Shelley Duvall (born Shelley Alexis Duvall; July 7, 1949), is an American actress and producer. Duvall began her career in various Robert Altman films in the 1970s, including Brewster McCloud (1970), Thieves Like Us (1974), Nashville (1975), and 3 Women (1977)—which won her the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress. Duvall had a supporting role in Annie Hall (1977) before starring in lead roles in Altman'sPopeye (1980), and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980).
Later, Duvall appeared in Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits (1981), Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (1984), and Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady (1996). She is also an Emmy-nominated producer responsible for Faerie Tale Theatre and other child-friendly programming. As of May 2014, Duvall's last performance was in the film Manna from Heaven (2002).
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Filmography
- 5 Discography
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Shelley Duvall was born in Houston, Texas to Bobbie Ruth (née Crawford) and Robert Richardson "Bobby" Duvall (1919-1995), a lawyer. Duvall has three siblings, her brothers Scott, Shane and Stewart.
After leaving school, Duvall sold cosmetics at Foley's and attended South Texas Junior College, where she majored in Nutrition and Diet Therapy. She met Robert Altman when he was shooting his forthcoming film Brewster McCloud (1970) on location. He offered Duvall a part in the film. She said, "I got tired of arguing, and thought maybe I am an actress. They told me to come. I simply got on a plane and did it. I was swept away." Duvall had never left Texas before Altman offered her a film role. She flew to Hollywood and landed the role of a free-spirited love interest to Bud Cort's reclusive Brewster in Brewster McCloud.
Altman chose Duvall for roles as an unsatisfied mail-order bride in McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), the daughter of a convict and mistress to Keith Carradine’s character in Thieves Like Us (1974), a spaced-out groupie in Nashville (1975), and a sympathetic Wild West woman in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976).
The same year, Duvall left Altman to star as Bernice, a wealthy girl from Wisconsin in PBS’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story Bernice Bobs Her Hair. She also hosted an evening of Saturday Night Live and appeared in five sketches: "Programming Change", "Video Vixens", "Night of the Moonies", "Van Arguments", and "Goodnights".
In 1977, Duvall starred as Mildred "Millie" Lammoreaux in Altman's 3 Women. Duvall's performance garnered the award for Best Actress at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival and the LAFCA Award for Best Actress. She appeared in a minor role in Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977).
Duvall's next role was Wendy Torrance opposite Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980). Nicholson states in the documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures that Kubrick was great to work with but that he was "a different director" with Duvall. Because of Kubrick's methodical nature, principal photography took a year to complete. Kubrick's insisted that Duvall and Nicholson perform the baseball bat scene 127 times, which broke a world record for the most retakes of a single movie scene with spoken dialogue. Kubrick and Duvall argued frequently, although Duvall later said she learned more from working with Kubrick on The Shining than she did on all her earlier films.
"Shelley Duvall is a like a precious piece of china with a tinkling personality. She looks and sounds like almost nobody else, and if it is true that she was born to play the character Olive Oyl (and does so in Altman's new musical "Popeye"), it is also true that she has possibly played more really different kinds of characters than almost any other young actress of the 1970s."
Her role of Pansy in Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits (1981) followed. In 1982, Duvall narrated, hosted and was executive producer of the children's television program Faerie Tale Theatre. She starred in seven episodes of the series; "Rumpelstiltskin" (1983), "Rapunzel" (1983), "The Nightingale" (1983), "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1984), "Puss in Boots" (1985), and "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp" (1986). Since the program's first episode "The Frog Prince", which starred Robin Williams and Teri Garr, Duvall has produced 27 hour-long episodes of the program. In 1985, she created Tall Tales & Legends, another one-hour anthology series for Showtime, which featured adaptations of American folk tales. As with Faerie Tale Theatre, the series starred well-known Hollywood actors with Duvall as host, executive producer, and occasional guest star. The series ran for just nine episodes yet garnered Duvall an Emmy nomination.
While Duvall was producing Faerie Tale Theatre, it was reported that she was to star as the lead in the film adaptation of Tom Robbins’s Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, which actually starred Mick Jagger,Jerry Hall, her sister Cindy, and Sissy Spacek. The project was delayed, and when it released in 1993 it starred an entirely different cast. She also landed roles in films and television series: the mother of a boy whose dog is struck by car in Tim Burton's short film Frankenweenie (1984), a lonely and timid woman who receives a message from a flying saucer in The Twlight Zone episode "The Once and Future King/A Saucer of Loneliness", and the friend of Steve Martin's character in the comedy Roxanne (1987). 
In 1988, Duvall founded a new production company called Think Entertainment to develop programs and television movies for cable channels. She created Nightmare Classics (1989), a third Showtime anthology series that featured adaptations of well-known horror stories by authors including Edgar Allan Poe. Unlike the previous two series, Nightmare Classics was aimed at a teenage and adult audience. It was the least successful series that Duvall produced for Showtime and ran for only four episodes.
In 1991, Duvall played Jenny Wilcox, wife of Charlie Wilcox (Christopher Lloyd) in the Hulk Hogan action-adventure film Suburban Commando. In October that year, Duvall released two compact discs, Hello, I'm Shelley Duvall... Sweet Dreams that features Duvall signing lullaby songs and Hello, I'm Shelley Duvall... Merry Christmas, on which Duvall sings Christmas songs.
The following year, Think Entertainment joined the newly formed Universal Family Entertainment to create Duvall's fourth Showtime original series, Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories, which featured animated adaptations of children's storybooks with celebrity narrators and garnered her a second Emmy nomination. Duvall produced a fifth series for Showtime, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, before selling Think Entertainment in 1993 and retiring as a producer. Duvall's production work has gained her six CableACE Awards and one Peabody Award. A year later, Duvall landed a guest spot on the television series L.A. Law as Margo Stanton, a show dog owner and breeder who presses charges against the owner of a Welsh Corgi that mated with her prize-winning Afghan Hound.
