Shelley Duvall drives a quiet Toyota 4Runner on the calm banks of a river in the Texas Hill Country in front of her favorite place is the driver’s seat.It’s also the only place to sit: the rest of the car is floor-to-roof Filled with tons of acquisitions, including a bucket of plastic silver, a jar of sliced ​​mushrooms from Green Giant, and a bouquet of silk roses, 71-year-old Duvall spends days in her car, chatting to locals, and eating take-away food At home in the area with Dan Gilroy, 76, a member of early Madonna band The Breakfast Club, Gilroy was briefly romantically linked to the icon but has been with Duvall since 1989 The two fell in love while starring in the Disney Channel movie Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme, produced by Duvall, it featured an all-star cast (including Duvall’s former boyfriend Paul Simon) and has become a lasting cultural touchstone become the millennials

There’s little chance passers-by will recognize Duvall as Little Bo Peep from this movie – or as Wendy Torrance from The Shining, the part she’s best known for. Her hair has got thinner and grayer, her breathless Minnie Mouse’s voice has gone gritty (she smokes the parliaments on the chain) and her trademark stick figure – which she used to play Olive Oyl in Robert Altman’s Popeye – has filled in, but there are tells, your eyes still sparkle, yourself from afar And her toothy grin is warm and familiar

Duvall arrives and makes jokes and raves about the cherry biscuits in the café next door. A waitress jumps down the stairs with one hand and passes it to her through the car window. “Heaven,” says Duvall and takes a bite. Later, the waitress Kristina Keller pulls me , a 50-year-old with a Texas twang, aside, “I’m not sure who you are,” she says, “But out here in these rural Hill Country communities we look out for each other and take care of each other. Does that make sense?”

The locals love Duvall, for them more of an eccentric aunt than a faded movie star.They protect them too – especially since 2016 when Phil McGraw and his Dr The Phil crew descended on town to film a disturbing interview with Duvall in which they babbled freely associative nonsense and exposed paranoid fantasies (Among them, she insisted that her Popeye co-star Robin Williams, who in 2014 Delusions by suicide died, was still alive and “was a shapeshifter” “) The episode was met with near universal condemnation from Dr Phil “Everyone was horrified,” recalls Keller. “It just came across as astute and sensational”

For Duvall’s many fans – and even her closest Hollywood friends – this shocking Dr Phil’s performance was the first they’d seen or heard since escaping Hollywood in the mid-1990s. The circumstances surrounding this move remain unclear.At the time, she was a very successful and prolific producer who, with her quirky approach to children’s programming, did that It all started with the Faerie Tale Theater, an anthology series that ran from 1982 to 1987 and ran from 1982 to 1987, starring Mick Jagger, Jeff Bridges and Carrie Fisher in classic Tim Burton and Carrie Fisher Tim Burton performed Francis Ford Coppola Every aspect of the show was overseen by Duvall

Among those who have Dr Phil that day was Lee Unkrich, the director of Oscar-winning Pixar films like Toy Story 3 and Coco Unkrich, 53, is also the world’s leading Shining lover and is currently giving a pocket book on the making of the Stanley Kubrick- The finishing touches to horror classic He had searched for Duvall for years, without success; what he saw dismayed him “Unfortunately on Dr Phil, the world has seen what it’s like to have untreated mental illness, “says Unkrich. It’s the lingering stigma, he adds,” that helped Hollywood largely forget Shelley. ”

Undaunted, Unkrich continued his search for Duvall, whose location was taken from Dr Phil Show He finally found her in Texas two years ago and made a pilgrimage to show her a lot of shiny photos from Kubrick’s archives: “I was really curious to see how she would react and what stories it might draw from her.” Unkrich was delighted to find that the Duvall on Dr Phil was just part of a bigger picture.Yes, she could get caught up in anxiety attacks or meander into troubling descriptions of alien surveillance programs, but she could also talk long, coherent stretches of conversation, conjuring up the smallest details of her life and career on the she is still very proud

I made a pilgrimage to Duvall on a warm January morning in 2021 I wasn’t sure what I would find when I got there, just knew that it wasn’t right for McGraw’s insensitive sideshow to have the final say on her legacy. Her mood ebbed and flowed all day, but how unkrich found I keep their memories sharp and their stories fascinating

