Hollywood

Hollywood legend Shelley Duval dead at 75

Author: Editors Desk, Benedict Brook in the US Source: News Corp Australia Network:
July 11, 2024 at 16:24
Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall in the iconic scene from The Shining.
Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall in the iconic scene from The Shining.

 

An award-winning actor, famous for one of the scariest and most iconic scenes in cinema history, has passed away.


Hollywood legend Shelley Duvall, has died aged 75. 

The actor was best known for her performance in The Shining where she was married to homicidal hotel caretaker Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson. 

The still of Nicholson’s character breaking through a bathroom door with an axe while Duvall’s wide-eyed Wendy looks on in absolute fear, is one of the most famous in cinema.

 

Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall in the iconic scene from The Shining.
Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall in the iconic scene from The Shining.

The Hollywood Reporter reported Duvall’s partner Dan Gilroy confirmed she had died on Thursday, US time, in Blanco, Texas, from complications related to diabetes.

“My dear, sweet, wonderful life partner and friend left us. Too much suffering lately, now she’s free. Fly away, beautiful Shelley,” he said. 

Duvall won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for the 1977 film 3 Women, directed by Robert Altman. That led Stanley Kubrick to cast her as Wendy Torrance in The renowned 1980 psychological horror film The Shining, based on the novel by Stephen King.

It was a brutal film to make with Kubrick requiring up to 100 takes of some scenes.

 

Actor Shelley Duvall in 1981.

Actor Shelley Duvall in 1981.

 

Duvall was born in 1949 in Fort Worth, Texas, the daughter of a real estate agent and a lawyer. She had three younger brothers. 

She met Robert Altman at a party in 1970 when he was filming the comedy Brewster McCloud.

At the time she wasn’t an actor but some of the crew of the film were reportedly struck by her unique looks.

Altman took on Duvall who ended up starring as the lover of the main character which kickstarted her acting career. 

“I got tired of arguing, and thought maybe I am an actor. They told me to come. I simply got on a plane and did it. I was swept away,” she told the Boca Raton News in 1977.

Her breakout role was in the 1975 musical comedy Nashville. Duvall also starred as Olive Oy in the 1980 film Popeye, in Roxanne alongside Steve Martin and Portrait of a Lady in 1996.