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 Who was Adrienne Shelly? Cause of death explored in HBO documentary 'Adrienne' 

Adrienne Shelly from the documentary Adrienne (Image via Sportskeeda)
Adrienne Shelly from the documentary Adrienne (Image via Sportskeeda)
Sneha Haldar
ANALYST

Adrienne, the upcoming documentary by Andy Ostroy, is a personal journey for the director who attempts to bring his wife, Adrienne Shelly, back to life for viewers and explore the truth behind her murder. The docu-film is set to drop on HBO on December 1.

Adrienne Shelly was a renowned actor and director. She starred in over twenty films, including Hal Hartley’s indie classics The Unbelievable Truth and Trust. She also wrote and directed several short and feature films, including the critically acclaimed Waitress. Adrienne was a devoted young mother and a doting wife. She had a happy life and a flourishing career until her husband Andy Ostroy one day found her murdered.


About the documentary 'Adrienne'

Adrienne is an exploration of the life and death of actor and filmmaker Adrienne Shelly. Directed by Shelly’s husband, Andy Ostroy, the documentary attempts to trace her life and career as an actor in more than 20 films, where she stood out for her remarkable performances.

She went on to write and direct her own projects, including the 2007 Sundance hit Waitress starring Keri Russell. Shelly was murdered in late 2006. Her death was initially ruled a suicide, but Ostroy’s efforts to pressure the police and involve the media eventually led to the arrest of Shelly’s killer.

The docu-film features interviews with people Adrienne was close to and had worked with. Actors Paul Rudd, Keri Russell, Cheryl Hines, Nathan Fillion, Lew Temple, Jessie Mueller and Jeremy Sisto, as well as Hal Hartley and singer/composer Sara Bareilles have been shown interviewed in the documentary.

Adrienne also features interviews with retired NYC homicide detective Irma Rivera-Duffy and forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, as well as Shelly’s family and friends.

Adrienne Shelly has left behind a legacy that includes 'The Adrienne Shelly Foundation', created by Ostroy, which has awarded over 100 production grants to women filmmakers.


Who killed Adrienne?

A teenage Ecuadorean construction worker, Diego Pillco, admitted to killing Adrienne Shelly in an angry exchange over noisy building renovations. He had fought with Shelly when she threatened to call the police, and had tied a sheet around her neck, dragging her to the bathroom where he hung her from the shower rod.

Under investigation, Pillco admitted that Shelly had tried to slap him while they were engaged in physical altercations. He responded by punching her in the head, a blow which he said had killed her. To cover up his tracks he had hung Shelly from a shower rod in the bathroom.


Watch Adrienne on HBO to learn more about the life and death of the acclaimed actress and filmmaker. Catch the documentary on HBO on December 1, 2021.


Edited by Danyal Arabi
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