At one point, when I was standing pandemic-proof from her car window and she was grilling over Altman and Kubrick and their shiny co-star Jack Nicholson, Duvall narrowed her gaze and asked, “What’s your angle of view?” The question – pointed and clever – made me laugh. It was clear that she could still play the game, which left me a little speechless

Aside from her two decades in Hollywood, Duvall spent her life within the same 200 mile radius of Texas Born July 1949 in Fort Worth to Bob and Bobbie Duvall, the couple eventually settled in Houston after having three other sons. Her father was a cattle auctioneer who later became a criminal defense attorney. Her mother was a successful real estate agent. “She has her own business founded in Houston – Space City Realty, “notes Duvall proudly” NASA has just been built. “Duvall’s father died in 1995 at the age of 74; her mother only died last March after contracting the COVID-19 virus “Shortly after she turned 92,” she says, “It was a big deal” As for her three younger brothers Scott, Shane and Stewart, ” I don’t know where they are They always do something Shane’s on a fishing boat Stewart sings with a friend named Mitch Classic huh? “

In high school, Duvall was a straight student who envisioned one day becoming a scientist Her grades started to slide around class, however, when she discovered a taste for boys – she dated a long-haired dreamer who drove a Mustang – and developed an iconoclastic style (white go-go boots, a pageboy haircut, and giant false eyelashes ) Her science dreams ended when she left South Texas Junior College in Houston after witnessing a monkey vivisection “So I worked at Foley’s department store. Ladies came to the counter and I tied them scarves and showed them how she should look pretty. I would come home and smell like a lily, “she says, puffing on a cigarette.” And I did a little modeling – not much. “However, it was enough to introduce her to her first (and only) husband – a pretty one , long-haired artist named Bernard Sampson “We met for the benefit of the fallen astronauts,” recalls Duvall, referring to the Apollo 1 catastrophe of 1967 “I modeled a swimsuit for Rudi Gernreich, the kind with the cutouts”

In the service of Sampson’s career, Duvall made the contact that would change her life. They were living in Sampson’s parents’ house at the time, and Duvall threw a party there in hopes of selling some of his work and making enough money Among the attendees were three crew members from Brewster McCloud, Altman’s sequel to his 1970 comedy hit M * A * S * H, taken in with Duvall’s looks and amused by their enthusiastic sales pitch, they played along and said her to hand the pictures over to a couple of “art friends” – which was actually a covert audition for Altman and Lou Adler, his producers

Duvall wore an embroidered Mexican blouse and patched blue jeans with bells at the waist and a pile of paintings under his arm She was dropped off in a building in downtown Houston by her mother. “She had the most amazing amount of energy I had ever seen in anyone. She looked like a flower,” Adler later said, at first she thought she was in a porn shoot stumbled After convincing her of Altman’s good faith, she underwent a Polaroid test and later, at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s request, a screenshot in the rose garden near Houston Zoo “I was leaning on this statue of a male angel” , Duvall recalls, peering through her windshield as if the scene was playing in front of her “It’s still there – the bronze statue and the rose garden And I got the part”

That first role in Brewster McCloud – she played a bird-like Houston Astrodome tour guide in the strange, ornithological fantasy – resulted in a fruitful collaboration with Altman, who cast her in six more of his films: McCabe & Mrs Miller (1971), Thieves Like Us (1974), Nashville (1975), Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976), 3 Women (1977) and Popeye (1980) Von Thieves played Duvall Keechie, the daughter of a garage owner in Mississippi The Depression Time, who falls in love with an escaped convict, played by Keith Carradine “What she did in Altman films like Thieves was just transcendent,” says Lily Tomlin, 81, who performed with Duvall in Nashville (Duvall played a cleaning Country music groupie, Tomlin a gospel singer who raised two deaf children) “She’s sitting on the porch drinking a Coke on a swing and Keith Carradine walks up to her and she’s as innocent as she played it – so cute and funny and heartbreaking It just killed me “Like so many others, Tomlin lost touch with Duvall a long time ago” I tried to find her for a minute the first time I heard she was gone somewhere I believe i Back then I had a [project] idea for her, “says Tomlin” But I didn’t really put a lot of sweat into it. I wish I had it now “

