1980s teen idol Elisabeth Shue initially started acting in commercials to pay for college but, after being accepted to Harvard University, dropped out to pursue the career full-time. With a prolific filmography that includes roles in over 50 movies and television shows, it’s safe to say it was a solid move – although she did return to Harvard to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science over a decade after leaving.

Shue was born on October 6, 1963, in South Orange, New Jersey. Before leaving Harvard, she attended Wellesley College. She became the face of several brands during her commercial acting career, including Burger King, Chewels bubble gum, and Hellmann's mayonnaise.

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She made her feature film debut in 1984’s box office hit “The Karate Kid” playing Ali Mills, the love interest of Ralph Macchio’s main character. She recently reprised the role last year in season three of the Netflix reboot, “Cobra Kai.”

With 1987’s “Adventures in Babysitting,” Shue leveled up to a starring role as a heroic babysitter in the hugely popular comedy. Since then, her roles in film and television have been diverse, showcasing her versatility as an actress. The late 1980s saw her in “Cocktail,” “Back to the Future Part II,” and “Back to the Future Part III.”

A career-defining role as a sex worker in 1995’s “Leaving Las Vegas” earned Shue an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She was also nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Best Actress, and won Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and the National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Her career flourished after the Oscar nomination, and she appeared in many more successful films, including “The Saint,” “The Trigger Effect,” “Deconstructing Harry,” and “Hollow Man.” Her roles have shown her ability to take on everything from action-adventure to thriller, and spanned the spectrum from femme fatale to a young autistic woman, to a fictionalized version of herself where she has quit acting.

Shue currently stars as "Anne" in the Netflix dramedy series “On the Verge.”