Shelley Duvall: The Update You Didn’t Want
Ever since she retired from acting 1992, I often wondered what happened to Shelley Duvall. She added so much quirk and rich dimensions to many classic films of the 1970s and 1980s, including Robert Altman‘s Nashville, Popeye and 3 Women; Woody Allen‘s Annie Hall; and Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining, among others. She also produced and hosted one of my favorite shows growing up, Showtime’s Faerie Tale Theatre, which ran from 1982 to 1987. After that she appeared sparingly in such films as Roxanne and The Portrait of a Lady (I won’t mention the Hulk Hogan vehicle, Suburban Commando… whoops, I just did). Then she kind of vanished off the face of the earth. Actually, she just moved out of Hollywood and stayed out of the limelight. I figured Duvall was happily retired, relaxing in paradise or something. Boy was I wrong!
While reading The National Enquirer a few weeks ago, I came across a rather disturbing update on her whereabouts. The same story has just surfaced in The Globe. Duvall, now 60, is living in a ramshackle hut in the small town of Blanco, Texas. Local residents and neighbors have observed that she:
wanders around town… looking dishevelled, strange and totally crazy.”
The owner of the local hardware store told reporters:
One time she came in and asked for dirt and boards to block up a hole in her backyard because, she said, ‘That’s a portal into another dimension. That’s where the aliens are coming in.’”
Apparently, Duvall believes that there are “aliens living in her body.” Although she came off as a loose cannon and free spirit on film, I figured that was the result of typecasting. Guess not. Maybe she’s been getting too much sun. Blanco residents also overheard Duvall speaking of her plans for a Hollywood comeback someday. They said that she spends a lot of time looking back to her glory days as a star. Hmm. Perhaps part of her mind is still okay then. In that case, a return to the big screen isn’t so out of the question… unless the aliens try to stop her. Posted below is a clip of Duvall being interviewed by French journalists after winning the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1977 along with an audio clip of Duvall singing, “He Needs Me” from Popeye:
“He Needs Me” – Shelley Duvall