Stella Stevens, Elvis Presley Co-Star and 'Poseidon Adventure' Actress, Dead at 84
Actress Stella Stevens, known for her starring turns in The Nutty Professor and The Poseidon Adventure, has died. The former Elvis Presley co-star passed away in Los Angeles after the lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 84.
Stevens was a former Playboy centerfold in January 1960 and a model in her hometown of Memphis. According to Deadline, she was discovered during the period and offered a screen test with 20th Century Fox. This didn't exactly pan out, but she did end up at Paramount and Columbia under contract.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of actress, director and activist Stella Stevens. More than just a blonde bombshell, the effervescent star held her own in a variety of roles on the big and small screen.@Variety remembers her here: https://t.co/TOpMS4rlf3 pic.twitter.com/41T7HLE315— TCM (@tcm) February 17, 2023
Several memorable roles would follow alongside major screen names at the time. She would star in Girls! Girls! Girls! opposite Elvis Presley, Dean Martin in How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, Bobby Darin in Too Late Blues, Chuck Conners in Synanon, and Glenn Ford in The Courtship of Eddie's Father and others.
Stevens was a Golden Globe winner with her first film, Say One for Me, in 1959 starring Bing Crosby and Debbie Reynolds. Her biggest roles would be Jerry Lewis' love interest from the original The Nutty Professor, and then the wife of Ernest Borgnine's character in The Poseidon Adventure. The disaster film created a popular trend for the '70s and gave her career more room to thrive.
She also had roles in The Silencers, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Sol Madrid, Where Angels Go Trouble Follows! and The Secret of My Success. She also had several roles on television, appearing on Ben Casey for a major arc as a comatose woman who awakens after 13 years.
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
Other projects that featured Stevens includes Bonanza, Ben Casey, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat, Police Story, Hart to Hart, Newhart, Magnum P.I., Night Court, The Commish, Arliss, Silk Stalkings and Murder, She Wrote. Stevens also had a role on General Hospital.
According to Deadline, Stevens reportedly had regrets over her Playboy appearance and how the appearance framed her career. "I did the best I could with the tools I had and the opportunities given me," she said in a past quote, according to Deadline. "I was a divorced mom with a toddler by the time I was 17. And Playboy did as much harm as it helped. But in spite of that rough start, I did OK."
Stevens is survived by three grandchildren and her son, Andrew Stevens. She was preceded in death by longtime partner and rock musician Bob Kulick. Kulick's brother, KISS alum Bruce Kulick.0comments