Entertainment

Shelley Duvall’s Health: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Shelley Duvall was an acclaimed actress during the 1970s and early 1980s, thanks to her work in films by Robert Altman and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. However, she hasn’t been in a film in over a decade and has shied away from public life. On November 18, she appeared on Dr. Phil in an interview with Phil McGraw that explores why she has lived in isolation.

In the interview, Duvall claims to be having visions and is dealing with mental illness. The interview has been the subject of fierce criticism, with some suggesting that McGraw is taking advantage of a woman who needs help.

Here’s a look at what we know about Duvall’s health.


1. Duvall Says She is Battling Mental Illness & Thinks Robin Williams Is Still Alive

Shelley Duvall, Shelley Duvall health, Shelley Duvall Dr. Phil

Shelley Duvall on Dr. Phil. (YouTube)

In the interview clip with McGraw that has already been released, Duvall claims that her Popeye co-star Robin Williams is still alive and is “shape-shifting.” Williams committed suicide in August 2014.

The 67-year-old Duvall also claims that “the sheriff of Nottingham” is threatening her and that she hears a “whirring disc” inside her leg.

“I’m very sick, I need help,” she tells McGraw in the preview.

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2. Duvall Has Been Living in ‘Isolation’ & Is Not Married

McGraw’s website notes that Duvall has been living in “isolation” for over a decade. A celebrity directory on Google Books shows that Duvall’s last known address was in Blanco, Texas, north of San Antonio. Duvall is a Texas-native and was born in Houston.

The Dr. Phil preview shows Duvall needing help to get out of a vehicle. She was married to artist Bernard Sampson from 1970 to 1974, but never remarried. For two years in the late 1970s, after filming Annie Hall, she dated singer Paul Simon.


3. Duvall Hasn’t Made a Movie Since 2002’s ‘Manna From Heaven’

Duvall was a beloved character actress during the 1970s, starring mostly in films for Robert Altman, including McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville and 3 Women. In 1977, she appeared in Annie Hall. In 1980, she appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Altman’s Popeye.

She continued working steadily until 2000. In 2002, she appeared in the film Manna From Heaven, a small, religious indie movie that also included Shirley Jones in the cast.

After that, she suddenly stopped making films or appearing on television.

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4. Duvall Appeared in a National Enquirer Story That Also Included Similar Shocking Details

In 2009, Duvall was featured in an issue of the National Enquirer. The story featured several disturbing details about how Duvall was living in Blanco. One resident is quoted as telling the Enquirer that the actress “wanders around town… looking disheveled, strange and totally crazy.”

The Enquirer report also claims that Duvall believed there are “aliens living in her body,” which is similar to what she told McGraw.

Another resident of Blanco told the tabloid that Duvall “desperately needs help,” calling her “a virtual recluse, wandering about Blanco in a fog.”

Duvall sounded hopeful at that time that she would get help. “I would love to go back to acting if it was the right role,” she said.

Despite her current state, Celebrity Net Worth estimates that she has a net worth of $2 million.

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5. Stanley Kubrick’s Daughter Called for a Boycott of the ‘Dr. Phil’ Episode

On November 16, Vivian Kubrick, the daughter of The Shining director Stanley Kubrick, called for a boycott of Dr. Phil. She called the interview a “form of lurid and exploitative entertainment” and “appallingly cruel.”

“Shelley Duvall was a movie star… whatever dignity a mere unfortunate creature might have in this world, is denied her by your displaying her in this way,” Kubrick wrote. “I recoil in complete disgust. I hope others will join me in boycotting your utterly heartless form of entertainment, because it has nothing to do with compassionate healing.”

However, mental health expert Dr. Lloyd Sederer told Today.com that Duvall is doing a great service by bringing attention to the issue of mental health.

“Isolation is the worst thing that anybody can have or experience when they’re sick with any disease,” Sederer told the site. “It’s one step to not be isolated with friends and family and it’s another step to then reveal your struggles to a large general audience or general public. That is courageous, in my opinion. That’s not exploitative.”

Vivian Kubrick also started a GoFundMe page, which has raised over $18,000 for Duvall.

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7 comments

  1. The poor woman, doesn’t she have any family or anyone who cares about her to step in and help her? Sad. She was a terrific actress.

  2. I think Dr phil is mean and cruel this interview with Shelli was unprofessional. Not only that walked off stage left her there to run to his obediant wife. How can we keep this from happening no real dr would put a person through this we need to get him off tv

  3. It was very sad to see Shelley like this. Should she not have been on the show. I don’t think it was embarrassing in any way. She ask for help her family ask for help for her. The sad thing is 3 days just was not long enough to get the treatment and help she needed.my prayer is that she can get treatment and get well

  4. The person that needs help must want to get the help… I am dealing with this and its not that easy.. My X thinks people live in the basement
    Not true ! You just can’t take them to the doctors if the don’t want to go.. My self and X mother in law almost got arrested for trying to force her daughter in to the doctos office. The police were called . what a mess it is… Unless they are a threat to them self or other people. You can’t make them go!!!!! She has pulled most of her hair out of her head a couple of times. I had the police stop at the house and they told me that their is nothing we can do!!!

    Her father and I had her 302 they keep her for a week and let her out she took some meds but when she got out she just stopped. The system iis a JOKE. In PA… So all you can do is sit and watch this horrible thing happen. With out a leg to stand on….

  5. Hey I thank dr Phil for allowing shelly Duvall to be seen in the state of mind that she is in . That away people will witness for themselves her mental illness and would want to help her and others like her.You see that dr.Phil has offered to help.so I say that he has brought attention to getting her help instead of just leaving her to the way side.