In sad and unexpected news, writer-director-actress Adrienne Shelly was found dead in her office on Wednesday. An autopsy was performed yesterday, but no cause of death has been officially determined. For art-damaged young men of a certain generation, Shelly's performances in Hal Hartley films such as The Unbelievable Truth and Trust made her an instant romantic icon, though her career as an independent actress and filmmaker wasn't always smooth sailing. Her films as writer-director, such as Sudden Manhattan and I'll Take You There didn't travel far beyond the minor festival circuit, but at the time of her death, she was in post-production on Waitress, a drama starring Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion. Nevertheless, she will be remembered fondly for her indelible screen presence and devotion to true American independent film.

More details here.

[Update: The New York Post is reporting some pretty lurid details about Shelly's death, noting that she was found hanging from a shower rod in a Greenwich village apartment, that no suicide note was found, and that there mysterious footprints in the bathtub. Can this be true? Perhaps a more reliable source will confirm.]

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