Shelley Duvall, best known for her role in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, has died at 75.

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Shelley Duvall died in her sleep due to “complications from diabetes at her home in Blanco, Texas.”

Dan Gilroy, who has been together with Duvall since 1989, said, “My dear, sweet, wonderful life partner and friend left us. Too much suffering lately, now she’s free. Fly away, beautiful Shelley.”

Previously, Duvall appeared on Dr. Phil and discussed her mental illness. A few years later, THR ran a profile of her.

Since gaining fame in Hollywood, Duvall left the shining lights behind. She took a two-decade break in between her last two movies, Manna from Heaven (2002) and The Forest Hills (2023).

Shelley Duvall’s career

Duvall was discovered by famous filmmaker Robert Altman, appearing in his 1970 movie, Brewster McCloud. Her next five movies — McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Thieves Like Us, Nashville, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson, and 3 Women — were all directed by Altman as well.

The first non-Altman-directed movie Duvall starred in was Annie Hall. Woody Allen co-wrote and directed the film that starred himself and Diane Keaton.

Throughout the seventies, Duvall continued her successful career on the small screen. She starred in episodes of Cannon, Love, American Style, and Baretta. Additionally, Duvall hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 1974.

The Shining

Shell Duvall in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.
Coloradoan library.

This all happened before Duvall’s signature role in The Shining, an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Duvall played Wendy Torrance in the movie, the mother of Johnny (Jack Nicholson), who torments her throughout.

In the movie, Johnny is a writer and a recovering alcoholic. He takes a new position as the off-season caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. Upon arriving, the Torrance family realizes that the hotel is more than what meets the eye.

Wendy and Johnny’s son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), has psychic abilities. One of his imaginary friends warns him that the hotel is haunted, but the family is soon snowed in and chaos ensues.

The Shining is one of Stanley Kubrick’s most well-known movies. In 2013, King wrote a sequel novel, Doctor Sleep, which was subsequently adapted in 2019 by Mike Flanagan. Ewan McGregor assumed the role of a grown-up Danny, who is still recovering from the trauma of the Overlook Hotel experience.

Doctor Sleep was not as big of a hit, though. It made just $72 million on a $45 million budget. It is unclear if the Shining universe will continue beyond the sequel movie and novel.

For Duvall, it was a memorable experience, but for the wrong reasons. People Magazine interviewed Duvall in 1981, and she revealed the psychological aftermath of taking on the role. She said that she was “crying 12 hours a day for weeks on end” due to the role.

After the Stanley Kubrick experience

After The Shining, Duvall continued her career. She created, executive produced, and hosted Faerie Tale Theatre. She also starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone and several other high-profile projects.

As noted, Duvall began taking on fewer movie roles as her career progressed. She starred in Popeye with Robin Williams right after The Shining and also appeared in Time Bandits, The Underneath, and My Teacher Ate My Homework.