If you are a Sci-fi freak then you definitely must know Nancy Allen, the actress who featured in ‘Strange Invaders’ (1983) as Betty Walker, as Allison in the most awesome time travel adventure movie ‘The Philadelphia Experiment’ (1984) and in the ‘RoboCop’ trilogy as Officer Anne Lewis. Nancy’s roles in the movies ‘Dressed to Kill’ (1980) and ‘Last Assassins’ (1996) also show the amazing stuff the blonde actress is made of.
Although her earlier interest in the entertainment industry started with dancing, she later discovered she wasn’t cut out for it. Obviously, channeling her talent to acting was a move in the right direction for the American actress.
Nancy Allen’s Biography
In the Bronx, New York City, on the 24th of June, 1950, the actress was born as the last of three children. Her parents Eugene and Florence Allen named her Nancy Anne Allen at birth. She attended the Academy of Mount St. Ursula in the Bronx before her family relocated to Yonkers. When she was four, her mother enrolled her in dance classes, launching her interest in a dancing career.
Allen then attended the High School of Performing Arts for one year but she lost interest in dancing when the training became all about grades and left for Jose Quintano’s School for Young Professionals.
Career – Movies And TV Shows
From the age of 15, Nancy featured in dozens of television commercials. She made her debut film appearance in ‘The Last Detail’ (1973), playing a minor role as a nervous date with Jack Nicholson. This role aroused her interest in acting and she moved to Los Angeles to continue her career.
Three years later, she got the role of the spoiled and popular mean girl Christine Hargensen in the horror film ‘Carrie’ (1976). In 1978, Nancy played the role of Pam Mitchell in Steven Spielberg’s production ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and in 1979, she played Donna Stratton in the comedy ‘1941’. In 1980, she starred as Kristina in ‘Home Movies’ with Kirk Douglas and as Liz Blake – a call girl turned amateur sleuth, in the thriller ‘Dressed to Kill’. For her performance in ‘Dressed to kill’, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year.
Next, she starred in the neo-noir ‘Blow Out’ (1981) as Sally Bedina, a woman involved in an assassination that is audibly captured by a sound engineer. In 1983, Nancy Allen appeared as a supermarket tabloid reporter Betty Walker in the movie ‘Strange Invaders’.She starred in ‘The Buddy System’, ‘Terror in the Aisles’ (documentary), ‘Not for Publication’ and ‘The Philadelphia Experiment’ all in 1984 was nominated for Saturn Award for Best Actress the same year.
In 1987, she starred in the movie ‘Sweet Revenge’ as Jillian Grey. The same year, Nancy played the role of a police officer named Anne Lewis in the classic sci-fi RoboCop, a role she dreamed of as a child. Again, she was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress and in 1988, Nancy featured in the horror movie ‘Poltergeist III’ as Patricia Wilson-Gardner. She repeated her role as Officer Lewis in ‘RoboCop 2’ in the year 1990 and had to learn martial arts and participate in police training in order to be more involved in the physical action of the movie. That same year she acted in the highly-rated television movie ‘Memories of Murder’.
In 1993, she played the feisty cop, Officer Lewis once again in ‘RoboCop 3’ and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. The same year, she played Cathy Thomas in the television movie, ‘Acting on Impulse’ and the following year, she featured in the television movie ‘The Man Who Wouldn’t Die’ and also in the movie ‘Les Patriotes’. 1997 saw Nancy play the role of Maggie Hewitt in the movie ‘Against the Law’ and as Anna Bishop in ‘Dusting Cliff 7’ (popularly known as ‘Last Assassins’).
Other movies she featured in includes; ‘The Pass’ (1998) as Shirley Duprey, ‘Out of Sight’ (1998) as Midge, ‘Secret of the Andes’ (1999) as Brenda Willings, ‘Kiss Toledo Goodbye’ (1999) as Madge, ‘Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return’ (1999) as Rachel Colby, ‘Circuit’ (2001) as Louise, ‘My Apocalypse’ (aka ‘Quality Time’, 2008) and as the narrator in the 2012 movie ‘Bound by Flesh’.
Nancy has also appeared on many TV shows including; ‘Another World’, ‘Faerie Tale Theatre’, ‘Touched by an Angel’, ‘The Outer Limits’, ‘The Commish’, ‘Judging Amy’, ‘The Division’ and ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’. Nancy retired from acting in the year 2008.
After her retirement, the actress decided to shift her focus to breast cancer awareness and anti-cancer activism after her friend and former co-star Wendie Jo Sperber died of breast cancer in 2005.
On December 2010, Nancy was named executive director of the weSPARK Cancer Support Center (an organization founded by her friend Wendie before she died).
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Nancy Allen’s Ex-spouses
Nancy Allen has been married and divorced thrice. She married director Brian De Palma on January 12, 1979, and they divorced in 1984. She began dating Michael Paré after the production of ‘The Philadelphia Experiment’ that same year.
On September 6, 1992, she married the comedian Craig Shoemaker but the marriage didn’t last as they divorced in 1994 and in June 1998, she got married to the builder/contractor Randy Bailey and divorced him in 2007.
From her three marriages, Nancy has no children and currently, she is not in any known relationship.