Stella Stevens, the actress whose long career included prominent parts in the blockbusters The Nutty Professor and The Poseidon Adventure, has died at the age of 84.
On February 17, 2023, she died in Los Angeles as a result of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Her son, Andrew Stevens, and lifelong friend, John O’Brien, verified the news. According to reports, the actress died following a struggle with dementia.
According to Stevens’ manager, Maria Calabrese, the actress is “one of the most amazing and brilliant individuals” and “the OG of powerful Hollywood women.”
Stevens was born Estelle Eggleston in Yazoo City, Mississippi, on October 1, 1938. She became interested in performing and modeling as a youngster.
She made her cinematic debut in 1959, starring alongside Bing Crosby in the film Say One for Me, for which she received the Golden Globe for New Star of the Year. She also secured a deal with Paramount Pictures after appearing in the movie Li’l Abner.
Stevens was also a model, and in January 1960, he was named Playboy’s Playmate of the Month. During the decade, she was featured in the magazine, and she was eventually named one of the “100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th Century.”
She co-starred with Elvis Presley in the 1962 film Girls! Girls! Girls! and played the love interest of Jerry Lewis’ character in the original 1963 The Nutty Professor. She also featured in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father that same year.
Her most well-known role was in the 1972 catastrophe film The Poseidon Adventure. She portrayed Linda, the ex-prostitute wife of Ernest Borgnine’s character, who was one of the survivors attempting to escape an upside-down cruise ship.
Poseidon Adventure was one of the most successful movies of the decade, and Stevens held her own amid an all-star ensemble cast.
Despite the popularity of the film, Stevens’ career quickly turned to mostly television parts. One of her most well-known television performances was as a deaf-mute in an episode of Bonanza.
She has also appeared in television programs such as The Love Boat, Newhart, Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote, and Magnum, P.I. She kept acting throughout the 2000s.
Stella Stevens began a romantic relationship with rock musician Bob Kulick in 1983. They shared a Beverly Hills home for many years until Stevens was compelled to go to a long-term Alzheimer’s care facility in 2016.
Robert Kulick paid frequent visits to her; however, he died on May 28, 2020.
Stella Stevens, may she rest in peace! So many outstanding performances over her lengthy career.