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Ione Skye: What the ‘Say Anything’ Star Has Been Up to Lately

The actress, painter and '80s icon will release a much-anticipated memoir next year!

Ione Skye is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating teen stars of the ’80s. As John Cusack‘s love interest in the 1989 classic Say Anything…, Skye was immortalized in teen movie history as the girl who so enchanted the actor that he stood outside her bedroom window and blasted Peter Gabriel‘s “In Your Eyes” on his boombox.

Now 53, Ione Skye recently announced that her memoir, cleverly titled Say Everything, will be out in 2025. It’s sure to be a page-turner, as the actress was born into fame and faced her share of dramatic highs and lows over the years.

Here’s a look at what the star has been up to since her ’80s heyday.

The actress in the '80s
Ione Skye in the ’80s@ioneskyelee/Instagram

The daughter of a ’60s icon

Ione Skye Leitch was born in 1970 to the Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan and model Enid Karl. As the hippie singer of ’60s hits like “Mellow Yellow,” “Sunshine Superman” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” Donovan was an icon of the decade, but sadly, he wasn’t particularly present in his daughter’s childhood, as he and Karl split up shortly after she was born, and she ended up being raised by her mom.

In an interview, Skye recalled her complicated upbringing, saying, “As a kid in school, I wanted to brag that he was my father but never did. It was a strange feeling to be proud of my dad but also wonder, ‘Who is this guy?’ I ended up having a relationship with Dad when I was a teenager and it has continued since.”

Ione Skye with her dad, Donovan
Ione Skye with her dad, Donovan@ioneskyelee/Instagram

Becoming a late ’80s teen queen

As a teen, Skye dabbled in modeling, and she was cast in her first role, in the dark 1986 teen drama River’s Edge, when she was just 16. She then appeared in the films Stranded (1987) and A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (1988), and became a household name with her role as the high school valedictorian Diane Court in Say Anything… in 1989.

The actress and John Cusack in 'Say Anything...' 1989
Ione Skye and John Cusack in Say Anything… (1989)@imdb/Instagram

Decades later, Say Anything… remains Skye’s signature movie and she still looks back at it fondly, saying, “I was kind of in heaven. It was exactly what I wanted to be doing,” and noting that “People relate to the characters because they’re both unusual, outcast characters.”

Skye avoided typecasting, and in 1992, she starred as the teen daughter of a working-class single mom in the acclaimed indie drama Gas Food Lodging. That same year, she also had a small part as Rob Lowe‘s girlfriend in the goofy blockbuster comedy Wayne’s World, which really showed her range!

As the ’90s continued, Skye appeared in movies like Four Rooms (1995), One Night Stand (1997) and Jump (1999).

Ione Skye in 'Gas Food Lodging' 1992
Ione Skye in Gas Food Lodging (1992)@ioneskyelee/Instagram

What Ione Skye has been up to lately

Skye’s acting career continued throughout the ’00s, and included small parts in movies like Fever Pitch (2005) and Zodiac (2007). She then appeared in TV shows like Camping, Arrested Development, Good Girls and Barons. Most recently, Skye had a cameo as a witchy, unrecognizable character in the award-winning 2023 miniseries Beef.

Since the ’80s, Skye has proven she’s more than just an actress. She’s directed two short films, and is an accomplished painter. In 2014, she wrote a children’s book, My Yiddish Vacation, inspired by her childhood with her maternal grandparents.

Ione Skye painting in 2020
Ione Skye painting in 2020@ioneskyelee/Instagram

Skye currently hosts a podcast and runs a creative production company called Weirder Together with her husband, the Australian musician Ben Lee.

Skye and Lee have been married since 2008, and they have a daughter. Prior to that, Skye was married to Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys from 1992 to 1999, and she had a turbulent relationship with Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the ’80s.

Ione Skye in 2024
Ione Skye in 2024Arturo Holmes/Getty for NYFW: The Shows

The multitalented actress has been open about her struggles over the years, and has spoken candidly about dealing with drug addiction, family drama and the immense pressure that comes with getting famous at a young age.

Today, Ione Skye seems admirably cool, creative and well-adjusted, and we can’t wait to see what she reveals in Say Everything.

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