Shelley Duvall (born July 7, 1949) is an award winning American film and television actress who began her career in the 1970s playing quirky and waif-like characters in the movies of Robert Altman, and eventually starred in movies by Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton.
Duvall was born in Houston, Texas and graduated from Waltrip High School. Duvall was working as a cosmetics saleswoman at a Houston Foley's when she was discovered at a party by production scouts for Altman's Brewster McCloud (1970). After a tough interview with Altman, she later won the lead role of Suzanne, the free-spirited love interest to Bud Cort's reclusive Brewster. Altman was impressed enough with Duvall's work to cast the young actress in his next films, including McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Thieves Like Us (1974), and Nashville (1975). In 1977, Duvall was named Best Actress by the Cannes Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for her portrayal of the delusional Millie Lammoreaux in Altman's 3 Women.
That same year Duvall appeared in Annie Hall playing Woody Allen's one-night stand. Her next role would be Wendy opposite Jack Nicholson in Kubrick's The Shining (1980). The actress and director would openly argue on set, and it is said that the perfectionist Kubrick once demanded she perform 127 takes for a single scene.
Starting in the early 1980s, Duvall began to act in and produce television shows for children, often based on popular fairy tales. She still occasionally works in television and film and most recently appears in Dark Water (2005).