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Who Was Shelley Duvall? The Actress Known For Her Role In The Shining Passes Away At 75

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Shelly Duvall, famously known for her portrayal in films like The Shining and Nashville, passed away at 75 on Thursday. The cause of death has been mentioned as complications of diabetes, and Duvall’s partner confirmed the unfortunate news. The actress was present at her Texas home when she breathed her last. Duvall’s death came just a few days after she celebrated her birthday on July 7. 

In his statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress’s boyfriend shared, “My dear, sweet, wonderful life partner and friend left us. Too much suffering lately; now she’s free. Fly away, beautiful Shelley.”

Who was Shelley Duvall?

Born on July 7, 1949, the Texas girl was looking to pursue science after graduating high school. While Duvall was looking into courses in the field, she was discovered by the crew members of the Robert Altman film Brewster McCloud. The actress gave auditions and was selected for her part in the movie. This was Duvall’s first appearance onscreen. 

After her first role in the movie, Duvall landed multiple roles in the following drama movies, such as Thieves Like Us, and got her breakthrough role in The Shining. The Hollywood star was honored with the Guinness Book of World Records for giving the most number of retakes in a film. 

In conversation with People Magazine, Duvall recalled getting compliments from her director. She said, “After Thieves Like Us, Robert looked at me and said, ‘I knew you were good, but I didn’t know you were great.’” 

The Annie Hall actress also shared insights about creating a record for the most number of retakes. She claimed, “[Kubrick] doesn’t print anything until at least the 35th take. Thirty-five takes, running and crying and carrying a little boy; it gets hard, and full performance from the first rehearsal. That’s difficult.”

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Tributes pour in for Shelley Duvall

Soon after the news of Duvall passing away made rounds, celebrities from across the industry paid their tributes to the fine actress of Hollywood. Scott Goldberg, who worked with Duvall in the 2023 film The Forest Hills, shared his thoughts.

Talking to People Magazine, the filmmaker said, “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.” 

Stanley Kubrick, the late director’s X post, saw, “Despite being dogged with exaggerations of her treatment on set, Shelley was always vocal about her experience filming The Shining, saying she ‘wouldn’t trade it for anything’ because ‘working with loveable Stanley was a fascinating learning experience.” 

Shelley Duvall will be remembered for her extraordinary presence onscreen.


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