New York City native Nancy Allen was such a shy child that her parents enrolled her in dancing lessons at 4 to help her gain confidence. This led to an education in dance and performance, and her first film appearance was at age 12. After TV commercials and modeling, her second role was in The Last Detail in 1973. After moving to Los Angeles to try for larger parts, she eventually found a career direction.
Future husband Brian De Palma placed her in Carrie in 1975, and she began a series of films that established her rep as a Queen ‘O Scream. Originally, Allen was cast as Carrie, with Sissy Spacek as the bitchy Chris Hargensen, then De Palma decided to switch the actors. After a detour to two wonderful Speilberg productions, I Want To Hold Your Hand and 1941, she acted exclusively for De Palma for a few years, in Home Movies, Dressed To Kill, and Blow Out. Other horror and science fiction roles include Strange Invaders, The Philadelphia Experiment, RoboCop, Poltergeist III, RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3, and Children of the Corn 666.