Shelley Alexis Duvall (born July 7, 1949) is an award-winning American film and television actress. She began her career in the 1970s, playing characters in the movies of Robert Altman, and eventually starred in movies by Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Terry Gilliam, Steve Martin and Tim Burton.
Duvall was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Bobbie Ruth Jaz Crawford (née Massengale), a real estate broker, and Robert Richardson Duvall, a defense attorney (not related to the actor, Robert Duvall). She has three brothers, Scott, Shane, and Stewart. Duvall graduated from Waltrip High School. Duvall was working as a cosmetics saleswoman at a Houston Foley's when she was discovered at a party by production scouts for Altman's Brewster McCloud (1970).
After an interview with Robert Altman, Duvall won the lead role of Suzanne, the free-spirited love interest to Bud Cort's reclusive Brewster in Brewster McCloud. Altman was so impressed with Duvall's work that he cast the young actress in his next films, including McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Thieves Like Us (1974), and Nashville (1975). In 1977, Duvall was awarded a Best Actress by the Cannes Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for her portrayal of the delusional Millie Lammoreaux in Altman's 3 Women. That same year, Duvall appeared in Annie Hall as Woody Allen's one-night stand and hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live.