Stella Stevens

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Stella Stevens

Stella Stevens and Hugh O'Brian, 1961
BornEstelle Caro Eggleston
(1938-10-01) October 1, 1938 (age 73)[1]
Yazoo City, Mississippi, USA
OccupationActress
Years active1959–present
SpouseNoble Herman Stephens (m. 1954–1957) «start: (1954)–end+1: (1958)»"Marriage: Noble Herman Stephens to Stella Stevens" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stella_Stevens)
ChildrenAndrew Stevens (born 1955)
Website
www.stellastevens.biz
 
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Stella Stevens

Stella Stevens and Hugh O'Brian, 1961
BornEstelle Caro Eggleston
(1938-10-01) October 1, 1938 (age 73)[1]
Yazoo City, Mississippi, USA
OccupationActress
Years active1959–present
SpouseNoble Herman Stephens (m. 1954–1957) «start: (1954)–end+1: (1958)»"Marriage: Noble Herman Stephens to Stella Stevens" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stella_Stevens)
ChildrenAndrew Stevens (born 1955)
Website
www.stellastevens.biz

Stella Stevens (born October 1, 1938)[N 1] is an American film, television, and stage actress who began her acting career in 1959 and starred in such popular films as The Nutty Professor (1963), The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963), The Silencers (1966), Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows (1968), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), and The Poseidon Adventure (1972).

Stevens also appeared in numerous television series, miniseries, and movies, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960, 1988), Bonanza (1960), The Love Boat (1977, 1983), Hart to Hart (1979), Newhart (1983), Murder, She Wrote (1985), Magnum, P.I. (1986), Highlander: The Series (1995), and Twenty Good Years (2006).[2] In 1960 she won a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress.[3][4] Stevens has also worked as a film producer, director, and writer.[2][5] She appeared in three Playboy pictorials, and was Playmate of the Month for January 1960.

Contents

Early life

She was born Estelle Caro Eggleston on October 1, 1938 in Yazoo City, Mississippi,[N 2] the only child of Thomas Ellett Eggleston and Dovey Estelle (née Caro).[1] Her great-grandfather was Henry Clay Tyler, an early settler from Boston and a jeweler who gave the Yazoo City courthouse cupola its clock.[7] When Stevens was four, she and her parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where they lived at 3528 Carrington Road near Highland Street.[8] Her father worked as an insurance salesman with offices in the Sterick Building, and her mother worked as a nurse.[8][7] Stevens attended St. Anne Catholic School on Highland Street and Sacred Heart School on Jefferson Avenue, finishing her last year of high school in 1955 at Memphis Evening School at Memphis Tech High School.[8][9]

At the age of 16 Stevens married electrician Noble Herman Stephens on December 1, 1954, probably in Memphis. They had one child (her only child), actor/producer Andrew Stevens. Although the couple divorced in 1957, both she and her son retained a variation of Noble's surname as their own professional surnames. While studying medicine at Memphis State College, she became interested in acting and modeling. While performing in a college production of Bus Stop, Stevens was discovered and offered a contract with 20th Century Fox.[1]

Film career

Stella Stevens
Playboy centerfold appearance
January 1960
Preceded byEllen Stratton
Succeeded bySusie Scott
Personal details
MeasurementsBust: 37"
Waist: 22"
Hips: 40"
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight118 lb (54 kg; 8.4 st)

Stevens made her film debut in Say One for Me (1959), a modest musical produced by and starring Bing Crosby, appearing in the minor role of a chorus girl. Stevens' contract with 20th Century-Fox was dropped after six months. After winning the role of Appassionata Von Climax in the musical Li'l Abner (1959), she signed a contract with Paramount Pictures (1959-1963). In 1960 Stevens won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress for her performance in Say One for Me,[3] sharing the distinction with fellow up-and-comers Tuesday Weld, Angie Dickinson, and Janet Muro.[3][4]

Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s Stevens achieved success as a model. When high-speed Ektachrome film was introduced in 1959, Stevens was the first person ever photographed for a formal portrait by the light of a single candle and several reflectors for the cover of a photography magazine.[citation needed] In January 1960 she was Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month, and was also featured in Playboy pictorials in 1965 and 1968. Stevens was included in Playboy magazine's 100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th Century, appeared at number 27. During the 1960s she was one of the most photographed women in the world.[7]

In 1962 Stevens starred opposite Elvis Presley in Girls! Girls! Girls!. The following year she appeared in two successful comedy films: Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor (1963), and Vincente Minnelli's The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) playing the would-be Miss Montana beauty queen.

In 1964 Stevens signed a contract with Columbia Pictures (1964–1968). Following appearances in Synanon (1965) and The Secret of My Success (1965), Stevens starred opposite Dean Martin in the Matt Helm spy spoof The Silencers (1966). Her final film for Columbia was the popular Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows (1968) in which she played the role of Sister George.

