If some kind of soothsayer or fortune-teller had declared 50 years ago that Stella Stevens and Raquel Welch would die within two days of each other in February 2023, somebody would have said “well, that would be coincidental,” given that both actresses were more or less at their marquee-brand, sex-symbol peak in early ’72. But Welch was a bigger name then, and her legend looms larger now.
I was always respectful of Stevens’ fame, atractiveness and sense of humor, but I never thought she was especially good in anything except Sam Peckinpah‘s The Ballad of Cable Hogue (’70). Film-lore-wise Stevens got lucky three times — Jerry Lewis‘s The Nutty Professor (’63), Cable Hogue and Irwin Allen‘s dreadful The Poseidon Adventure (’72). Otherwise, not so much but then again each and every day she was “Stella Stevens”…a pretty good deal for a few decades.
Roughly seven years ago Stevens moved to a long-term Alzheimer’s care facility in Los Angeles. I didn’t know that and I’m sorry. She passed from Alzheimer’s earlier today at age 84. Hugs and condolences.