actress, Adrienne Shelly, Andy Ostroy, businessman, Celebrity, construction worker, Diego Pillco, footprint, Greenwich Village, hanging, manslaughter, shower, Sophie, studio apartment, suicide, The Unbelievable Truth, Trust, Waitress
Adrienne Shelly (June 24, 1966- November 1, 2006)
Actress Adrienne Levine was best known for her roles in the independent films The Unbelievable Truth (1989) and Trust (1990). She wrote, co-starred and directed the posthumously released (and award-winning) Waitress (2007). Shelly was born in Queens, New York and began performing at age 10. She married Andy Ostroy, the chairman and CEO of the marketing firm Belardi/Olstroy. They had a daughter Sophie (she was two years old at the time of Shelly’s death).
Shelly was found dead, hanging in the shower of her Greenwich Village work studio apartment. The initial examination of the scene did not reveal any suspicious circumstances. It was chalked up to a suicide. Ostroy insisted his wife would not commit suicide and fought for a re-examination of the scene. It worked; they found a footprint. This was matched to a construction worker who was working in the building. He confessed to killing Shelly and making it look like a suicide. The worker, 19-year-old Diego Pillco, an Ecuadorian illegal immigrant, pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 25 years without parole. Ostroy set up the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which awards scholarships, production grants, finishing funds and living stipends to artists. The Women Film Critics Circle annually gives out an Adrienne Shelly Award to the film they deem “most passionately opposes violence against women.”