Birth Date: July 7 1949
Birth Place: N/A
"Shelly Duvall may be the closest thing we've ever come to a female Buster Keaton," Pauline Kael wrote. "Her eccentric grace is like his-it seems to come from the inside out." Director Robert Altman "discovered" Duvall in Houston where he was shooting Brewster McCloud (1970) and gave her a small role as an Astrodome tour guide. She worked with him again in McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) and in a costarring role in Thieves Like Us (1974), where she caught critics' attention as the bride of escaped convict Keith Carradine and demonstrated her appealing, goofy, airy naturalness. She appeared in a 1975 PBS adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," and returned to character parts for Altman in Nashville (1975) and Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976), also appearing fleetingly in Annie Hall (1977) as one of Woody Allen's dates.
Altman's 3 Women (1977) gave Duvall her greatest role as a pathetic spa physiotherapist; the director encouraged her to invent much of her own dialogue, and the performance earned her a Best Actress Award at Cannes. Two more memorable roles followed-as the terrified wife in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and as Olive Oyl in Altman's Popeye (both 1980)-but since then, she has appeared only occasionally, in Time Bandits (1981), Roxanne (1987), and Suburban Commando (1991). She has concentrated instead on a producing career, committing herself to the creation of high-quality children's entertainment for cable TV and home video. She has used her showbusiness connections to persuade top stars to appear in these productions, and has won praise and numerous awards for such series as "Faerie Tale Theatre," "Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales," and "Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories" and the special "Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme," produced through her own companies Platypus Productions and Think Entertainment. She played Darlin' Clementine in one of her own "Tall Tales" episodes. Duvall also executive-produced the cable-TV remake of Dinner at Eight.
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