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Home Culture Actress Shelley Duvall, star of ‘The Shining’, dies at 75 | Culture

Actress Shelley Duvall, star of ‘The Shining’, dies at 75 | Culture

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Actress Shelley Duvall, the tormented wife of The glow, the Olivia of Popeye Robin Williams’ comedy, considered one of the greatest failures in the history of cinema, directed by Robert Altman, Duvall’s mentor, died on Thursday at the age of 75 at her home in Blanco, Texas. Duvall died in her sleep from complications of diabetes, according to her husband, actor Dan Gilroy., her life partner since 1989 (they had a brief romantic relationship and he later cared for her): “My dear, sweet, wonderful life partner and friend has left us. Too much suffering lately, she is free now. Fly away beautiful Shelley,” Gilroy wrote in The Hollywood Reporter.

Shelley Duvall, as Wendy Torrance in ‘The Shining’.Warner Bros. (Getty Images)

Duvall was a star who left Hollywood in the late 1990s and retreated to her native Texas to deal with mental illness. At the time, she was a prolific and highly successful producer, a pioneer in cable television with her unconventional approach to children’s programming. That artistic side began Faerie Tale Theatrea series that aired from 1982 to 1987, in which stars such as Carrie Fisher, Mick Jagger, Teri Garr, Liza Minnelli, Vanessa Redgrave and Jeff Bridges acted in classic stories directed by Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola. And Duvall supervised the productions. Three years later, he created Tall Tales & Legendsanother series, also for Showtime, which adapted American folk tales. With his own production company, Think Entertainment, he earned two Emmy nominations. However, there was a time when he fled to Texas.

In fact, except for the two decades or so she worked in Hollywood (from 1974 to the late 1990s), Duvall always lived in Texas. Born in Fort Worth on July 7, 1949, Shelley was the eldest child (and only daughter) of Bob and Bobbie Duvall. Her father was a cattle auctioneer who later became a lawyer; her mother was a real estate agent. In Houston, where the Duvall family had moved, she founded Space City Realty, a company focused on space when NASA was still in its infancy.

Shelley Duvall y Woody Allen, en 'Annie Hall' (1977).
Shelley Duvall y Woody Allen, en ‘Annie Hall’ (1977)

That’s why her daughter wanted to be a scientist until she attended a monkey vivisection and dropped out of South Texas Junior College in Houston. She worked in a department store and began her small modeling career. That’s how she met her only husband, the artist Bernard Sampson. The couple (they would divorce in 1974) lived in Sampson’s parents’ house, where Duvall organized a party to sell some of her works and earn money. Three members of the team attended the party. Flying is for birdswith which Robert Altman wanted to repeat the success of M*A*S*H. They were the ones who directed Duvall to an audition with Altman and thus began the career of the actress, who became the filmmaker’s protégé. In an interview with The New York Times, She said: “I remember the first piece of advice Robert gave me: ‘Don’t take yourself seriously. ’ Sometimes I feel self-centered, and then all of a sudden that advice pops into my head and I laugh.”

With Altman, Duvall did not stop in the seventies: as a mail order bride in The freeloaders; as the woman who has an affair in Mississippi with bank robber Keith Carradine in Thieves like us; as the groupie A fan of shorts and platform shoes, Nashville; as the wife of President Grover Cleveland in Buffalo Bill and the Indians; and as Millie Lamoureaux, a fanciful worker at a Palm Springs resort for the elderly in 3 women. And of course, like Olivia, in the version starring Robin Williams and directed by Altman of Popeye. At the end of the seventies, Duvall also participated in Annie Hall and spent 13 months filming in England (“I cried for 12 hours a day for many weeks,” she said in an interview People) con Stanley Kubrick The glow. “I will never give so much again. If you want to get into pain and call it art, go ahead, but not with me.”

Shelley Duvall and Robin Williams on the set of 'Popeye'.
Shelley Duvall and Robin Williams on the set of ‘Popeye’.

However, her role as Wendy Torrance, the wife of writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), was the most popular of her career. The glow, The Torrances are hired to take care of a hotel in winter, when the establishment, the mythical Overlook, closes its doors temporarily. There, an evil presence awaits them that will drive Jack crazy. In 2021, in an interview in The Hollywood Reporter, He said: “Before a sequence, I would put a walkman from Sony and listened to sad songs.” Or he would change his mood like this: “You just think about something really sad in your life or how much you miss your family or friends. But after a while, your body rebels. It says, ‘Stop doing this to me. I don’t want to cry every day. ’ And sometimes just that thought would make me cry. Waking up on a Monday morning, so early, and realizing that I would have to cry all day because it was programmed, it would just bring me to tears. I was like, ‘Oh no, I can’t, I can’t. ’ And yet, I did it. I don’t know how. Jack told me that too. He said, ‘I don’t know how you do it. ’” He repeated the famous bat sequence 127 times. In Spain, his voice was dubbed by Verónica Forqué.

To make matters worse, she had arrived at the shoot emotionally damaged: at the time, the actress was dating musician Paul Simon. They lived together on Central Park West until Simon left her for a friend of Duvall’s, Carrie Fisher. The actress recalled that the musician announced this to her when she was boarding the Concorde to fly to London.

In the rest of his career, titles such as Time Bandits, Roxanne, The Underneath o Portrait of a Lady, because in the late eighties she focused on her work as a producer, while in the nineties she made much more appearances. She spent the 21st century in Texas and only left to act in The Forest Hills (2023), de Scott Goldberg.

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