Adrienne Shelly (June 24, 1966 – November 1, 2006), sometimes credited as Adrienne Shelley, was an American actress, director and screenwriter. Making her name in independent films such as 1989's The Unbelievable Truth and 1990's Trust, Shelly transitioned to a writing and directing career in subsequent years. She wrote, co-starred in, and directed the 2007 film Waitress, which won five awards, including the Jury Prize at the Sarasota Film Festival for narrative feature, and the Audience and Feature Film awards at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
Before the film was even released, however, Shelly was murdered by a construction worker who had entered Shelly's Greenwich Village apartment intent on robbery. Her murder was initially speculated to be a suicide, the murder scene staged to resemble a hanging. Shelly's husband vehemently denied she would have committed suicide and claimed that money was missing from her wallet.
Ultimately, police unraveled the crime, arresting Ecuadorian illegal immigrant Diego Pillco, who later confessed that Shelly had confronted him while he was in the act of stealing money from her purse. Pillco was sentenced to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Following her death, Shelly's husband started a foundation in his wife's name which awards various grants and scholarships, and gives an annual award for films that oppose violence against women.