The Heartbreaking Details of Shelley Duvall’s Life After ‘The Shining’

Shelley Duvall was one of the biggest celebrities of the ’70s and ’80s, and worked in Hollywood as an actress and producer.

She became famous for her ability to portray eccentric characters and appeared in popular films such as Annie Hall and Nashville. Duvall’s best-known film is likely the iconic Stephen King film The Shining — however, in spite of the film’s popularity, it ended up causing Duvall a world of heartache, and most likely contributed to the sad state of her life today. 

Shelley Duvall’s traumatizing experience filming ‘The Shining’

Shelley Duvall
Shelley Duvall | Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘The Shining’: What Inspired the Movie Besides Stephen King’s Book

All throughout the seventies, Shelley Duvall was one of the most present stars in Hollywood, working frequently with top directors such as Robert Altman and Woody Allen.

Her unique looks, including prominent front teeth and large, quizzical eyes, made her face impossible to forget, and her ability to portray everyone from ditsy best friends to troubled performers made her an important part of the independent film scene for well over a decade.

In 1980, Shelley Duvall appeared in the adaptation of the well-known Stephen King novel, The Shining, opposite Jack Nicholson. Fans eagerly flocked to theaters to see the terrifying tale, and Nicholson and Duvall both earned rave reviews for their work.

However, Shelley Duvall notoriously had a difficult time while filming The Shining, reportedly being tormented by director Stanley Kubrick for days on end.

Duvall later admitted that her time filming the movie had been hellish and that she would cry all day long. Reportedly, Kubrick would even tell other members of the cast and crew to stay away from Duvall, forcing her to feel an even greater sense of isolation. 

Shelley Duvall’s buzzed-about Dr. Phil interview

After the success of The Shining, Shelley Duvall went on to act in a wide variety of projects. In the eighties, she shifted her focus to mostly television projects, producing and hosting the children’s TV series, Fairy Tale Theatre.

Even throughout the nineties, Duvall remained a working actress, appearing in movies such as The Portrait of a Lady and The Underneath. However, by the 2000s, Duvall had all but retired, and fans were left wondering what happened to the quirky star.

In 2016, some light was shed on Duvall’s situation when she sat down with Dr. Phil McGraw for a revealing, disturbing interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

In the interview, Duvall seemed to display many hallmarks of mental illness, including claiming that she believes that she is a shape shifter. Duvall told Dr. Phil that she needed “help” and that she is “very sick,” prompting many viewers to question Dr. Phil’s integrity at airing the interview in the first place.

However, according to USA Today, Dr. Phil claimed that he was working with her family and friends to try to get Duvall the help that she needed, including setting up appointments for her at a mental health institution. 

Where is Shelley Duvall these days?

RELATED: Is ‘The Shining’ Really About Native American History?

Since 2016, and the infamous interview, Duvall has mostly fallen off the radar. Reportedly, she refused the treatment offered by Dr. Phil and decided to try to cope with her demons on her own.

These days, fans aren’t quite sure where Duvall lives, or if she is still in the United States. She hasn’t acted in a film in a number of years although her net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth, is still widely reported as being around $2 million.

That is likely not accurate, based on her circumstances as described in the Dr. Phil interview.

Shelley Duvall is one of Hollywood’s most tragic cases of a film leading to eventual ruin. Hopefully, she is able to find some peace in the twilight years of her life.