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Shelley Duvall Returns to Hollywood at 73, Take a Deep Breath Before You See Her

If you’re a fan of horror films, then you’ll love The Forest Hills – an upcoming film that should be released later in 2023. One of the highlights of this film is that Shelley Duvall is in it.

Yup, you heard that right. Actress Shelley Duvall is making her comeback after a very long hiatus. To give you some background, her last credit was in a feature film called “Manna From Heaven” – which was released in 2002. She’s largely stepped out of the limelight, save for the occasional interview.

Fans are now eager to see her make her comeback in The Forest Hills – at the age of 73. But why did Shelley Duvall leave Hollywood in the first place? And what has been her life’s journey to becoming a successful actress in the first place?

Shelley Duvall Returns to Hollywood at 73, Take a Deep Breath Before You See Her…


Shelley Duvall was born on July 7, 1949, in Houston, Texas. She grew up in a middle-class family with her mother, Bobbie Ruth Crawford, and her father, Robert Richardson Duvall – who isn’t the actor Robert Duvall!

Shelley was the youngest of three children, with two older sisters named Scottie and Bobbie. While this childhood might have seemed idyllic at first, it was anything but.

Her childhood was full of trauma as her parents’ marriage was turbulent. When she was 13 her parents divorced and this had a drastic effect on her. Still, she actually became even closer to her mother and it was she who recommended young Shelley to pursue acting as a hobby. Acting truly became a refuge for Shelley Duvall.

She was a shy child and she struggled to make friends. Books and movies was a way to escape from her loneliness. This also helped her fall in love with storytelling and would later serve her well when she decided to pursue a career as an actress.

During her teens, Shelley was a member of the drama club and was a regular performer in school plays. Upon graduating from high school, she attended South Texas Junior College. Oddly enough, she didn’t study acting but rather she majored in nutrition! Nevertheless, she had been bitten by the acting bug and there was no way back.

Her true passion was always acting and she was still eager to pursue a career in acting. She would eventually move to Los Angeles so that she could make it big in Hollywood. Yet, she actually didn’t have to move to Los Angeles to get her big break. Her acting career began in her home state of Texas. But we’ll get to that a bit later…

Despite her early success, Shelley’s personal life was always a bit troubled. She struggled with depression and anxiety, and this led to several hospitalizations throughout her career. She was also known for her eccentric behavior. This included wearing unusual clothing and jewelry and speaking in a high-pitched voice. She was always seen as a bit of an enigma and different from other actresses of her generation.

Her early life had a curious combination of both hardship and creativity. She clearly had talent and this was recognized very early on. But the challenges in her personal life would also take its toll throughout her career.


One of Duvall’s most notable early roles was in Robert Altman’s 1970 film “Brewster McCloud” – which was filmed in her native Texas. The production crew and the director loved Shelley’s personality, her quirkiness, and of course, her acting talents. This would be the beginning of a successful career working with Robert Altman.

Shelley worked with Robert Altman several more times, including in films such as “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” “3 Women” and “Thieves Like Us.” With these films, especially her work in “3 Women” she became a recognized star in the indie film circuit. Her small cameo in Annie Hall is also one of her most famous roles.

However, once again it was Robert Altman who made her a star. It was her role as Olive Oil in the 1980 film “Popeye” that made her more mainstream. This film also starred Robin Williams as Popeye and it was both a critical and commercial success.

Her career in the 1980s was also great and she appeared in great films such as “Time Bandits” (1981), and “Roxanne” (1987). But without a doubt, her best work in the 1980s – which some would argue was her best role, period – was playing Wendy Torrance in “The Shining.”

This was one of the most stressful roles she ever took and the famous scene where she’s waving the bat at her husband Jack – played by Jack Nicholson – literally took 127 takes! This was an exhausting role and she didn’t always have the best experience but in the end, she gave us one of the best performances in a great film.

A mention should be made of her career on television. Shelley Duvall, on television, was best known for hosting the show “Faerie Tale Theatre”. In this show, she retold classic fairy tales. She was both the and the executive producer. She received several Emmy nominations for her work in this show.

In the 1990s, Duvall continued to work in film and television, but her career began to slow down. She appeared in smaller roles in films like “Suburban Commando” (1991) and “Twilight of the Ice Nymphs” (1997).

By the time the 2000s came about, she decided that it was time to hang her hat and step out of the limelight. Her final role was in the 2002 film Manna From Heaven. After that, she stopped acting and stepped out of the limelight.


We haven’t heard much from Shelley Duvall in the past two decades since she has largely withdrawn from public life. However, she did give the occasional interview and there was one particular interview that caused a huge controversy. She gave a controversial interview with Dr. Phil McGraw in 2016. This explosive interview was largely criticized as exploitative and harmful to her mental health.

During the interview, Shelley Duvall was disheveled and appeared confused. She made several statements that raised concerns about her overall mental state.

Many viewers and mental health advocates criticized Dr. Phil for airing the interview. They felt that this interview was exploitative and harmful to Shelley Duvall’s mental health. Naturally, tabloids were eager to exploit her troubles for their own profit. Many people called for a boycott of the Dr. Phil show.

Dr. Phil defended the interview. He stated that he had spoken with Duvall’s family and caregivers before the interview and that they had given their consent. He also argued that the interview brought attention to Shelley Duvall’s struggles with mental illness. He further stated that this interview helped her get treatment.

Nevertheless, Shelley Duvall still decided to stay out of the public eye and she rarely gave an interview after that. She continued to live in Texas – where her roots were and where she was miles away from the glitz, glamour, and gloominess that Hollywood brings.

With her last film being released in 2002, it seemed that we had seen the last of Shelley Duvall.

But now, at 73, she’s making her comeback…


It came as a shock to most of us when Shelley Duvall retired from the film industry. While her career in the 1990s and early 2000s wasn’t as prominent as in the 1970s and 1980s, she was still working regularly and doing great work.

It was actually in her interview with Dr. Phil McGraw in 2016 when Shelley Duvall revealed why she suddenly decided to retire from acting and leave such a successful career behind.

One of the main reasons behind her decision to retire from Hollywood was the stress and constant pressure that her work brought her. The work was demanding and had long hours and she couldn’t stand it. To top it off, the constant attention from the press was also difficult and this caused her to feel anxiety and made her mental health suffer. During the aforementioned interview, she spoke several times about her mental health and this was one of the first times when an actor or actress spoke about their mental health issues.

Nevertheless, Shelley Duvall remains a respected figure in Hollywood and is loved by aspiring actresses, filmmakers, and cinephiles alike. Her unique talent and offbeat personality made her an unforgettable presence on screen. Her performances in films like “The Shining” and “Popeye” are still popular to this day – and we can’t really think of an actress who could do a better job.

And alas, her unique talents couldn’t be held back for too long…

Shelley Duvall will be appearing in a new film, currently expected to release later in 2023. This is a horror film called The Forest Hills and fans are eager to see her make her comeback – now at age 73. She had expressed excitement at the prospect of returning to the screen, and that this new film project has made her excited about acting again. She has stated that she’s glad to return to acting.

We can only await the release of this film and we hope that it’ll become a big hit. We’re glad to see her making her comeback and we hope that she’ll still bring us a few more films in the near future.

Are you a fan of Shelley Duvall’s? We’re all looking forward to her return to Hollywood – and we’re glad that she’s stepping back into the limelight.

Now, here’s what we’d like to hear from you:

Do you think that a character actress such as Shelley Duvall still gets appreciated today?

Or is it the stars and starlets who get more recognition rather than the ones who focus solely on acting?

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