The Tragic Life of “The Shining” Star Shelley Duvall and Why She Had to Leave Acting Behind
Twenty years ago, Shelley Duvall had to move away from Hollywood and return to her hometown in Texas. In 2023, as she makes her comeback to the big screen, the 74-year-old is opening up about the real reason why she left the spotlight. She is also proving that it is never too late to pursue our hopes and dreams.
Her family came before her career.
The Shining star revealed that the reason why she stepped away from acting was her family. In 2002, she had to return to Texas after her brother was diagnosed with spinal cancer, and acting opportunities began to diminish.
She described it as the lengthiest sabbatical she’d ever embarked on, driven by profoundly important motives: rekindling her connection with her family.
She struggled financially in Hollywood.
Duvall, whose acting career started in 1970, became a movie icon of the 70s and 80s, thanks to film classics such as Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, Robert Altman’s Popeye, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
Despite her success, Duvall admitted that it wasn’t easy to make a living in Hollywood during that time. The actress pointed out that the compensation was rather modest, just scale plus 10%. She added that there was an assumption that women would simply marry, and their husbands would provide for them. However, she pointed out that this wasn’t the reality for everyone.
Her big return.
But despite the challenges, and even though she had been living a quiet life far from the spotlight for years, Duvall still kept a passion for acting.
And now she returned to acting with a supporting role in “The Forest Hills” an indie horror film that was released in 2023. The movie’s director and writer explained that he contacted Shelley and asked her to be in his movie. He conveyed his sentiments, highlighting Shelley’s status as a Hollywood icon, and expressed his delight at her chance to demonstrate her ongoing talent.
Her passion for acting is still strong.
In her turn, Duvall is also very excited to reignite her career after all these years. She openly acknowledged that acting again is immensely enjoyable and enriches one’s life. In another interview, Duvall again expressed her love for acting, and said that one should appreciate every minute of it.
She also wishes to continue getting more roles and doesn’t rule out the possibility of having an award-winning performance in the future. The hopeful 74-year-old pointed out that Jessica Tandy won an Oscar at 80, and she believes she can still achieve the same.
Her personal life is equally fascinating.
Duvall was married in 1970 to Bernard Sampson, but the union ended four years later. Considered an “It” girl in the 70s, she was romantically linked to musician Paul Simon and The Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr.
In 1989, Shelley met musician Dan Gilroy while working on the Disney Channel production Mother Goose Rock ’n’ Rhyme. The two embarked on a romantic relationship that is still going strong to this day.
She’s a pure soul.
Embracing a more reserved public presence, Duvall and Gilroy have fully embraced a new life in Duvall’s cherished home state of Texas, savoring the simplicity and tranquility of their shared journey. She drives a simple white Toyota 4Runner and is known for her kind-hearted nature and beautiful soul. The actress spends her days engaging in conversations with locals, enjoying their company, and relishing takeout meals.
Everybody loves Shelley Duvall
In a February 2021 interview about her life post-retirement from Hollywood, Duvall’s cheerful humor shone through as she talked excitedly about the tasty cherry scones served at a nearby café. The people in the area really like Duvall. They view her as a quirky aunt figure rather than a forgotten movie star. They also look out for her and make sure she’s safe.
Another beloved actress has also decided to make a comeback after a long hiatus. Read this article to find out details about Meg Ryan’s big return to the rom-com genre.