It was thieves like us that led Altman to pull Duvall aside and tell her she was “a great actress,” which gave her the confidence to imagine working with other directors and enjoying her first impression from the spotlight “Lou Adler made me fly to LEIN,” she says, “and I did an interview with the LEIN time Charles Champlin – he was the entertainment director on Sunday – wrote an incredible story The picture took up half the page and the headline read, “Never Change In 1974, Duvall and Sampson, who had been married since 1970, decided to move to L.A. For their career, they moved into a” tiny little shack over a garage for a car “near the Griffith Park Observatory for their marriage didn’t last all year

The film business radically reinvented itself after decades of decline as the writer-driven, anti-formulaic “New Hollywood” “And Duvall, a headstrong muse, was one of the most admired directors of the movement at the center of this creative hurricane. She became friends with Carol Kane, who suggested visiting an actor’s friend’s house “She took me there and I met Jack [Nicholson] and Roman Polanski,” says Duvall Warren Beatty was there too, but she already had him on Set by McCabe & Mrs Müller “It wasn’t a party They were just waiting for the basketball game to start” It would be five more years before Duvall and Nicholson came up with a career calling card for both of them, but their first impression of their future co-star was that Nicholson “It was funny and charming and clever and interesting to talk – like all men in this circle of friends”

Duvall remembers those early L.ONE days when the calls from other directors never seemed to be “fun but calm”. “I started meeting interesting people,” she says. “There was a whole group of starving actors who had parties. Each person brought a dish “There were also fancier affairs in the homes of players like Superman director Richard Donner being cast,” just to look at the young actresses and actors who became famous, as if there was that carpenter getting a big job to make a waterfall for building a studio manager’s house Every time the executive threw a party everyone saw the waterfall, “The carpenter? Harrison Ford

She went to New York City in 1976 to play a small but memorable role in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (she played a Rolling Stone reporter who repeatedly calls the Maharishi “transplendent”) In this film, she met Paul Simon and began to meet him (he played a record producer in the film) They then spent a few months apart while working on 3 Women for Altman, a dreamlike, avant-garde film – Altman said he was fully trained in his sleep, including the cast – that would be a huge breakthrough for Duvall

Filmed over six weeks in Palm Springs, it told the story of Millie Lammoreaux (Duvall), an unsuspecting and unsuccessful spa worker who had a colleague named Pinkie (played by Sissy Spacek, fresh out of Carrie in 1976) as a roommate the two women then enter into a bizarre, interdependent relationship. “We never knew where we were going,” says Spacek, 71. “Every morning we got pages for what we shot that day, and we always shot one after the other, which was just a wonderful thing “Spacek describes Duvall as an” extraordinary “co-star” She was funny, nice, everyone adored her. She was always prepared, always in a good mood and took her work very seriously “The hard work paid off: Duvalls Performance blinded the critics (“She is open”, wrote Roger Ebert “As if somehow nothing had got between her open face and our eyes – no camera, dialogue, make-up, behavior – and she is spontaneously the figure “) Duvall won the award for best actress at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival” I was with her, “recalls Spacek.” It was wonderful. She blew it out of the water “

The climax of 3 women is a graphic scene in which a moronic Millie is forced to give birth to a stillborn baby while Pinkie watches and defies Millie’s pleas to get a doctor in. It’s raw, disturbing horror – and it convinced Kubrick to cast Duvall as his wife in his adaptation of a Stephen King novel set in a haunted hotel in the Colorado Rockies. She received the offer in a phone call from Kubrick himself (“He said I could cry great” ) that she had never met There was no script; He sent her a copy of King’s novel The Shining and asked her to read it

