Shelley Duvall returns: ‘The Shining’ scream queen books first acting gig in 20 years

A woman wearing a patterned green shirt with long sleeves looks at the camera
Actor Shelley Duvall will star in the indie horror film “The Forest Hills.”
(Scott Hansen / Digital Thunderdome)

Shelley Duvall — decades after shying away from the Hollywood spotlight — is ready for her closeup, again. The actor, known for “The Shining” and “Popeye,” has signed on for her first film role in 20 years, The Times has confirmed.

She will return to the silver screen in the indie horror film “The Forest Hills,” directed and written by Scott Goldberg. Deadline, which first broke the news, reported that she will star alongside Edward Furlong, Chiko Mendez and Dee Wallace. “The Forest Hills” reportedly follows a disturbed man who is haunted by visions after a camping trip in the Catskill Mountains goes awry. Duvall will portray the mother of Mendez’s character, Rico.

Goldberg told The Times via email that Duvall recently shot her scenes for the upcoming film, which will premiere in 2023.


The actor’s turn in “The Forest Hills” comes more than 40 years after she starred with Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick‘s “The Shining.” After the 1980 horror staple, Duvall went on to star in “Roxanne,” “Suburban Commando” and “Home Fries.”

According to IMDb, the actor’s most recent credit was in MGM’s 2002 film “Manna From Heaven,” which also starred Shirley Jones, Cloris Leachman, Louise Fletcher and Seymour Cassel. Since then, Duvall shied away from the limelight, rarely appearing publicly throughout the 2000s.

In 2016, the actor Duvall made headlines in 2016 when she appeared on an episode of “Dr. Phil” and told host Phil McGraw that she was being threatened by a man and suggested her “Popeye” co-star Robin Williams, who died in 2014, was still alive. She also revealed that she was facing mental health issues.

After the interview, fans criticized McGraw for “showboating the visibly ill.”

“Your exploitive use of [Shelley] Duvall is a form of LURID ENTERTAINMENT and is shameful,” wrote Vivian Kubrick, the daughter of director Stanley Kubrick.

Five years later, Duvall opened up to the Hollywood Reporter about the infamous interview, noting that “I found out the kind of person [McGraw] is the hard way.”

In the 2021 profile, she also recalled filming “The Shining” and working with Kubrick, who put his actors through grueling shoots. Duvall said the director was “very warm and friendly” toward her but that her time on set was far from easy.


“Every day. It was very hard. Jack was so good — so damn scary,” she said. “I can only imagine how many women go through this kind of thing.”

Duvall’s film credits also include “Thieves Like Us,” “Nashville,” “Annie Hall” and “Three Women.”