ByEmily Browne, writer at
Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

No one knew quite how sick Shelley Duvall was until she appeared on a special episode of Dr. Phil last week. The unrecognizable and distressed Duvall sat down with Dr. Phil McGraw, who questioned her about where she lived, if she missed making movies and what had happened since. Duvall's answers were confused, disjointed and nonsensical — but she knew she needed help, and looked desperate to find it.

The episode followed Duvall as she checked into a mental health treatment center, but according to Dr. Phil, she only stayed for three days and refused traditional medication. The episode sparked outrage, with many exclaiming how exploitative it was to put a severely mentally unstable woman into the spotlight, when her agency can be called into question.

Dr. Phil's biggest critic was Stanley Kubrick's daughter, Vivian Kubrick, who tweeted a very pointed statement after the first promo for Friday's episode was released. She called it "appallingly cruel:"

Kubrick has now started a GoFundMe campaign to raise enough cash to get Shelley the help she so desperately needs. It's already received over $22,000 in 2 days, with an overall goal of $100,000. The campaign does not focus on Shelley's recent appearance on the CBS show, but hopes to raise both money and awareness:

Like many older movie stars, embarrassed finances is not uncommon. Showing your love and support for Shelley Duvall by making a donation can start her back on the road to independence and perhaps back to health and for her fans, more superb performances!

Jack Nicholson & Stanley Kubrick filming 'The Shining' Image: Flickr Ben Snooks
Jack Nicholson & Stanley Kubrick filming 'The Shining' Image: Flickr Ben Snooks

More like this:

Stanley Kubrick's directorial techniques on the set of The Shining — which of course starred Shelley Duvall as Jack Nicholson's long-suffering wife Wendy — have been called in to question since the movie was released. Jack Nicholson claimed that Kubrick was a "different director" to Duvall, and sources have cited that she was kept her in isolation, had many of her lines cut and was forced her to perform the iconic 'baseball bat' scene 127 times. Vivian herself stated in her 1980 short-documentary The Making of "The Shining," that her father repeatedly told the cast and crew not to sympathize with Shelley.

Shelley Duvall in 'The Shining' Image: Warner Bros
Shelley Duvall in 'The Shining' Image: Warner Bros

Duvall's powerful performance in The Shining skyrocketed her to fame, but her battle with mental health was only just beginning. Shelley has not made any movies since 2002, but told Dr. Phil that she missed making them, especially her time as Olive Oyl in Popeye. Let's hope that with Vivian's help and the donations raised though the GoFundMe campaign, Shelley can start to feel like her old self again.


Did you think Dr. Phil's Shelley Duvall episode was exploitative?


Latest from our Creators