Duvall was living with Simon in Manhattan at the time, “I was in a really scary scene and didn’t hear Paul come in. He snuck up behind him and said,” Bla! “I said,” Ahhh! “I got really mad I said, “Why did you do that?” “Even though they’d lived together for two years, they’d grown apart. A month later, on New Years Day 1979, Duvall was about to get on a Concorde jet to London to start filming To begin The Shining, Simon broke up with her at the airport, crying for the entire trip across the Atlantic – which it turned out would only turn out to be a warm-up for the upcoming emotional marathon when she arrived in London, Kubrick met his star with his daughter Vivian in tow “We had a nice dinner and that was it,” says Duvall. “The rest of the time we were at work”

While it took 3 women six weeks to shoot from start to finish, The Shining took 56. This was partly due to a fire at EMI Elstree Studios in February 1979 of the Overlook Hotel set – the largest at the time that was ever built there – badly damaged and required rebuilding But it was mainly due to Kubrick’s famously demanding process The schedule was grueling: the director shot up to 16 hours a day six days a week for much of that time, Duvall had to rely on one Set in a state of absolute hysteria in which he played the wife of a writer (Nicholson) who goes crazy in a snow-covered resort hotel and eventually tries to hack his family with an ax, unlike Nicholson, who rented a house in London that he shared his then girlfriend Anjelica Huston shared, Duvall rented an apartment in the studio in Hertfordshire, where she was only for the duration of the shoot Lived with a dog and two birds as a companion “Nobody does that,” says Huston, 69, “You drive back and forth from London even though you could get stuck in two-hour traffic. But Shelley did this for a good year and a half. She got one Flat and lived there because she was just terribly committed and didn’t want to upset herself or others by not giving in to her commitment completely “

Duvall says: “[Kubrick] will print until at least 35 Take nothing Thirty-five takes, running and crying and carrying a little boy, it’s going to be hard And full power from the first rehearsal That’s difficult “Before a scene, she put on a Sony Walkman and” heard sad songs Or just thinking of something very 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 that thought alone made me cry about one Waking up so early on Monday morning and realizing that you had to cry all day because it was planned – I’d just start crying. I’d say, “Oh no, I can’t, I can’t” and yet I did I don’t know how I did it Jack said that to me too. He said, “I don’t know how you do it ‘”

When asked if Kubrick was unusually cruel or abusive to her in order to evoke her performance, Duvall replies, “He has that streak in him. He definitely has. But I think mainly because people have been in the past so to him were His first two films were Killer’s Kiss and The Killing “I squeezed her on what she meant: Was Kubrick more Jack Torrance than Dick Hallorann, the kind cook played by Scatman Crothers?” No, he was very warm and friendly to me, “she says.” He spent a lot of time with Jack and me. He just wanted to sit down and talk for hours while the crew waited. And the crew would say, ‘Stanley, we have about 60 people waiting ‘But it was very important work’

But as Huston recalls, the director – and Nicholson – could be overly harsh on Duvall “I felt, certainly from what Jack said at the time, that Shelley was having a hard time just dealing with the emotional content of the play.” she says “And they didn’t seem that personable It seemed a bit like the guys were banding together That was maybe totally my misinterpretation of the situation but I just felt it. And when I saw them these days, she seemed a bit tortured and shaken in general I don’t think anyone was particularly careful with her “Still, Huston admits the wild power of the final product is undeniable” She actually carried the film on her back when you look at him, “says Huston.” Jack fluctuates between weird and terrifying, and Kubrick was Kubrick at his most mysterious, interesting, and powerful form. But it must ss something for her to be in the middle of this mixture And she assumed it She was, I think, incredibly brave “

There is a sequence in The Shining that is in the Guinness World Records for “most iterations for a scene with dialogue.” The scene shows Crothers and Danny Lloyd, the young actor who played Danny Torrance, discussing the ability to “shine”, a psychological gift that allows the boy to imagine the hotel’s terrible past. Kubrick had the actors do it 148 times. But another far more sophisticated scene – the staircase scene – was filmed 127 times. “It was a difficult one Scene, but it turned out to be one of the best scenes in the film, “says Duvall.” I would love to see the film again. I haven’t seen it in a long time “

At her suggestion, I google the scene, put my iPhone on her dashboard and hit play. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the experience of watching 71 year old Duvall as she turned 30 I meekly swing a bat at Nicholson as he threatens to “bash her brain” “

