PROFILE
Name:
Stella Stevens
Birth Date:
October 1, 1936
Birth Place:
Yazoo City, Mississippi, USA
Height:
5' 5" (1.65 m)
Nationality:
American
BIOGRAPHY
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The Poseidon Adventure

Background:

Stella Stevens is a Golden Globe Award winning actress who appeared in such films as “Li'l Abner” (1959), “Too Late Blues” (1961), “Girls! Girls! Girls!” (1962), “The Courtship of Eddie's Father” (1963), “The Nutty Professor” (1963), “The Ballad of Cable Hogue” (1970) and “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972). She shared the 1960 Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female, with Angie Dickinson, Janet Munro and Tuesday Weld for “Say One For Me” (1959) and was nominated for a Golden Laurel for Top Female New Personality in 1962. Her more recent film credits include “The Manitou” (1978), “Wacko” (1982), “Chained Heat” (1983), “Monster in the Closet” (1987), “Down the Drain” (1990), “Molly & Gina” (1994), “Blessed” (2004) and “Popstar” (2005). Stevens also starred as Lute-Mae Sanders on the NBC prime time soap opera “Flamingo Road” (1981-1982) and Jake on the ABC daytime drama “General Hospital” (1996, 1999). In addition, she was seen in episodes of “Bonanza,” “Ben Casey,” “Newhart,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Silk Stalkings” and “Nash Bridges” and produced and directed the documentary film “The American Heroine” (1979). She directed her first feature, “The Ranch,” which starred her son, actor, producer and director Andrew Stevens, in 1989.


Estelle Caro Eggleston

Childhood and Family:

The daughter of Thomas Eggleston and Dovey Estelle Eggleston, Stella Stevens was born Estelle Caro Eggleston on October 1, 1936, in Yazoo City, Mississippi. She studied medicine at the Memphis State University in Memphis, Tennessee. While at college, she became interested in acting and modeling.

Stella married electrician Noble Herman Stephens in 1954 and gave birth to her son, Andrew Stevens, on June 10, 1955, in Memphis, Tennessee. After three years of marriage, she and her husband divorced.

In the late 1970s, Stella relocated to the small town of Twisp, Washington, where she opened an art gallery.


The Nutty Professor

Career:

Stella Stevens was discovered by a Fox talent scout in a college production of “Bus Stop.” She made her film debut in “Say One For Me” (1959), opposite Bing Crosby and Debby Reynolds. Playing Chorine, she was awarded a 1960 Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer - Female for her performance. She shared the honor with Tuesday Weld, Angie Dickinson and Janet Munro. She went on to have an unaccredited part in the 20th Century Fox film “The Blue Angel” (1959) before the studio terminated her contract.

In 1959, Stevens received notice for her portrayal of Appassionata Von Climax in the musical film “Li'l Abner,” which was based on the comic strip of the same name and the 1956 successful Broadway musical. Directed by Melvin Frank and produced by Norman Panama, the film earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture - Musical, to name a few. Following her performance on “Li'l Abner,” Stevens signed a contract with Paramount Picture, a partnership that would last from 1959 to 1963.

Stevens gained a degree of notoriety in 1960 when she became a Playboy “Playmate of the Month” in January 1960. She also appeared in Playboy in 1965 and 1968. Also in 1960, she landed guest spots in several television series, including “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Johnny Ringo,” “Hawaiian Eye,” “Bonanza,” “Riverboat” and “G.E. True Theater.” She returned to film in 1961 when she was cast with Jeffrey Hunter and David Janssen in Paramount's “Man-Trap,” for director Edmond O'Brien. It was followed by significant roles in John Cassavetes' “Too Late Blues” (1961), the Elvis Presley musical “Girls! Girls! Girls!” (1962), and Vincente Minnelli's “The Courtship of Eddie's Father” (1963). She also offered a notable performance as Jerry Lewis' girlfriend, Stella Purdy, on the Paramount Pictures comedy “The Nutty Professor” (1963), which was produced, directed and co-written by Jerry Lewis. After her contract with Paramount Picture ended in 1963, she was signed with Columbia Pictures from 1964 to 1968.

In 1964, Stevens starred with Glen Ford and Melvyn Douglas in the light hearted western “Advance to the Rear,” which was adapted from the novel “Company of Cowards” by Jack Schaefer. The film was directed by George Marshall and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The same year, she also played Jane Hancock in two episodes of the ABC series “Ben Casey” and Laura Jericho in the “Vacation Playhouse” episode “The Graduation Dress.” During the next few years, she starred with Edmond O'Brien and Chuck Connors in the Richard Quine directed drama “Synanon,” with James Booth, Shirley Jones, Honor Blackman and Lionel Jeffries in the British comedy “The Secret of My Success” (1965), which was directed, written and co-produced by Andrew L. Stone, and Glen Ford in Gilberto Gazcón's “Rage” (1966). In “The Silencers” (1966), a spy spoof film starring Dean Martin, she portrayed a beautiful but bumbling agent.

Stevens resurfaced in 1968 when she was reunited with Deam Martin for the comedy “How to Save a Marriage,” which was directed by Fielder Cook. She then worked with David McCallum and Telly Savalas in “Sol Madrid” (1968), was cast as Sister George in the James Neilson helmed comedy “Where Angels Go Trouble Follows” (1968), and starred as Ellen Hardy in “The Mad Room” (1969), a remake of the 1941 film “Ladies in Retirement.”

