Shelley Duvall,“The Shining” star and Robert Altman collaborator, dies at 75

The actress, who struggled with her mental health, made her return to acting in the 2023 horror film "The Forest Hills."

Shelley Duvall, the actress who starred in several Robert Altman films and evaded an ax-swinging Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, has died. She was 75. 

Her partner, Dan Gilroy, confirmed the news to Entertainment Weekly. Duvall died Thursday at her home in Blanco, Texas, her publicist told EW, confirming that her cause of death was complications from diabetes.

"Just like the birds she cared for and loved from the time they were babies, I feel her flying free, no suffering, lots of joy," Gilroy said in a statement to EW. "My wonderful life partner of 34 years. So hard to say goodbye. I’m sitting here with her now, dreading the moment they come to take her away."

<p>CBS via Getty</p> Shelley Duvall

CBS via Getty

Shelley Duvall

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Duvall’s life changed overnight when Altman cast her as the resourceful Suzanne in his black comedy Brewster McCloud after meeting his crew members at a party in 1970.

The film would mark the first of seven projects that the pair would work on together over the next seven years, including the 1971 Western McCabe & Mrs. Miller, the 1974 crime drama Thieves Like Us, the 1975 comedy-musical Nashville, 1976’s Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson, and 1977's psychological thriller, 3 Women. The latter, which saw Duvall star opposite Sissy Spacek and Janice Rule, saw her receive the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress.

Duvall would go on to land a small role in Woody Allen’s 1977 film Annie Hall before etching her name into horror history as the tortured Wendy Torrance in Kubrick’s The Shining. Shooting the 1980 horror film was an "almost unbearable" experience for Duvall, who told Roger Ebert at the time that she was required to “cry 12 hours a day, all day long, the last nine months straight, five or six days a week.” That same year, Duvall would reunite with Altman in his 1980 film Popeye, sharing the screen with Robin Williams as the spinach-eating sailorman's wife, Olive Oyl.

<p>Warner Brothers/Getty</p> Shelley Duvall in 'The Shining'

Warner Brothers/Getty

Shelley Duvall in 'The Shining'

After more than a decade on screen, Duvall turned her focus toward children's television and served as the narrator, host, and executive producer of Faerie Tale Theatre from 1982 until 1987. She would also go on to create and present Tall Tales & Legends, an Emmy-nominated anthology series, as well as Nightmare Classics, Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

Her other credits include films such as Frankenweenie, The Portrait of a Lady, Tale of the Mummy, and Manna from Heaven, and television shows like The Twilight Zone, Frasier, L.A. Law, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and more.

Despite a steady acting career in the 1990s, Duvall announced her retirement in 2002. She had largely disappeared from the public eye until she made a rare appearance on a controversial Dr. Phil episode in 2016, in which she revealed that she'd been privately struggling with her mental health.

However, more than two decades after quitting Hollywood, Duvall returned to acting for the indie horror film The Forest Hills, which was completed in 2023 but has yet to be released. The movie’s director, Scott Goldberg, mourned her passing in a statement to EW: "Shelley leaves behind an amazing legacy and will be missed by so many people, myself included. I am proud of her for overcoming adversity to act again and will always be forever grateful for her friendship and kindness."

Duvall is survived by her partner Gilroy, as well as her brothers Scott, Stewart, and Shane.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.