Born in Mississippi, raised in Memphis, Tennessee, actress, model, producer, director, and all-around star Stella Stevens died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in February of this year in Los Angeles, California. I’m a little late with this tribute but I wanted to do it nevertheless because Stevens was always a welcome presence in movies and television. From The Love Boat to Wonder Woman to Hart to Hart, she appeared in numerous television shows that I watched religiously as a kid. Before that, Stevens had been Playboy Playmate of the Month for January 1960 and starred in such films as Girls, Girls, Girls (1962), The Nutty Professor (1963), and The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970). Prior to that, she married and had a child at 16 (her son Andrew Stevens grew up to be an actor and director). Soon after, she divorced and began her film career in earnest.
The Poseidon Adventure (1972) is probably her most widely known film role, and for good reason because she’s tremendous in it. When she died, many fans recited one of her most beloved lines from the film —“Just panties. What else do I need?”—as a tribute to her talent for playing ditzy and sexy floozies so well. She’d played many by that point and had mastered the art of it better than most ever have.
In honor of Stella Stevens, here’s a dazzling array of shots from her role as the beautiful but bumbling secret agent Gail Hendricks in the swingin’ sixties Dean Martin vehicle The Silencers (1966). The first of four movies based on the popular Matt Helm spy novels, The Silencers is a fun and fluffy spy romp. Stella and Deano had fantastic chemistry, so their scenes are charmingly sexy and silly. In my opinion, the film featured Stella at her most luminous, while also providing ample evidence of her terrific comedic talents. She’s distractingly beautiful and nails every bit of physical comedy that the role calls for. She’s an absolute delight to watch.
Rest in peace, Stella Stevens.
2 thoughts on “Stella”
RIP Stella Stevens, you’ll be missed, but not forgotten.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That is the truth.
LikeLiked by 1 person