Actress Stella Stevens has died.
Her son former actor/ producer Andrew confirmed the news to fans that Stevens died today in LA after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. The veteran actress was known for her roles in The Poseiden Adventure and In The Heat Of The Night.
She won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer in 1959 for her role in Say One for Me. Her other film credits include Where Angels Go Trouble Follows!, The Secret of My Success among others.
Estelle Caro Eggleston was born an only child on Oct. 1, 1938, in Yazoo City, Mississippi. She and her family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when she was 4, and she spent a great deal of time in the movie theater behind their home.
A department store model, Stevens appeared in a production of Bus Stop while attending Memphis State and got a rave review in the local newspaper.
She married a classmate, Herman Stephens, at age 15, had her son when she was 16 and got divorced at 17. Stella once famously said,
I did the best I could with the tools I had and the opportunities given me...
I was a divorced mom with a toddler by the time I was 17. And Playboy did as much harm as it helped.
But in spite of that rough start, I did OK.”
The nude photos also were used against her as she fought for custody of her son in a years long battle with her ex-husband. Playboy didn’t hurt her movie career though.
Dick Powell directed her in a screen test, and she signed with 20th Century Fox, making $250 a week. She was supposed to portray Jean Harlow in a biopic, but the movie did not get made until years later.
Her film résumé also includes Advance to the Rear (1964), Synanon (1965), Sol Madrid (1968), The Mad Room (1969), the women’s lib-themed Stand Up and Be Counted (1972), Peter Bogdanovich’s Nickelodeon (1976), Chained Heat (1983), The Longshot (1986) and Blessed (2004).
Stella Stevens was 84.
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
(via The Mirror UK)