In 1970 Stevens starred opposite Jason Robards in Sam Peckinpah's The Ballad of Cable Hogue, for which she received positive reviews. In his review in The New York Times, Roger Greenspun wrote, "But it is Stella Stevens, at last in a role good enough for her, who most wonderfully sustains and enlightens the action."[10] In 1972 she starred in Irwin Allen's critically acclaimed blockbuster film The Poseidon Adventure with Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Roddy McDowell, and Shelley Winters. Stevens played the role of Linda Rogo, the "refreshingly outspoken" ex-prostitute wife of Borgnine's character.[11] Although she continued to appear in feature films for the next four decades, Stevens shifted the focus of her career to television series, miniseries, and movies.

Television career

Stevens appeared in several top television shows in the 1960s, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960), General Electric Theater (1960, 1961), and Ben Casey (1964). One of her earliest television appearances was in the Bonanza (1960) episode "Silent Thunder", playing a deaf mute—a role she played with exceptional charm and to critical acclaim.

In the early 1970s she began working regularly in television series, miniseries, and movies. She appeared in episodes in such popular series as Banacek (1973) and Police Story (1975), as well as the pilot films for The Love Boat (1977) and Hart to Hart (1979). In 1979 she appeared along with her son, Andrew Stevens, in the The Oregon Trail (1977) episode "Hannah's Girl".

In the 1980s she continued to work regularly in popular television series such as Newhart (1983), The Love Boat (1983), Fantasy Island (1983), Highway to Heaven (1984), Murder, She Wrote (1985), Magnum, P.I. (1986), and Father Dowling Mysteries (1987). Stevens also appears in 34 episodes of the primetime soap opera, Flamingo Road (1981–1982), playing the character of Lute-Mae Sanders, the friendly ex-madam.

From 1989 to 1990, Stevens had a contract role on NBC's daytime drama Santa Barbara playing the character of Phyllis Blake. Her string of appearances in popular television series continued into the 1990s with The Commish (1993), Burke's Law (1994), Highlander: The Series (1995), Silk Stalkings (1996), and General Hospital (1996, 1999). She also appeared in the critically acclaimed miniseries, In Cold Blood (1996). Stevens' remarkable television career continued on into the 2000s when she appeared in an episode of Twenty Good Years (2006).

Additional work

In addition to her acting career in films and television, Stevens appeared in several stage productions, including a touring production of an all-female version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple opposite Sandy Dennis. Stevens playing the Oscar Madison character. Stevens also produced and directed two films, The Ranch (1989) and The American Heroine (1979). In 1999 she co-wrote a novel titled, Razzle Dazzle, about a Memphis-born singer named Johnny Gault with a sexy voice and gyrating hips.[5]

Personal life

In the early 1960s Stevens was romantically linked in news reports to actor Michael Dante, comedian Allan Drake, Paramount Pictures executive Gant Gaither, and cinema exhibitor Mert Shapiro.[12] In April 1965 Stevens purchased a four-bedroom greystone house in the Coldwater Canyon district of Beverly Hills.[12] In the late 1960s she had a romantic relationship with actor Skip Ward whom she called "my true love" in a 1970 interview. The two lived together in Stevens' Beverly Hills home.[13][12]

In late 1976 Stevens purchased a ranch in Methow Valley near Carlton, Washington, on the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains.[12][14] She also opened an art gallery and bakery in the nearby small town of Twisp, Washington.[14] Stevens sold her ranch in 1988.[12]

In 1983 Stevens began a long-term relationship with rock guitarist Bob Kulick, eleven years her junior. They currently share the four-bedroom Beverly Hills home Stevens bought in 1965.[15] In 2005 Stevens was awarded the Reel Cowboys Sliver Spur Award for her notable contribution to the Western genre.[16]

Filmography

Films

  • Chained Heat (1983)
  • A Masterpiece of Murder (1986)
  • The Longshot (1986)
  • Monster in the Closet (1987)
  • Exiled in America (1990)
  • Mom (1990)
  • Down the Drain (1990)
  • The Terror Within II (1990)
  • Exiled in America (1990)
  • Last Call (1991)
  • South Beach (1992)
  • The Nutt House (1992)
  • Eye of the Stranger (1993)
  • Little Devils: The Birth (1993)
  • Hard Drive (1994)
  • Point of Seduction: Body Chemistry III (1994)
  • Molly & Gina (1994)
  • Star Hunter (1995) (V)
  • Illicit Dreams (1995)
  • The Granny (1995)
  • Body Chemistry 4: Full Exposure (1995)
  • Virtual Combat (1996)
  • Bikini Hotel (1997)
  • Invisible Mom (1997)
  • Size 'Em Up (2001)
  • The Long Ride Home (2003)
  • Blessed (2004)
  • Glass Trap (2005)
  • Hell to Pay (2005)
  • Popstar (2005)

