Bright Star Celebrates 75th Birthday

Shelley Duvall, the big-eyed, graceful actress who won best actress at Cannes for her role in Robert Altman’s “Three Women” and who endured Stanley Kubrick’s intense directing techniques to star in “The Shining,” died Thursday in Blanco, Texas. diverse She was confirmed dead along with her partner, Dan Gilroy. She was 75 years old.

Duvall is best known for working with director Altman, who cast her in “Brewster McCloud” as her first screen role. She then appeared in his films “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” and “Thieves Like Us” before starring in “Nashville” in 1975. After gaining attention in “Nashville”, Altman cast her in “Buffalo Bill and the Indians”, and then gave her an unusual screen chance in “3 Women”, for which she won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA nomination.

Also in 1977, Duvall played a Rolling Stone journalist in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, and met Paul Simon during the filming. Their relationship lasted for two years.

Duvall played Olive Oyl in Altman’s 1980 film “Popeye,” a role she seemed born to play with her giant eyes. Her disturbing performance as a spa worker in “Three Women” led Kubrick to cast her as Wendy Torrance, the wife of Jack Nicholson’s character in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “The Shining.”

The Shining took more than a year to film, and during the shoot, Duvall pushed herself to the limit. Some of her scenes in the film required more than 100 takes, and the baseball scene entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the most dialogue.

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Years later, she spoke about the difficult shoot with The Hollywood Reporter. “After a while, your body just goes, ‘Stop doing this to me. I don’t want to cry every day.’ And sometimes, just the thought of that would make me cry. To wake up on a Monday morning, really early, and realize that I had to cry all day because it was scheduled — I would start crying right away. I would say, ‘Oh no, I can’t, I can’t.’ And yet I did it. I don’t know how I did it. Jack told me that, too. He said, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’”

Among her other roles were Terry Gilliam’s “Time Bandits” and the comedy “Roxanne” with Steve Martin.

During the 1980s, Duvall produced a series of children’s anthology shows based on classic stories. The shows Fairy Tales Theater, Tall Tales and Legends, Nightmare Classics, and Bedtime Stories featured notable directors including Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, and Evan Passer, and guest stars such as Robin Williams, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elliott Gould, Laura Dern, Molly Ringwald, and Ed Asner.

She was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and met Altman at a party while he was filming Brewster McCloud in Texas.

After returning to Texas, Duvall appeared in Steven Soderbergh’s The Underneath in 1995 and the following year starred in Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady. She retired from acting in 2002.

Although she has lived a reclusive life, her appearance on “Dr. Phil” in 2016 generated negative publicity for exaggerating her struggles with mental health. In 2021, she was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter writer Seth Abramovic, who I traveled to Texas I found her happy to remember her career and well respected in her Texas Hill Country community, despite her eccentricity.

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In 2023, she returned to acting after many years, appearing in the independent horror film “The Forest Hills”, which was not widely available.

She is survived by her musical partner, Dan Gilroy.

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