Stella Stevens

Actor, Producer, Director
A popular screen siren of the early 1960s, actress Stella Stevens lent sex appeal to such popular light dramas and comedies as "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1963) and "The Nutty Professor" (1964) before becoming a ... Read more »
Born: 09/30/1936 in Yazoo City, Mississippi, USA

Filmography

Actor (107)

The Long Ride Home 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Glass Trap 2004 (Movie)

Joan (Actor)

By Dawn's Early Light 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Highlander: The Series 1992 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

In Cold Blood 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Invisible Mom 1997 (Movie)

Mrs Pringle (Actor)

Star Hunter 1997 (Movie)

(Actor)

Arli$$ 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Subliminal Seduction 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Burke's Law 1993 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

Dave's World 1994 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

In the Heat of the Night 1991 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

Murder, She Wrote 1984 - 1985, 1991 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Commish 1984 - 1985, 1991 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

Virtual Combat 1995 (Movie)

(Actor)

Body Chemistry IV 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hard Drive 1994 (Movie)

Susan (Actor)

Illicit Dreams 1994 (Movie)

Cicily (Actor)

South Beach 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Granny 1994 (Movie)

The Granny (Actor)

Body Chemistry 3 1993 (Movie)

(Actor)

Eye of the Stranger 1993 (Movie)

(Actor)

Molly and Gina 1993 (Movie)

(Actor)

Santa Barbara 1983 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Nutty Nut 1992 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Terror Within II 1991 (Movie)

Kara (Actor)

Exiled in America 1990 (Movie)

Sonny Moore (Actor)

Last Call 1990 (Movie)

Betty Dubois (Actor)

Mom 1990 (Movie)

Beverly Hills (Actor)

Down the Drain 1989 (Movie)

(Actor)

The 1989 Miss USA Pageant 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

A Table at Ciro's 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Monster in the Closet 1987 (Movie)

Margo Crane (Actor)

The Longshot 1986 (Movie)

Nicki Dixon (Actor)

Amazons 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

No Man's Land 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Wacko 1983 (Movie)

Marg Graves (Actor)

Chained Heat 1982 (Movie)

Captain Taylor (Actor)

Children of Divorce 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Elvis Remembered: Nashville to Hollywood 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Flamingo Road 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Hart to Hart 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The French Atlantic Affair 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Manitou 1978 (Movie)

Amelia Crusoe (Actor)

Nickelodeon 1976 (Movie)

Marty Reeves (Actor)

Arnold 1974 (Movie)

Karen (Actor)

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold 1974 (Movie)

Dragon Lady (Actor)

Honky Tonk 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Las Vegas Lady 1974 (Movie)

Lucky (Actor)

Linda 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Ghost Story 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

In Broad Daylight 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Stand Up and Be Counted 1972 (Movie)

Yvonne Kellermen (Actor)

The Poseidon Adventure 1972 (Movie)

Linda Rogo (Actor)

Slaughter 1971 (Movie)

Ann (Actor)

A Town Called Hell 1970 (Movie)

Avila (Actor)

The Ballad of Cable Hogue 1970 (Movie)

Hildy (Actor)

The Bing Crosby Show (10/23/68) 1968 - 1969 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mad Room 1969 (Movie)

Ellen Hardy (Actor)

Sol Madrid 1968 (Movie)

Stacey Woodward (Actor)

Where Angels Go... Trouble Follows 1968 (Movie)

Sister George (Actor)

How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life 1967 (Movie)

Carol Clurman (Actor)

Ben Casey 1961 - 1966 (TV Show)

Actor

Rage 1965 (Movie)

Perla (Actor)

The Silencers 1965 (Movie)

Gail (Actor)

Synanon 1964 (Movie)

Joaney (Actor)

The Secret of My Success 1964 (Movie)

Violet Lawson (Actor)

The Courtship of Eddie's Father 1963 (Movie)

Dollye Daly (Actor)

Girls! Girls! Girls! 1962 (Movie)

Robin Gantner (Actor)

The General Electric Theater 1952 - 1962 (TV Show)

Actor

The Nutty Professor 1962 (Movie)

Stella Purdy (Actor)

Man-Trap 1961 (Movie)

Nina Jameson (Actor)

Too Late Blues 1961 (Movie)

Jess Polanski (Actor)

Li'l Abner 1958 (Movie)

Appassionata Von Climax (Actor)

Say One For Me 1958 (Movie)

Chorine (Actor)

A Masterpiece of Murder (TV Show)

Actor

Children of Divorce (Movie)

(Actor)

Climb an Angry Mountain (TV Show)

Actor

Cruise into Terror (TV Show)

Actor

Dream On (TV Show)

Actor

Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion (TV Show)

Actor

Flamingo Road (TV Show)

Actor

Hell to Pay (TV Show)

Actor

Honky Tonk (Movie)

(Actor)

Jake Spanner, Private Eye (TV Show)

Actor

Kiss Me... Kill Me (TV Show)

Actor

Make Me an Offer (TV Show)

Actor

Man Against the Mob (TV Show)

Actor

Marker (TV Show)

Actor

Murder in Peyton Place (TV Show)

Actor

Neat and Tidy (TV Show)

Actor

The Christmas List (TV Show)

Actor

The Day the Earth Moved (TV Show)

Actor

The Jordan Chance (TV Show)

Actor

The New Love Boat (TV Show)

Actor

Twirl (TV Show)

Actor

Virtual Combat (TV Show)

Actor

Wanted: The Sundance Woman (TV Show)

Actor

Women of San Quentin (TV Show)

Actor
Director (1)

The Ranch 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

A popular screen siren of the early 1960s, actress Stella Stevens lent sex appeal to such popular light dramas and comedies as "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1963) and "The Nutty Professor" (1964) before becoming a staple of TV and low-budget films for the next three decades. Though a talented actress, especially in gentle comedies, casting agents found it difficult to see past Stevens' statuesque frame, which was the subject of three Playboy pictorials. Despite solid turns in Sam Peckinpah's "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" (1970) as Jason Robards' feisty lover and "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972), Stevens never found the proper vehicle for her abilities, and spent most of her time under the radar in episodic TV or genuinely awful films like "Monster in the Closet" (1986). Nevertheless, she continued to log appearances well into her seventh decade, which was a testimony to her professionalism, talent and apparent good humor.

