NEW YORK (AP) – Adrienne Shelly, the petite actress best known for her roles in the Hal Hartley films “Trust” and “The Unbelievable Truth,” has been found dead in her office by her husband, her agent said Thursday.

Shelly, whose birth name was Adrienne Levine, was found Wednesday at about 6 p.m. An autopsy was performed Thursday, but the medical examiner’s office did not have a cause of death.

Shelly, who was 40, appeared as Jerry in the 2005 film “Factotum” with Matt Dillon. She starred as Audry Hugo in the 1989 film “The Unbelievable Truth” and as Maria Coughlin in the 1990 film “Trust.” She worked steadily during her career in film, theater and television but later turned to writing and directing, making her directorial debut with “Sudden Manhattan” in 1996.

Shelly, who was 5-foot-2, was married to Andy Ostroy and had a 3-year-old named Sophie, Sheedy said. Ostroy is not in the movie business.

Born in Queens and raised on Long Island, Shelly lived in Tribeca with her family and had been focusing more on writing and directing lately and caring for her daughter, Sheedy said, adding that the death caught Shelly’s friends and family off guard.

Shelly recently wrote and directed a film called “Waitress,” which starred Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion.

“She was so psyched about the film,” Sheedy said, referring to “Waitress.” “She gathered an amazing cast, and she was really happy and excited to hear back from Sundance about it.”

Sheedy said there was no memorial service scheduled yet, and she was still informing acquaintances about Shelly’s death. She described Shelly as a warm and giving friend.

“She was incredibly creative and a tremendously prolific writer, and I don’t know, she was the girl you’d go to if you were sad,” Sheedy said. “She was an incredibly beautiful woman.”


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