale in ‘Palmetto.’ She also played a supporting role in ‘Cousin Bette’ (1998).

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 In 1997, she appeared in ‘The Saint’ where she demonstrated her impressive action skills. The following year, she played a femme fatale in ‘Palmetto.’ She also played a supporting role in ‘Cousin Bette’ (1998).

In 2001, she played the role of a teenage daughter’s mother in Oprah Winfrey’s ABC movie ‘Amy and Isabelle.’ She also played supporting roles in ‘Mysterious Skin’ (2004) and ‘Hide and Seek’ (2005).

In 2007, along with her two brothers, she produced ‘Gracie,’ a historical sports drama film, in which she also played one of the characters.

In 2008, she appeared in ‘Hamlet 2’ where she played the role of a character who quits acting to become a nurse.

In 2009, she appeared in the seventh season of HBO's ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.’ The following year, she played ‘Sheriff Julie Forester’ in the horror flick ‘Piranha 3D.’

In 2012, she appeared in Mark Tonderai’s ‘House at the End of the Street.’ The same year, she also appeared in Curtis Hanson's ‘Chasing Mavericks’ and David Frankel's ‘Hope Springs.’ Also in the same year, she started playing ‘Julie Finlay’ from the twelfth season of ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’

In 2014, she starred in ‘Behaving Badly.’ In 2015, she made a guest appearance in an episode of the series ‘Blunt Talk.’

In 2017, she appeared alongside Steve Carell and Emma Stone in the sports comedy film ‘Battle of the Sexes.’ In 2018, she played ‘Lucy Kersey’ in Eli Roth's remake of the 1974 action film ‘Death Wish.’

In 2018, she was cast to play ‘Eva "Evie" Krause’ in a war drama film titled ‘Greyhound,’ which also stars Tom Hanks. The film is slated for release in 2020. In 2019, she became part of the main cast of a superhero web TV series titled ‘The Boys.’

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Major Works

 In 1984, Elisabeth Shue starred in ‘The Karate Kid,’ a martial arts drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. Narrating the story of an underdog, the film was a huge commercial success and also received critical acclaim. It also starred actors like Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita.

 In 1995, she co-starred with Nicolas Cage in ‘Leaving Las Vegas,’ a romantic film by Mike Figgis. In the movie, she portrayed the role of a prostitute with whom Cage’s character develops a relationship. Her performance in the film earned her several awards and nominations.

Awards & Achievements

In 1985, Elisabeth Shue’s performance in ‘The Karate Kid’ won her the ‘Young Artist Award’ for ‘Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.’

In 1995, her role in ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ earned her several awards and nominations. She was nominated for the ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Actress,’ ‘BAFTA Award’ for ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role,’ and ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama.’ She won the ‘Los Angeles Film Critics Association’ award for ‘Best Actress’ as well as the ‘Independent Spirit Award’ for ‘Best Female Lead’ for the same role.

Personal Life & Legacy

Elisabeth Shue married film director Davis Guggenheim in August 1994. The couple has three children: Miles, Stella, and Agnes.

She enjoys playing tennis.
In high school, she was an accomplished gymnast.

The 2007 film ‘Gracie’ is loosely based on real life events that occurred in Shue’s siblings’ lives.

Elisabeth Shue Movies

1. The Karate Kid (1984)

  (Sport, Action, Family, Drama)

2. Back to the Future Part II (1989)

  (Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi)

3. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

  (Drama, Romance)

4. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

  (Comedy, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Western)

5. Mysterious Skin (2004)

  (Drama, Mystery)

6. Deconstructing Harry (1997)


7. Somewhere, Tomorrow (1983)

  (Drama, Fantasy)

8. Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

  (Adventure, Thriller, Action, Romance, Comedy, Crime, Family)

9. Chasing Mavericks (2012)

  (Sport, Biography, Drama)

10. Heart and Souls (1993)

  (Romance, Comedy, Fantasy, Drama)

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