Television

  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960), "Craig's Will"
  • Johnny Ringo (1960), "Uncertain Vengeance"
  • Hawaiian Eye (1960), "Kakua Woman"
  • Bonanza (1960), "Silent Thunder"
  • Riverboat (1960), "Zigzag"
  • General Electric Theater (1960), "The Graduation Dress"
  • General Electric Theater (1961), "The Great Alberti"
  • Follow the Sun (1961), "Conspiracy of Silence"
  • Frontier Circus (1962), "The Balloon Girl"
  • Ben Casey (1964), 2 episodes
  • In Broad Daylight (1971), TV movie
  • Ghost Story (1972), "The Dead We Leave Behind"
  • Hec Ramsey (1972), "Hangman's Wages"
  • Climb an Angry Mountain (1972), TV movie
  • Linda (1973), TV movie
  • Banacek (1973), "Ten Thousand Dollars a Page"
  • The Day the Earth Moved (1974), TV movie
  • Honky Tonk (1974), TV movie
  • Police Story (1975), "The Losing Game"
  • Wonder Woman (1975), "The New Original Wonder Woman"
  • Kiss Me, Kill Me (1976), TV movie
  • Wanted: The Sundance Woman (1976), TV movie
  • The New Love Boat (1977), TV movie, The Love Boat pilot
  • Charlie Cobb: Nice Night for a Hanging (1977), TV movie
  • Murder in Peyton Place (1977), TV movie
  • The Night They Took Miss Beautiful (1977), TV movie
  • The Oregon Trail (1977), "Hannah's Girl"[N 3]
  • Cruise Into Terror (1978), TV movie
  • The Jordan Chance (1978), TV movie
  • Express to Terror (1979), TV movie
  • Hart to Hart (1979), TV movie, Hart to Hart pilot
  • The French Atlantic Affair (1979), miniseries
  • Friendships, Secrets and Lies (1979), TV movie
  • Make Me an Offer (1980), TV movie
  • Flamingo Road (1980), TV movie, pilot
  • Children of Divorce (1980), TV movie
  • Twirl (1981), TV movie
  • Flamingo Road (1981–1982), 34 episodes
  • Matt Houston (1983), "Whose Party Is It Anyway?"
  • The Love Boat (1983)
  • Women of San Quentin (1983), TV movie

As director

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Paramount Pictures reportedly encouraged Stella to shed two years from her actual age when she signed a five year contract with them in 1959, and she has given her year of birth as 1938 since.
  2. ^ Sources frequently cited her birthplace as Hot Coffee, Mississippi, but the moniker was simply a nickname for the town of Meridian, which lay near the Mississippi-Florida border.[6]
  3. ^ Stevens appears with her son, Andrew Stevens, in this episode.
Citations
  1. ^ a b c Pylant, James. "The Deep Southern Roots of Stella Stevens". Genealogy Magazine. http://www.genealogymagazine.com/stellastevens.html. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Stella Stevens". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001771/. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Stella Stevens". Golden Globes. http://www.goldenglobes.org/browse/member/30231. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Awards for Stella Stevens". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001771/awards. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Stevens, Stella; Hegner, William (1999). Razzle Dazzle. New York: Forge. ISBN 978-0312853792. 
  6. ^ "Stella Stevens Biography". Turner Classic Movies. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/184513%7C142266/Stella-Stevens/biography.html. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Nicholas, Teresa. "Stella Stevens: From the Yazoo hills to Beverly Hills". Delta Magazine. http://www.deltamagazine.com/stella-stevens.html. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c Lauderdale, Vance (December 2011). "Stella!". Memphis Magazine. http://www.memphismagazine.com/Memphis-Magazine/December-2011/Stella/. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ Lauderdale, Vance (January 12, 2012). "Meet Stella Stevens Before She Became 'Stella Stevens'". Memphis Magazine. http://www.memphismagazine.com/Blogs/Ask-Vance/January-2012/Meet-Stella-Stevens-Before-She-Became-Stella-Stevens/. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ Greenspun, Roger (May 14, 1970). "Sam Peckinpah's 'Ballad of Cable Hogue'". The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9900E5DC1439E63BBC4C52DFB366838B669EDE. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ Weiler, A. H. (December 13, 1972). "'Poseidon Adventure' Arrives". The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9B05E3DA1631E63BBC4B52DFB4678389669EDE. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Stella Stevens". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. http://www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com/show/471/Stella+Stevens/index.html. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ Wilson, Earl (March 2, 1970). "Stella Stevens Defends Her 'Living in Love'". The Milwaukee Centinel. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19700302&id=pnZQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-xAEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5741,105193. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Twisp Looks Good After Beverly Hills". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 9, 1978. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bFZOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_fgDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6911,2453878. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  15. ^ Sanz, Cynthia (October 22, 1990). "'Ear Ye, 'Ear Ye". People Vol. 34 No. 16. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20113378,00.html. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ O'Connell, Danny. "Stella Stevens". Reel Cowboys. http://www.reelcowboys.org/RC_bio.php?id=91. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 

External links