Shelley Duvall, the versatile US actor known for roles in "Popeye" and "The Shining", died on Thursday.

She was 75 years old.

Citing her partner Dan Gilroy, The Hollywood Reporter said Duvall died in her sleep at her home in Blanco, Texas following complications of diabetes. 

"My dear, sweet, wonderful life partner and friend left us. Too much suffering lately, now she's fee. Fly away beautiful Shelley."

Posters of Duvall along with her co-star, the late Robin Williams, still adorn the Malta set of Popeye, which remains a tourist attraction four decades after the film was released.

The set of Popeye became a tourist attraction following the movie. Photo: Matthew MirabelliThe set of Popeye became a tourist attraction following the movie. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

She starred as Olive Oyl opposite Williams in the 1980 live-action rendition of "Popeye" directed by Robert Altman, who is credited with fuelling her movie career. 

In an interview later, Altman described her as "the best thing in the film" and revealed he had threatened to quit the project when the head of Paramount didn't want her involved.

Born July 7, 1949 in Fort Worth, Texas, Duvall was discovered by Altman -- the maverick filmmaker known for his rich characters, sharp social criticism and keen satire -- who cast her in 1970's dark comedy "Brewster McCloud."

The saucer-eyed actor developed a broad repertoire, breaking through with 1975's "Nashville," and going on to portray memorable and eccentric characters that earned her a smattering of awards including at Cannes for her role in the acclaimed 1977 drama "3 Women."

Her career was defined by her work with Altman, who she said she kept working with because "he offers me damn good roles."

"None of them have been alike," she told The New York Times in 1977.

"He has a great confidence in me, and a trust and respect for me, and he doesn't put any restrictions on me or intimidate me, and I love him."

'Annie Hall'

But it was her role in the film adaptation of Stephen King's "The Shining" that would become one of her highest profile roles, as she played opposite Jack Nicholson.

Director Stanley Kubrick put her through the ringer to perform the part of Wendy Torrance in the horror classic that sees a writer husband descend into homicidal madness and terrorize his wife and young son.

Duvall told People in 1981 the 13-month job was grueling, and that Kubrick had her "crying 12 hours a day for weeks on end."

"I will never give that much again. If you want to get into pain and call it art, go ahead, but not with me."

In one famous scene Nicholson's character tortures Duvall's with a baseball bat, which reportedly took 127 takes to satisfy Kubrick.

Duvall also made a cameo in 1977's "Annie Hall" by Woody Allen.

Later in the 1980s she made her way into children's programming.

Gilroy -- a musician who was part of the Breakfast Club and had dated Madonna -- was her longtime partner after the pair met on the 1990 Disney Channel Movie "Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme."

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