Shelley Duvall married: Marriages and Relationships

Shelley Duvall married: Marriages and Relationships

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Written By Joe Martin

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Award-winning actress Shelley Duvall, best known for her iconic roles as Olive Oyl in “Popeye” and Wendy Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” has passed away at the age of 75. Despite a career marked by significant achievements, Shelley chose to step away from the limelight, leading a quieter life until her death.

Her passing, attributed to complications from diabetes, was announced by her long-time partner, Dan Gilroy. This news has prompted many fans to reflect on her personal life, especially her relationships and marriage history. Was Shelley Duvall ever married? Let’s delve into her love life.

Shelley Duvall’s Marriage to Bernard Sampson

Before reaching the peak of her acting career, Shelley Duvall married artist Bernard Sampson in 1970. Their marriage, however, was short-lived. As Shelley’s career began to flourish, the demands and pressures of Hollywood took a toll on their relationship, leading to their divorce in 1974. Despite their split, the couple was once described as “inseparable” in a magazine article published before their breakup.

Relationships After Divorce

Following her divorce from Bernard Sampson, Shelley Duvall did not marry again. However, she had several notable relationships. In 1976, she began dating musician Paul Simon. The couple lived together for several years, but their romance ended in 1979 when Paul Simon began dating actress Carrie Fisher, who was a friend of Shelley’s at the time.

Another significant relationship in Shelley’s life was with musician Dan Gilroy. The two met on the set of the Disney show “Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme” in 1989, a show that Shelley both produced and starred in. They remained together until her death, maintaining a strong and private bond.

Shelley Duvall and Dan Gilroy: A Lasting Love

Dan Gilroy, a musician and former founding member of the popular band The Breakfast Club, shared a deep and enduring relationship with Shelley Duvall. They met in 1989 and were inseparable until her passing. Despite their low-profile relationship, Shelley and Dan’s love story is one of lasting companionship and mutual support. Dan Gilroy is also known for his brief romantic involvement with Madonna before Shelley, adding another layer of interest to their relationship.

Other Relationships

Apart from her significant relationships with Bernard Sampson, Paul Simon, and Dan Gilroy, Shelley Duvall also had a few other notable romances. Reports suggest she was involved with Ringo Starr from 1979 to 1980 and Stanley Wilson, whom she met on the set of “Popeye” in 1980. Shelley and Stanley lived together for several years and collaborated on her show “Faerie Tale Theatre” before parting ways in 1986.

A Quiet Life in Texas

In the later years of her life, Shelley Duvall and Dan Gilroy lived a quiet and peaceful life in Texas. Despite her retreat from the public eye, Shelley remained a beloved figure in Hollywood, cherished for her unique performances and the legacy she left behind. Dan Gilroy’s heartfelt tribute to Shelley after her passing reflects the deep affection and respect they shared.


Shelley Duvall’s life was marked by significant achievements in her acting career and meaningful relationships that shaped her personal life. From her brief marriage to Bernard Sampson to her enduring partnership with Dan Gilroy, Shelley’s love life was filled with notable moments and connections. Her passing leaves behind a legacy of memorable performances and a story of resilience and love.

Frequently Asked Questions

Was Shelley Duvall ever married?

Yes, Shelley Duvall was married to artist Bernard Sampson from 1970 to 1974.

Who was Shelley Duvall’s longest partner?

Shelley Duvall’s longest partner was Dan Gilroy, with whom she had a relationship from 1989 until her death in 2024.

Did Shelley Duvall have any children?

There are no records or reports indicating that Shelley Duvall had any children.

What caused Shelley Duvall’s death?

Shelley Duvall passed away due to complications from diabetes.

Did Shelley Duvall date any other famous individuals?

Yes, Shelley Duvall dated several famous individuals, including musician Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, and Stanley Wilson.

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