Stella Stevens, a Golden Globe-winning actress and ’60s Hollywood bombshell whose prolific career included roles in hit films The Nutty Professor and The Poseidon Adventure passed away at the age of 84.
According to the statement released by her son Andrew Stevens, the actress, who co-starred with Elvis Presley in Girls! Girls! Girls! was living in hospice care and battled Alzheimer’s for some time.
Stevens’ manager and friend, Maria Calabrese, confirmed the actress’ death to People saying, “It was an honor and a privilege to have worked with Stella, who was one of the most wonderful and gifted people I have ever worked with.
“She was an amazing animal lover, horse wrangler, rock-and-roller, so ahead of her time and so much more than a sex symbol — which her adoring fans admired, respected and understood,” Calabrese added. “What a tremendous body of work and loss. The O.G. of badass women.”
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of actress, director and activist Stella Stevens. More than just a blonde bombshell, the effervescent star held her own in a variety of roles on the big and small screen.@Variety remembers her here: https://t.co/TOpMS4rlf3 pic.twitter.com/41T7HLE315
— TCM (@tcm) February 17, 2023
Among those honoring late Stevens was Rock guitarist Bruce Kulick, brother of her late partner, Bob Kulick.
“Legendary actress Stella Stevens, my brother’s longtime partner, passed away this morning from a long illness. She is finally reunited with Bob today,” Kulick wrote on Twitter. “She starred in many movies I love. It was very special for my family and I to know her personally. RIP Stella, 1938-2023.”
Stella Stevens, who starred with Elvis Presley in GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! (1962) and with Jerry Lewis in THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963)—and worked with Vincente Minnelli and Sam Peckinpah—has died at 84.@DEADLINE — https://t.co/Eo72P7om5Q pic.twitter.com/opUDMFyEqE
— The Daily (@CriterionDaily) February 17, 2023
Stevens, who was born as Estelle Eggleston on October 1, 1938, in Yazoo City, showed interest in acting from early age. In 1959, she had her acting debut in the film Say One for Me, starring alongside Bing Crosby and Debbie Reynolds. This film earned her the Golden Globe for New Star of the Year award.
Besides landing roles in a number of films, including the before mentioned The Nutty Professor, Girls! Girls! Girls!, and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father among the rest, Stevens garnered even more attention that year starring as Playboy’s January Playmate of the Month and was later voted No. 27 of the 100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th Century by the outlet.
In The Poseidon Adventure, which turned out to be one of the most successful blockbusters of the decade, Stevens played Linda, the ex-prostitute wife of Ernest Borgnine’s character, one of the group of survivors trying to escape an upside-down cruise liner.
Later on, Stevens appeared in a number of TV shows, including Bonanza, The Love Boat, Newhart, Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote, and Magnum, P.I.
Steven’s website notes that director Henry Hathaway once said that she “was born to be in movies… and to drive men crazy!”
Beautiful Stella Stevens’ decades long career was truly an impressive one, may she rest in peace.
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Love and Peace