She appeared as the vain, over-friendly, but harmless Countess Gemini—sister to the calculating Gilbert Osmond (John Malkovich)—in Jane Campion's 1996 adaptation of the Henry James novel The Portrait of a Lady. A year later, she played a beatific nun in the comedy film Changing Habits and a besotted, murderous, ostrich-farm owner in Guy Maddin's fourth feature Twilight of the Ice Nymphs. The same year she played Chris Cooper's character's gullible wife who yearns for a better life in Horton Foote's made-for-television film, Alone. Duvall continued to make film and television appearances throughout the late-1990s. In 1998, she played Drew Barrymore's mother in the comedy Home Fries and Hilary Duff's aunt in the direct-to-video children's film Casper Meets Wendy. Near the end of the decade she returned to the horror genre with Tale of the Mummy (1998) and The 4th Floor (1999).
In the 2000s, Duvall accepted minor roles, including the mother of Matthew Lawrence's character in the horror-comedy Boltneck and Haylie Duff's aunt in the independent family film Dreams in the Attic, which was sold to the Disney Channel but was never released. Her most recent acting appearance was a small role in the 2002 independent film Manna from Heaven.
Duvall was married to artist Bernard Sampson between 1970 and 1974; the couple divorced as Duvall's acting career accelerated.
While Duvall was shooting in New York for her part in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977), she met singer/songwriter Paul Simon. They lived together for two years and their relationship ended when Duvall introduced Simon to her friend, actress Carrie Fisher; Fisher took up with Simon.
Shortly before the release of Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits, it was reported that Duvall and actor Stanley Wilson—who played the town barber in Popeye—were set to marry. However, no further reports were released regarding this.
|1970||Brewster McCloud||Suzanne Davis|
|1971||McCabe & Mrs. Miller||Ida Coyle|
|1974||Thieves Like Us||Keechie|
|1975||Nashville||L. A. Joan|
|1976||Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson||Mrs. Grover Cleveland|
|1976||Bernice Bobs Her Hair||Bernice||Television film|
|1977||3 Women||Millie Lammoreaux|
|1980||The Shining||Wendy Torrance|
|1984||Frankenweenie||Susan Frankenstein||Short film|
|1987||Frog||Annie Anderson||Television film
|1990||Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme||Little Bo Peep||Television film|
|1991||Suburban Commando||Jenny Wilcox|
|1991||Frogs!||Annie Anderson||Television film|
|1991||Stories from Growing up||Television film
|1991||Backfield in Motion||Television film
|1996||The Portrait of a Lady||Countess Gemini|
|1997||Twilight of the Ice Nymphs||Amelia Glahn|
|1997||Changing Habits||Sister Agatha|
|1997||My Teacher Ate My Homework||Mrs. Fink|
|1998||Tale of the Mummy||Edith Butros|
|1998||Home Fries||Mrs. Jackson|
|1998||Casper Meets Wendy||Gabby||Direct-to-video|
|1998||Tale of the Mummy||Edith Butros|
|1999||The 4th Floor||Martha Stewart|
|2000||Dreams in the Attic||Nellie|
|2002||Manna from Heaven||Detective Dubrinski|
|1973||Cannon||Liz Christie||Episode: "The Seventh Grave"|
|1973||Love, American Style||Bonnie Lee||Episode: "Love and the Mr. and Mrs.|
|1982–1987||Faerie Tale Theatre||Host/Various roles||Creator, Executive Producer|
|1985–1987||Tall Tales & Legends||Host/Various roles||Creator, Executive Producer|
|1986||The Twilight Zone||Margaret||Episode: "A Saucer of Loneliness"|
|1989||Nightmare Classics||Creator, Executive Producer|
|1990||Rockin' Through the Decades||Herself||Television special|
|1992||The Ray Bradbury Theatre||Leota Bean||Episode: "The Tombstone"|
|1992–1993||Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories||Host/Various roles||Creator, Executive Producer, Writer|
|1994||Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle||Creator, Executive Producer|
|1994||L.A. Law||Margo Stanton||Episode: "Tunnel of Love"|
|1995||Frasier||Caroline (voice)||Episode: "Dark Victory"|
|1997||The Adventures of Shirley Holmes||Alicia Fett||Episode: "The Case of the Wannabe Witch"|
|1997||Adventures from the Book of Virtues||Fairy (voice)||Episode: "Perseverance"|
|1997||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||Ocka (voice)||Episode: "Oblina Without a Cause"|
|1998||Maggie Winters||Muriel||Episode: "Dinner at Rachel's"|
|1999||Wishbone||Renee Lassiter||Episode: "Groomed for Greatness"|
|1999||The Hughleys||Mrs. Crump||Episode: "Storm o' the Century"|
- Hello, I'm Shelley Duvall...Merry Christmas (1991)
- Hello, I'm Shelley Duvall...Sweet Dreams (1991)
|1977||3 Women||LAFCA Award||Best Actress||Won|
|Cannes Film Festival||Best Actress||Won|
|NSFC Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|NYFCC Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|1978||BAFTA Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|1981||The Shining||Razzie Award||Worst Actress||Nominated|
|1984||Faerie Tale Theatre||Peabody Award||Won|
|1988||Tall Tales & Legends||Emmy Award||Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|1992||Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories||Emmy Award||Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)||Nominated|
|1998||The Adventures of Shirley Holmes||Gemini Award||Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role Dramatic Series||Nominated|