as Estelle Caro Eggleston) is an American film, television and stage actress, who began her acting career in 1959. She is a film producer, director and pin-up girl.
Stevens was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the only child of Dovey Estelle (née Caro) and Thomas Ellett Eggleston. She married electrician Noble Herman Stephens on December 1, 1954, probably in Memphis, Tennessee, with whom she had her only child, actor/producer Andrew Stevens. She and Herman Stephens divorced three years later, although she and her son retained a variation of his surname as their own professional surnames. She has been romantically linked to Vince Edwards, Jerry Lewis, Peter Sellers, Skip Ward and Sidney Korshak. She has never verified any of these friendships.
CareerStevens was first under contract to 20th Century Fox, then dropped after six months. After winning the role of "Appassionata Von Climax" for the musical Li'l Abner (1959), she signed a contract with Paramount Pictures (1959-1963) and later Columbia Pictures (1964-1968). She shared the 1960 Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer - Female", with Tuesday Weld, Angie Dickinson and Janet Munro for Say One For Me.
In 1960, Stevens was Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for January (and had featured pictorials in 1965 and 1968). Stevens was in the 100 sexiest stars of the 20th Century (#27). During the 1960s, she was one of the ten most photographed women in the world, carving herself a distinctive 'sexy kitten' niche which was quite distinct from the overwhelming sexpot image of Marilyn Monroe and the numerous Monroe clones of the period.
In 1962, Stevens starred opposite Elvis Presley in Girls! Girls! Girls!. Later that year, she portrayed Jerry Lewis's love interest in The Nutty Professor. This was followed by other comic turns as the former "Miss Montana" beauty queen in Vincente Minnelli's The Courtship of Eddie's Father and opposite Dean Martin in the "Matt Helm" spy spoof The Silencers plus How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life.
Stevens was featured in Sam Peckinpah's western The Ballad of Cable Hogue in 1970 with Jason Robards. In 1972, she appeared in Irwin Allen's The Poseidon Adventure as "Linda Rogo" (the former-hooker wife of Ernest Borgnine's character).
Stevens appeared in dozens of TV shows. An early appearance was in the Bonanza episode "Silent Thunder" playing a deaf mute (the episode aired in December 1960) a role she played with exceptional charm and success. She was a regular on the 1981-1982 primetime soap opera Flamingo Road. She teamed with the late Sandy Dennis in a touring production of an all-female version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, playing the Oscar Madison character. She had a contract role on NBC's daytime drama Santa Barbara as Phyllis Blake from 1989 to 1990.
Stevens produced and directed two films, The Ranch (1989) and The American Heroine (1979).
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- The American Heroine (1979)
- The Ranch (1989)