Stevens remained busy throughout the 1970s. She portrayed a prostitute named Hildy in Sam Peckinpah's western “The Ballad of Cable Hogue” (1970), opposite Jason Robards and David Warner, costarred with Telly Savalas and Robert Shaw in Robert Parrish's “A Town Called Hell” (1971) and made her TV movie debut in “In Broad Daylight” (1971), with Richard Boone and Suzanne Pleshette. She next starred with Jacqueline Bisset and Steve Lawrence in Jackie Cooper's comedy “Stand Up and Be Counted” (1972), Jim Brown and Rip Torn in Jack Starlett's “Slaughter” (1972), Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley and Roddy McDowall in the box office hit “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972), which was based on the novel of the same name by Paul Gallico, and Roddy McDowall and Elsa Lanchester in “Arnold” (1973). From 1972 to 1974, the actress also appeared in several TV films, including “Climb an Angry Mountain,” “Linda” (as Linda Reston), “Honky Tonk” and “The Day the Earth Moved” and in episodes of “Circle of Fear,” “Hec Ramsey” and “Banacek.”

In the second half of the 1970s, Stevens acted in the movies “Las Vegas Lady” (1975), “Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold” (1975), “Kiss Me, Kill Me” (1976, TV), “Nickelodeon” (1976), “Mister Deathman” (1977), “Charlie Cobb: Nice Night for a Hanging” (1977, TV), “Murder in Peyton Place” (1977, TV), “The Night They Took Miss Beautiful” (1977, TV), “Cruise Into Terror” (1978, TV), “The Manitou” (1978), “The Jordan Chance” (1978, TV) and “Friendships, Secrets and Lies” (1979, TV). She also guest starred in “Police Story” (1975), “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman” (1975), “The Oregon Trail” (1977), “The Eddie Capra Mysteries” (1979), “Supertrain” (1979) and “Hart to Hart.” She then played the role of Louise Crawford in the television miniseries “The French Atlantic Affair” (1979), which was adapted from the 1977 novel of the same name by Ernest Lehman. Also in 1979, Stevens directed and produced the feature length documentary “The American Heroine.”

Stevens was next cast in the staring role of Lute-Mae Sanders in the prime time soap opera “Flamingo Road,” which ran on NBC from January 6, 1981, to May 4, 1982. She then had a role on the NBC daytime drama “Santa Barbara,” where she portrayed Phyllis Blake from 1989 to 1990. During this time, she appeared in the TV films “Make Me an Offer” (1980), “Children of Divorce” (1980), “Twirl” (1981), “Women of San Quentin” (1983), “Amazons” (1984), “No Man's Land” (1984), “The History of White People in America: Volume II” (1986), “Adventures Beyond Belief” (1987), “Fatal Confession: A Father Dowling Mystery” (1987), “Tales from the Hollywood Hills: A Table at Ciro's” (1987), “Man Against the Mob” (1988) and “Jake Spanner, Private Eye” (1989). She also guest starred in episodes of “Matt Houston” (1983), “The Love Boat” (1983), “Newhart” (1983), “Fantasy Island” (1983), “Hotel” (1984), “Highway to Heaven” (1984), “Night Court” (1984), “Murder, She Wrote” (1985), “Magnum, P.I.” (1986) and “Father Dowling Mysteries” (1987),

Despite her busy schedule on TV, Stevens appeared on the big screen with roles in “Wacko” (1982), “Ladies Night” (1983), “Chained Heat” (1983), “The Longshot” (1986) and Bob Dahlin's comedy “Monster in the Closet” (1986). In 1989, she made her feature film directing debut with “The Ranch,” a romantic comedy starring her son, Andrew Stevens, Gary Fjellgaard and Elizabeth Keefe.

In 1990, Stevens costarred with her son in the comedy film “Down the Drain,” which was directed by Robert C. Hughes and written by Moshe Hadar. It was followed by roles in “The Terror Within II” (1991, directed by her son), “Last Call” (1991), “Mom” (1991, starred Maray Ayres, Jeanne Bates and Julie Bryant), “The Nutt House” (1992), “Exiled in America” (1992), “Eye of the Stranger” (1993), “Little Devils: The Birth” (1993), “South Beach” (1993), “Hard Drive” (1994), Paul Leder's “Molly & Gina” (1994, starred Frances Fisher, Natasha Gregson Wagner and Peter Fonda), “Illicit Dreams” (1994), “Virtual Combat” (1995), “Mary” (1995) and “Bikini Hotel” (1997). Meanwhile on the small screen, Stevens guest starred in “Dream On” (1990), “In the Heat of the Night” (1991), “Dangerous Curves” (1992), “The Commish” (1993), “Burke's Law” (1994), “Highlander” (1995), “Dave's World” (1995), “Renegade” (1996), “Arli$$” (1996), “Silk Stalkings” (1996), “Nash Bridges” (1997) and “Viper” (1998) and worked on the TV films “Attack of the 5 Ft. 2 Women” (1994), “Subliminal Seduction” (1996), “In Cold Blood” (1996) , “The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion” (1997) and “The Christmas List” (1997). In 1996, she joined the cast of the ABC soap “General Hospital.”

Entering the new millennium, Stevens was cast in the supporting role of Eli in the television film “By Dawn's Early Light” (2000), starring Richard Crenna, David Carradine and Chris Olivero. She next teamed up with Julie Brown and Lindsay Felton in the short film “Size 'Em Up” (2001), by Christine J. Russo, portrayed Doreen Krudup in the Comedy Central series “Strip Mall” (2001), supported Randy Travis, Eric Roberts and Ernest Borgnine in the action film “The Long Ride Home” (2003) and played Betty in “Blessed” (2004), a horror film directed by Simon Fellows. In 2005, Stevens appeared in the films “Glass Trap,” “Hell to Pay” and “Popstar.” In 2006, she portrayed Martha in an episode of the NBC sitcom “Twenty Good Years” called “The Crying Game,” Three years later, she appeared in the short “Dante's Inferno: Abandon All Hope.”


Awards:

  • Golden Globe: Most Promising Newcomer - Female, 1960

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