Elisabeth Shue is an American actress and producer best known for her roles in the films The Karate Kid, Adventures in Babysitting, Cocktail, Back to the Future Parts II and III and Leaving Las Vegas, for which she won five acting awards and was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.
She currently plays the role of Julie 'Finn' Finlay, a new CSI fresh off an anger management course, in the police procedural television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, since 2012. The role was created to offset the departure of series star Marg Helgenberger midway through the 12th season.
Shue's parents divorced while she was in the fourth grade. Owing to the occupational demands of her parents, Shue and her siblings found plenty of time to get into trouble in their suburban neighbourhood, but Elisabeth soon enrolled in Wellesley College, an all-female institution which kept her out of trouble.
During her studies, she found a way to make a little extra money by acting in television commercials. Elisabeth became a common sight in ads for Burger King, DeBeers diamonds and Hellman's mayonnaise.
In 1984, she landed a role in the The Karate Kid as the on-screen girlfriend of Ralph Macchio and a role as the teenage daughter of a military family in the short-lived series Call to Glory (1984-1985).
At this time, Shue got herself an acting coach and transferred to Harvard, where she began studying political science.
She continued her acting work with Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Cocktail (1988), Soapdish (1991) and The Marrying Man (1991).
Unfortunately, time was catching up with the impressive girl-next-door. Her brother Andrew Shue had almost eclipsed her own fame by landing a starring role in the hit TV series Melrose Place, in 1992.
It was at this time that Elisabeth took a chance on a low-budget, high-risk project entitled Leaving Las Vegas (1995), directed by Mike Figgis. Her gutsy portrayal of a prostitute mixed up with a suicidal alcoholic paid off as she was recognised with a Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards that year. This was the turning point of her career.
What followed was a barrage of film roles, including The Saint (1997), Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry (1997), Palmetto (1998) and Hollow Man (2000).
She has since continued to work primarily in film, appearing in such features as Leo (2002), Hide and Seek (2005), Gracie (2007), Don McKay (2009), Piranha (2010) and Janie Jones (2010).
Known to her friends and family as Lisa, Shue is married to film director Davis Guggenheim. Their son, Miles William, was born on 11 November, 1997. She gave birth to her first daughter, Stella Street, on 19 March, 2001. Her third child, Agnes Charles, was born on 18 June, 2006.