“Because we shot that for about three weeks,” she replies, “Every day it was very tough Jack was so good – so freaking creepy I can only imagine how many women go through this”

Why Duvall left the 27-acre hillside property she shared with Gilroy 27 years ago – along with 36 birds, eight dogs, and two cats – in Studio City and relocated to Texas remains a mystery (Gilroy declined opted out of being interviewed for this story and the couple asked me not to visit their home) Intentionally or intentionally, Duvall may distract from the subject Rumors of the Northridge earthquake on Jan. January 17, 1994 that badly damaged her home was the last straw I asked her if that was true

“No, people after that it’s like FEMA, then the next and the next engineers one day, insurers the next, sometimes at the same time “

What is clear is that Duvall came to Austin later that year to film a small role in The Underneath, a Steven Soderbergh crime drama that was struggling financially at the time but isn’t sure what led to them “It’s not just about owning something that makes money,” she says “You have to control it, too. You have to make sure it’s a good deal” because she thought she was going to do the movie and then go to Houston “because my mother said maybe she could help me. She said, “You know you do so many things, why don’t you do art?” And I kept thinking, “Yes, Joni Mitchell is turning 40A thousand dollars a painting. I might as well try “The paintings were never made, but Duvall never left Texas”For the next two decades it fell completely off the map

That was until 2016 when she was told by a Dr Phil Producer At the mention of McGraw’s name she becomes visibly desperate. “I found out what kind of person he is,” says Duvall. “My mother didn’t like him either. Many people like Dan said, ‘You shouldn’t have done that, Shelley’ “(She had submitted to the interview without Gilroy’s knowledge) After the broadcast and the ensuing backlash, McGraw made repeated attempts to contact Duvall:” He called my mother. She said to him, “Don’t call my daughter anymore” “But he did kept calling my mom to get her to let me speak to him again “

(A spokesman for Dr Phil Show replies, “We see every Dr Phil episode, including Miss Duvall and her battle with mental illness, as an opportunity to share relatable, useful information and perspective to our audiences.We do not attach the stigma associated with mental illness as many do. Our goal was to make the fight to document and provide amazing resources to change her trajectory as we have done for so many years for over 19 years.Unfortunately, she turned down our initial offer for inpatient treatment which included full physical and mental exams which gave her the opportunity Coping with her challenges privately After many months of follow-up care, she and her mother finally refused support. We were of course very disappointed, but these offers of help are still open to this day “)

In 2018, Duvall was visited by Ryan Obermeyer, an artist from nearby Austin who grew up with the Faerie Tale Theater and worried about her welfare “I brought a postcard with one of my pictures with my phone number and she left with Dan, “says Obermeyer, 39.” She called me 10 minutes later and said she’d love to visit “That led to regular lunches and an unlikely friendship Duvall had amassed a collection of memorabilia from her career – Kubrick had her Photo “4 Juli Ball – 1921 “which serves as the closing shot of The Shining – most of which have disappeared. Obermeyer suspects she failed to pay the rent for a locker and the contents were auctioned off. He found some of Duvall’s personal letters on eBay and bought them He’s also trying his best to connect Duvall with old friends, for example, in 2019 he facilitated a surprise FaceTime call with Paul Reubens, who played Pinocchio at the Faerie Tale Theater, for his 70th birthday Duvall’s birthday To commemorate this milestone, Obermeyer also threw a party in her favorite Red Lobster restaurant and invited a handful of her die-hard fans. “One man even came from Australia,” he says, “We had a ‘Faerie Tale’ cake”

At one point during our time together, Duvall shares a childhood memory of Houston’s one and only snowy day: “They left school Everybody couldn’t wait to get home We all built snowmen in the front yard The thing is, when we made the snowman everything else was green again Because we had used up all the snow “The picture has stayed with me since then: that of a little girl with big eyes from Texas who was trapped in a rare and magical moment and thus built something wonderful for herself just to look around and realize that everything had returned as it was and always had been

This story first appeared in the February 10 issue of Hollywood Reporter magazine click here to subscribe

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Shelley Duvall

World news – CA – In search of Shelley Duvall, the withdrawn icon “The Shining”