The daughter of a New York City policeman, Nancy Allen trained for a dancing career at the High School of Performing Arts, then attended Jose Quintano's School for Young Professionals. In dozens of TV commercials from the age of 15, Nancy made her first film appearance (as "Nancy"-what a stretch!) in 1973's The Last Detail. Three years later, she set the standard for all future "bitch-goddess teenagers" as the beautiful but despicable high schooler Chris in Brian De Palma's Carrie. While Chris and her greaser boyfriend (John Travolta) met with a violent but well-deserved end on-screen, Nancy herself ultimately won out by claiming director De Palma as her husband. She next displayed a keen comic sense in the role of the only teenager on Earth who doesn't love the Beatles in Robert Zemeckis' I Want to Hold Your Hand (1976); thereafter, for the next seven years she appeared only in DePalma's films. She carried on a heated argument with her own hand in Home Movies (1979), was threatened by a knife-wielding psycho in Dressed to Kill (1980), and literally died for John Travolta's art in Blow-Out (1981). After her divorce from DePalma in 1984, Nancy's film opportunities narrowed, though she was memorable as take-no-guff police officer Anne Lewis in the three Robocop flicks. In 1993, Nancy Allen joined several other veteran stars in Acting on Impulse, a made-for-cable send-up of the horror films that first brought her fame.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide