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Shelley Duvall, Actress of 'The Shining' and 'Popeye,' Dies at 75

Shelley Duvall, Actress of ‘The Shining’ and ‘Popeye,’ Dies at 75

Shelley Duvall, the actress best known for her roles in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and numerous Robert Altman films, has passed away at the age of 75.

The two-time Emmy nominee, who largely stepped away from Hollywood in the late 1990s, died Thursday at her home in Blanco, Texas, due to complications from diabetes.

Her partner, Dan Gilroy, confirmed the news to The Associated Press and multiple news outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, stating that she died peacefully in her sleep. “My dear, sweet, wonderful life partner and friend left us,” Gilroy said in his statement. “Too much suffering lately, now she’s free. Fly away, beautiful Shelley.”

Shelley Duvall made her film debut in Altman’s “Brewster McCloud” in 1970 and continued to work with the director throughout the decade on sprawling dramas such as “Nashville,” “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” and “3 Women.” She also starred alongside Robin Williams in the movie musical “Popeye,” where she played Olive Oyl.

Her most famous role is undoubtedly that of Wendy Torrance, the fearful wife of Jack Nicholson’s mad writer-turned-caretaker in the horror classic “The Shining.” The making of this movie was grueling, as she revealed in a 2021 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Jack was so good − so damn scary,” she noted. “I can only imagine how many women go through this kind of thing.”

While Duvall never received an Oscar nomination, she garnered numerous accolades for her performance as Sissy Spacek’s free-spirited roommate in “3 Women,” winning Best Actress at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival, along with similar honors from critics in New York and Los Angeles. Notably, she was nominated for Worst Actress for “The Shining” at the Razzie Awards, a nomination which the group rescinded in 2022.

In 2016, Duvall made headlines for her appearance on “Dr. Phil,” where she discussed her struggles with mental illness. She took a two-decade hiatus from film and TV acting before making her final on-screen appearance in last year’s horror movie “The Forest Hills,” where she shot her scenes entirely via FaceTime.

In a February 2023 interview with People magazine, Duvall expressed her desire to continue acting, joking that Jessica Tandy won an Oscar at the age of 80.

Source: USA TODAY, Associated Press, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety