'The Shining' star Shelley Duvall to return to acting after 20 years

The actor, 73, hasn't appeared in a film since 2002.


Shelley Duvall is headed back to the big screen!

The actor, who is best known for her role as Wendy in "The Shining" and Olive Oyl in "Popeye," which both came out in 1980, has not appeared in a film since 2002.

TODAY has confirmed that Duvall, 73, will appear in upcoming indie horror movie "The Forest Hills," directed by Scott Goldberg and produced by Scott Hansen.

According to a press release shared with TODAY, the film follows "a disturbed man (Rico) who is tormented by nightmarish visions, after enduring head trauma while camping in the Catskill Mountains."

Duvall will play the mother of Rico, who will be played by Chiko Mendez. Edward Furlong and Dee Wallace will also appear in the movie.

In a photo of Duvall in-character for the film, she wears a colorful striped sweater and looks directly into the camera.

Shelley Duvall in character for "The Forest Hills."Scott Hansen / Digital Thunderdome

A second photo shared with TODAY shows Duvall with Hansen and crew member Steve Wallenda while director Goldberg appears on FaceTime.

Goldberg told Deadline that the film's creative team are "huge fans of 'The Shining,'" calling it "one of (his) favorite horror movies of all time."

“Shelley contributed to ‘The Shining’ being an absolute masterpiece by giving her all, and performing in a way that really showcased the fear and horror of a mother in isolation," Goldberg said.

DP Scott Hansen on the right, Gaffer Steve Wallenda on the left and director Scott Goldberg via FaceTime.Scott Hansen / Digital Thunderdome

While "The Shining" is one of the roles Duvall is most known for, she has been frank about its impact on her life. The film's grueling schedule meant she was playing a traumatized, distressed character for 56 weeks straight, often working long workdays six days a week due to the stringent demands of director Stanley Kubrick.

“(Kubrick) doesn’t print anything until at least the 35th take,” Duvall said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “After a while, your body rebels. It says: ‘Stop doing this to me. I don’t want to cry every day.’ And sometimes just that thought alone would make me cry. To wake up on a Monday morning, so early, and realize that you had to cry all day because it was scheduled — I would just start crying. I’d be like, ‘Oh no, I can’t, I can’t.’ And yet I did it. I don’t know how I did it. Jack said that to me, too. He said, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ “

While the film was challenging, it wasn't what led to her departure from acting: That didn't happen for another 22 years, after Duvall starred in the movie "Manna from Heaven." After that, she mostly fell off the map and was living privately in her home state of Texas, until she was contacted by a producer for "Dr. Phil" McGraw in 2016. McGraw and his film crew filmed an interview with Duvall that the Hollywood Reporter called "disturbing," where Duvall "disclosed paranoid fantasies" and appeared to be dealing with untreated mental illness.

“I found out the kind of person he is the hard way,” Duvall said in the Hollywood Reporter interview. “My mother didn’t like him, either. A lot of people, like Dan (Gilroy, her partner), said, ‘You shouldn’t have done that, Shelley.’"

A “Dr. Phil” spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter that they wanted to “document the struggle and bring amazing resources to change her trajectory,” but “she declined our initial offer for inpatient treatment.” Since then, Duvall has not spoken about her health or mental state.