Adrienne Shelly

Adrienne Shelly created Waitress, its characters and its world, providing the blueprint for the musical in her 2006 film. Waitress the Musical, and this unofficial Wiki, are dedicated to her memory.

An actress, film director and screenwriter, Adrienne was multi-talented. She wrote, co-starred in (as Dawn), and directed the film Waitress. It was released in 2007, after her untimely death.

Her legacy has many facets, including The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which her husband Andy created after her death in 2006. With partners including Sundance, AFI, IFP, Women in Film, Columbia University and Boston University (Adrienne’s Alma Mater), and an advisory board that includes Paul Rudd, Michelle Williams and Keri Russell, ASF’s mission is Supporting Women Filmmakers. Since its inception it has awarded 60 production grants to very talented women all over the world.

Waitress had been accepted into the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, before her death. The film was bought during the festival by Fox Searchlight Pictures for an amount between $4 million and $5 million, and the film had a box-office return of more than $19 million. Waitress and its cast have won five film awards and received other nominations in various categories, including:

  • Newport Beach Film Festival – Audience Award
  • Newport Beach Film Festival – Feature Film Award – Nathan Fillion
  • Sarasota Film Festival – Jury Prize – Narrative Feature
  • Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards – Wyatt Award
  • National Board of Review – NBR Award – Top Independent Film
  • Chlotrudis Awards – Best Performance by an Ensemble Cast

It was also nominated for Humanitas Prize and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. Adrienne also received a nomination for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry in the Alliance of Women Film Journalists awards 2007.

Adrienne conceived the idea for Waitress while pregnant with her daughter Sophie (“Lulu” in the film), and wrote it in just two weeks.

Please visit the Adrienne Shelly Foundation to honour Adrienne’s memory and support ASF’s critical artistic mission.

Selected Previous Credits


  • Serious Moonlight (2009) Writer
  • Waitress (2007) Director, Writer, Actor
  • Factorum (2005) Actor
  • Tiger: His Fall and Rise (2004) Actor
  • Revolution #9 (2001) Actor
  • The Atlantis Conspiracy (2001) Actor
  • The Shadows Of Bob and Zelda (2000) Director, Writer
  • I’ll Take You There (1999) Director, Writer
  • Grind (1997) Actor
  • Sudden Manhattan (1997) Director, Writer
  • Lois Lives A Little (1997) Director, Writer
  • Urban Legend (1994) Director, Writer
NameAdrienne Levine
Born24 January 1966
Died1 November 2006
FromNew York City, New York