Shelley Duvall flashes wide eyes in 1971

Jan. 19, 1971: Actress Shelley Duvall at the Bistro restaurant in Beverly Hills.

A story by Dan Knapp in the Feb. 7, 1971 Los Angeles Times began:

By golly, her name is Shelley Duvall, and she’s as unspoiled as a just-polished apple. She’s sitting at a table at the Bistro, and who cares if she doesn’t know what vichyssoise is? (“Mmmmm. It’s real good. Doesn’t even taste like there are potatoes in it!”)

She’s got a Kewpie doll face and Raggedy Ann eyes so big you’re sure cymbals are going to clash when her lids come together. And come together they do. Often. The lashes, in fact, are so long they threaten lacerations of both her pink cheeks and her unfurled forehead. She reflects her uncomplicated, homespun, 21-year past in and around Houston, and an increasing complex present–she just made her film debut in director Robert Altman’s mind blower “Brewster McCloud.” She’s wearing an orange dress she made herself and very chic laced buckskin boots she picked up in a little trading post called Nieman Marcus.

Shelley plays the dingaling Houston Astrodome guide who awakens Brewster to the joys of the conjugal garden in the film. She also tips the cops off about Brewster (Bud Cort) – a young man who builds his own set of wings, and, under the mystical and more than mildly aviary spell of a lady name Louise (Sally Kellerman), kills a lot of noxious types.

“That was the only thing I didn’t like about the movie,” she says. “Doing that to brewster. I was ready to fly away with him on those beautiful wings. …

Duvall appeared in numerous films and television shows, including lead roles in the 1980 movies “Popeye” and “The Shining.” She retired in 2002.

The Bill Varie image below accompanied Knapp’s story in the Feb. 7, 1971 Los Angeles Times.

Jan. 19, 1971: Actress Shelley Duvall in the Bistro restaurant in Beverly Hills. This photo appeared in the Feb. 7, 1971 Los Angeles Times. Credit: Bill Varie/Los Angeles Times.