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Stella Stevens, star of ‘The Nutty Professor,’ dead at 84

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Stella Stevens, a prominent leading lady in 1960s and ’70s comedies perhaps best known for playing the object of Jerry Lewis’ affection in “The Nutty Professor,” has died. She was 84.

Stevens’ estate said she died Friday in Los Angeles after a long illness.

Born Estelle Caro Eggleston in Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1938, she married at 16 and gave birth to her first and only child, actor/producer Andrew Stevens, in 1955 when she was 17, and divorced two years later. She started acting and modeling during her time at Memphis State University and made her film debut in a minor role in the Bing Crosby musical “Say One for Me” in 1959, but she considered “Li’l Abner” her big break.

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