Stella Stevens was born Estelle Caro Eggleston on Oct. 1, 1938, the only child of Thomas Ellett Eggleston and his wife, Dovey Estelle Caro. Sources frequently cited her birthplace as Hot Coffee, MS, but the moniker was simply a nickname for the town of Meridian, which lay near the Mississippi-Florida border. When Stevens was four, she moved with her family to Tennessee; there she met Herman Stephens, an electrician whom she married when she was just 15. A year later, she gave birth to her only child, future actor and producer Andrew Stevens. By 17, she had divorced Stephens, but kept a modified version of his surname for her professional career. While studying medicine at Memphis State College, she became interested in acting and modeling, and was reportedly discovered while appearing in a production of "Bus Stop" at the college. Stevens signed with 20th Century Fox, which provided her film debut with "Say One for Me" (1959), a modest musical starring and produced by Bing Crosby. For her minor turn as a chorus girl, Stevens shared the Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer - Female, with fellow up-and-comers Tuesday Weld, Angie Dickinson and Janet Muro.

However, the promising start led to few subsequent opportunities, and Fox dropped her after six months. Stevens turned to the burgeoning gentleman's magazine Playboy to boost her image, and in 1960, she became the publications Playmate of the Month for January. The layout, which tastefully revealed Stevens' voluptuous frame, had the desired effect, and that year, she landed the role of Appassionata von Climax in the screen version of "L'il Abner" (1960). A steady stream of television appearances, magazine layouts and features soon followed, but most emphasized Stevens' physical appeal rather than her talents. Occasionally, she received a solid vehicle for her acting skills, like "Too Late Blues" (1961), director John Cassavetes' drama about a jazz musician (Bobby Darin) who abandoned his idealistic dreams for a sultry singer (Stevens).

Stevens also had a particular gift for light comedy, as seen in her turns as a former beauty queen who caught Glenn Ford's eye in "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1963) and in particular, Jerry Lewis' "The Nutty Professor" (1964), where she played the comely college girl who is wooed by the smooth Buddy Love, but saw the good in his alter ego, the hapless Professor Kelp. Despite these highlights, Stevens was found mostly in ornamental roles in features like "Girls! Girls! Girls!" (1962) with Elvis Presley, which she reportedly loathed and was forced to participate in, creating much friction between her and Paramount, and "The Silencers" (1966), one of the Matt Helm spy spoofs with Dean Martin. Stevens would return to Playboy for two subsequent layouts in 1965 and 1968 to help boost her visibility.

Stevens began the 1970s with critically praised turns in Sam Peckinpah's "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" and "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972). In the former, she played a former prostitute who developed a tender romance with dogged cowboy Jason Robards, while in the latter, she was Ernest Borgnine's determined ex-streetwalker wife, who survived most of the horrors of the sinking ocean liner, only to perish in the final reel. The pictures helped to solidify the idea that Stevens was more than an attractive figure, and she worked steadily throughout the decade on television and in features, though few were as high profile as her early efforts. By the late 1970s, she had resorted to B-pictures like "The Manitou" (1978), and eventually turned to television, where she co-starred on "Flamingo Road" (NBC, 1980-82) as a kindly madam who aided series lead John Beck. In 1979, she directed a feature length documentary called "The American Heroine," about women from all walks of life, but the project was never released.

Stevens remained busy as she entered her fifth decade in the 1980s, though quality projects continued to elude actresses - particularly one-time sex symbols - of a certain age. She was a staple of episodic television, but her features had sunk to exploitative trash like "Chained Heat"(1983), a women-in-prison melodrama with Linda Blair, and direct-to-cable softcore efforts like "Body Chemistry III: Point of Seduction" (1994), many of which co-starred her son, Andrew Stevens. In 1989, he joined her for her second directorial effort, a low-budget comedy called "The Ranch," about a city slicker who turned an inherited ranch into a spa. That same year, she joined the cast of the daytime soap opera "Santa Barbara" (NBC, 1983-1994) as star Robin Mattson's troublemaking mother, Phyllis Blake. In the 1990s and 2000s, Stevens was a regular on television programs and in the occasional low-budget feature, though the 2004 horror film "Blessed," produced by her son, was a rare exception. She published her first novel, Razzle Dazzle, in 1999 and launched a line of fragrances for men and women that, like her career itself, emphasized sexiness.

Relationships

Thomas Eggleston

Father

Dovey Estelle Eggleston

Mother

Noble Stephens

Husband
married on September 1, 1954 divorced

Andrew Stevens

Son
born in 1955 in Memphis TN

EDUCATION

Memphis State University

Memphis , Tennessee

Milestones

1996

Joined cast of ABC soap "General Hospital"

1989

Directed first feature film, "The Ranch"

1981

Starred on TV series, "Flamingo Road"

1979

Directed first feature-length documentary, "The American Heroine"

1970

TV film debut, "In Broad Daylight"

1962

TV debut on "Johnny Ringo" episode

1959

Film debut, "Say One For Me"

Directorial debut with the A.F.I. Film, "Just For a Laugh"

Modeled as Playboy centerfold at age 19

Spotted by Fox talent scout in college production of "Bus Stop"

Formed production company, Stellavisions

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