Who is Stella Stevens?
Stella Eggleston was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi USA, on 1 October 1938 – her zodiac sign is Libra, and she holds American nationality. She’s a retired actress, film producer and director, with more than 140 acting credits to her name, while she’s probably still known best for her portrayal of Linda Rogo in the 1972 action adventure movie “The Poseidon Adventure”. It was directed by Ronald Neame, starred Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Shelley Winters, and follows nine people who are on a cruise ship which sinks; the movie won six awards, including an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song, while it was nominated for 13 other awards.
Early life and education
Stella was raised in Yazoo City as an only child, by her mother Dovey Estelle (nee Caro) and father Thomas Ellett Eggleston; she was four when the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where her mother worked as a nurse at a local hospital, and her father as an insurance salesman.
Stella became interested in acting while attending St. Annes Catholic School, appearing in various plays performed there; she eventually moved to Sacred Heart School, and later to Memphis Tech High School, from which she matriculated in 1955.
It was only after enrolling at Memphis State College that she became interested in acting, as well as modelling; upon launching her acting career, Stella dropped out of college.
Roles in movies
Stella made her debut film appearance in the 1959 romantic musical comedy “Say One for Me”, while a couple of her following roles were later that year in the drama “The Blue Angel” and the musical family comedy “Li’l Abner”, followed in 1961 by the crime thriller drama “Man-Trap”.
What marked the ‘60s for Stella, making her a popular actress, was her portrayal of the lead character Gail Hendricks in the 1966 action adventure comedy “The Silencers”, directed by Phil Karlson, and which also starred Dean Martin and Daliah Lavi. It follows retired agent Matt Helm who’s begun working again, trying to prevent an evil organization from starting World War III; the movie was nominated for three awards.
A couple of Stella’s most notable performances in the ‘70s were in the ‘72 action crime drama “Slaughter”, the ‘75 action “Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold”, and the ‘78 science fiction horror “The Manitou”.
She played Captain Taylor in the 1983 action crime drama “Chained Heat”, written and directed by Paul Nicholas, and which stared Linda Blair, John Vernon and Sybil Danning. It tells the story of Carol Henderson as she’s adapting to her life in prison; the movie ‘won’ a 1984 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting actress (Sybil Danning). Stella appeared in a couple of other popular movies in the ‘80s, such as the 1984 western “No Man’s Land”, the 1986 comedy “The Longshot”, and the 1987 science fiction horror comedy “Monster in the Closet”.
She portrayed Natalie Parris, one of the main characters in the 1997 romantic fantasy comedy movie “The Christmas List”, directed by Charles Jarrott, and which also starred Mimi Rogers and Rob Stewart. The film follows perfume saleswoman Melody Parris who’s made herself a Christmas list, and it was nominated for two awards.
Stella’s final three roles in movies, prior to retiring from acting, were in the western “Hell to Pay”, the romantic family comedy “Popstar” both in 2005, and the 2010 action adventure comedy “Megaconda”.
Roles in TV series
Stella made her debut TV series appearance in the 1960 episode “Craig’s Will” of the hit crime comedy drama “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, and the ‘60s then saw her appear in an episode or two of various series, such as the western drama “Johnny Ringo”, the action crime adventure “Hawaiian Eye”, and the western “Bonanza”.
You were the best leading lady in all the Matt Helm films. And there were a lot of beautiful, talented women. You even sparkled in the mud.😘 pic.twitter.com/mS1cowfssi
— Pye (@Pyewacketk) August 15, 2017
In 1979, Stella played Louise Crawford in the adventure mini-series “The French Atlantic Affair”; it starred Jean-Pierre Aumont, Horst Buchholz and James Coco, and follows a cruise ship which has been hijacked by terrorists. The mini-series won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences.
From 1980 through 1982, Stella starred as Lute-Mae Sanders in the romantic drama “Flamingo Road”, and the year 1988 saw her play Mrs Loretta Kemble in the action comedy “Adventures Beyond Belief” – it starred Skyler Cole, Jill Whitlow and Bill Mitchell, and tells the story of a rich girl who’s searching for her mother, believing that she didn’t die in a car crash more than 10 years earlier.
Stella played the supporting character Phyllis Blake in the 1993 romantic drama “Santa Barbara”, and the remainder of the ‘90s saw her appear in an episode or two of a couple of popular series, including the mystery crime drama “In the Heat of the Night”, the action drama “Dangerous Curves”, and the crime comedy drama “The Commish”.
Her three final TV series roles were in three episodes of the soap opera “General Hospital” in 1999, five episodes of the comedy “Strip Mall” in 2001, and the 2006 episode “The Crying Game” of the comedy “Twenty Good Years”.
Stella produced and directed the 1979 documentary movie “The American Heroine”, while she also directed the 1989 romantic comedy film “The Ranch”.
She could’ve been seen featured in numerous documentaries, including the video “Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History – The 1950s: The Golden Era of the Musical”, the movie “Western Legenden – Made in Hollywood”, and the video “Hollywood Singing & Dancing: A Musical History – 1960’s”, all of which were released in 2009.
Stella received special thanks for the 2020 action fantasy horror movie “Frankenpimp’s Revenge: The Romeo and Juliet Massacre”.
She’s made a guest appearance in many talk-shows, such as “The John Kerwin Show”, “Living in TV Land”, and “Rerunit: Some Things Are Worth Repeating”.
Awards and nominations
Stella won a 1960 Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female, for her performance in “Say One for Me”.
She was also nominated for a 1962 Golden Laurel Award for Top Female New Personality, placing eighth.
Where is she today?
Since March 2016, Stella’s been living in a nursing home in Los Angeles, California, because of her struggle with Alzheimer’s.
Love life and relationships
Stella hasn’t shared a lot with the public in regards of her love life, but it’s widely known that she was only 16 years old when she married electrician Noble Herman Stephens. The two exchanged vows in Memphis on 1 December 1954, in a private ceremony attended by only the closest of their friends and family members. Stella gave birth to their son Herman Andrew Stevens on 10 June 1955, and he’s today an actor, film producer, director and executive. Herman remains Stella’s only child – she and Noble divorced in 1957.
Stella began dating American guitarist and record producer Robert Joel ‘Bob’ Kulick in 1983, and they remained together until his death on 28 May 2020; Bob had often visited Stella at her nursing home, nearly every day until he passed away.
As of July 2022, Stella’s single, was married to Noble Herman Stephens, and has a son with him.
Hobbies and other interests
Stella’s became interested in music at a very early age, and was a member of the vocal ensemble The Skip-Jacks in the ‘60s; they gained recognition when they sang theme songs in the comedy series “The Patty Duke Show”, and the animated comedy series “The Flintstones”.
Stella was also a successful model, and appeared in the magazine “Playboy” in both 1965 and 1968, while she was once named Playmate of the Month.
She loved to travel, and her career took her all around the US, while she vacationed in various European and Asian countries; Stella’s dream travel destination was Paris, France where she spent many holidays.
She has her own favorite actor and actress, Clint Eastwood and Helena Bonham Carter, while some of Stella’s favorite movies include “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, “Dirty Harry” and “Pale Rider”.
Age, height and net worth
Stella’s age is 83. She has long blonde hair and blue eyes, her height is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) and she weighs around 130lbs (60kgs).
As of July 2022, her net worth is estimated at over $10 million.