The actress Stella Stevens, who played Stella in The Nutty Professor and Linda in The Poseidon Adventure, passed away on February 17 in Los Angeles. She was 84. Her son Andrew Stevens, an actor, director, and producer, revealed to Variety that his mother had Alzheimer’s disease before she passed away.
The late guitarist Bob Kulick’s brother Bruce Kulick, a former member of Kiss, also shared the news on social media. Stella Stevens, a legendary actress, and my brother’s lifelong girlfriend passed away this morning after a protracted illness.
Today she was reunited with Bob at last, he tweeted. She starred in a lot of my favorite movies. Knowing her personally was incredibly significant to my family and me. Stella, 1938–2023, RIP.
Stevens, who was born Estelle Eggleston, landed her first major role after performing in a Memphis State University production of the play Bus Stop, which received positive press in the neighborhood newspaper.
In the 1959 musical Say One For Me, which also starred Bing Crosby and Debbie Reynolds, she made her acting debut. She also got a part in the musical Li’l Abner the same year.
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She signed a deal with Paramount Pictures, received the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year in 1960, and was named Playboy Playmate of the Month. Once she grudgingly joined Elvis Presley as a co-star in the 1962 film Girls! Girls! Girls!, her profile rose once again. In a 2004 interview, Stevens subsequently admitted to Bright Lights that she liked the script.
The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Slaughter, The Silencers, and other films are among her other filmography credits. The Sundance Woman, Flamingo Road, Night Court, Highlander, General Hospital, and Magnum, P.I., to mention a few, are just a few of the television projects Stevens has taken on.
Stevens had a long acting career, but she also aspired to be a filmmaker. Although having directed a few movies over her career, she claimed to Michael G. Ankerich in 1994 that the business treated her like a “sexpot” since she had appeared for Playboy, which made it challenging for her objectives in the director’s chair to be taken seriously.
At the time, she stated of her career, “I feel like I’ve just keyed the car, just scratched the surface, and that the whole auto is still sitting there in front of me.”