Stella Stevens passed away on Friday at a Los Angeles hospice at the age of 84. As soon as word of Stevens’ passing spread, Twitter erupted with condolences for the late actress. Bruce Kulik shared a Tweet on his official Twitter account and paid tribute to the actress:
Legendary actress Stella Stevens, my brother’s longtime partner, passed away this morning from a long illness. She is finally reunited with Bob today. She starred in many movies I love. It was very special for my family and I to know her personally. RIP Stella, 1938-2023. pic.twitter.com/xO5gPSXIJf
— Bruce Kulick (@brucekulick) February 17, 2023
She was an A-list actress in 1960s Hollywood like Brigitte Bardot, Ann-Margret and Raquel Welch but grew to resent the male-dominated industry that she felt thwarted her ambitions to be more than a pretty face.
According to the reports of New York Times.com, Andrew Stevens, an actor and producer who is her son claimed that Alzheimer’s disease is the cause of her death. Ms. Stevens was one of the last Hollywood A-listers to break out of the studio system which she said guaranteed her work but stifled her artistic ambitions.
Stella’s performance in the Bing Crosby and Debbie Reynolds musical comedy Say One for Me (1959) earned her a Golden Globe for “most promising newcomer” but she felt pressured into appearing in Elvis Presley’s empty vehicle Girls! Girls! Girls!.
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Ms. Stevens was conflicted about her role as a Hollywood s*x symbol, if not downright indignant. She considered herself an introvert and a bookworm and she aspired to work with auteurs like John Cassavetes, who directed the 1961 drama “Too Late Blues” which starred her as the female lead played by Bobby Darin.
She collaborated with a who’s who of ’60s filmmaking talent. In “The Nutty Professor” (1963), written, directed and starring Jerry Lewis, she played the love interest of Lewis’s character, a timid college professor who undergoes a personality transformation.
She also starred in Vincente Minnelli’s 1963 romantic comedy The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and Dean Martin’s 1966 spy spoof The Silencers. However, in the interim, she was forced to accept a string of unsatisfying roles in subpar films, leading critics to label her as a star who was constantly prevented from reaching her full potential.
We promise to keep you updated if any new details about her death are made public by her loved ones. Follow us on Twitter to get breaking news before anyone else.