Stella Stevens (born Estelle Caro Eggleston) is an American actress and director born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, on 1 October 1938, the only child of Dovey Estelle Caro Eggleston and Thomas Ellett Eggleston. The family moved to Tennessee when she was four, and she married Herman Stephens in 1954 and gave birth to a son, Andrew, in Memphis on 10 June 1955. The Stevenses divorced a year later, and Stella Stevens moved with her son to California.
Stevens first appeared onscreen with a minor role in 1959’s Say One for Me, earning a Golden Globe as Most Promising Female Newcomer. In January 1960 she was Playboy’s Playmate of the Month. Over the next two decades, she appeared in films with a number of well-known actors, including Bobby Darin (John Cassavetes’s 1962 film, Too Late Blues), Elvis Presley (1962’s Girls! Girls! Girls!), Jerry Lee Lewis (1962’s The Nutty Professor), Dean Martin (Matt Helm’s 1966 picture, The Silencers), Jason Robards (Sam Peckinpah’s 1970 movie, The Ballad of Cable Hogue), and Gene Hackman (1972’s The Poseidon Adventure). Stevens was also featured in an episode of Bonanza directed by the esteemed Robert Altman in 1960.
Discovered while performing in a school production of Bus Stop at Memphis State College, Stevens first appeared onscreen as “Chorine” in the 1959 film Say One for Me. Stevens eventually moved behind the camera, producing and directing the 1979 documentary The American Heroine and directing the feature film The Ranch, starring her son, Andrew, in 1989. She also continued to act, primarily on television, through 2010, appearing on soap operas such as Santa Barbara (1989–90) and General Hospital (1996–99) as well as making guest appearances on numerous other shows.
- Internet Movie Database website, www.imdb.com
- David Martindale, Biography (June 2001)
- Stella Stevens website, www.stellastevens.biz