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Shelley Duvall, Then and Now

Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Shelley Duvall has surfaced publicly after years away from the spotlight in a new and shocking Dr. Phil interview that has drawn criticism and calls to boycott the talk show.

The 67-year-old actress, who played Jack Nicholson's wife in Stanley Kubrick's 1980 thriller The Shining and Olive Oyl, love interest of Robin Williams' Popeye in the 1980 film Popeye, signaled on the talk show she is battling mental illness.

"I'm very sick, I need help," she told Dr. Phil McGraw in the interview, which is set to air Friday.

"Well, that's why I'm here," he replies. 

Duvall retired from acting and kept away from the spotlight about 15 years ago, when she filmed the comedy movie Manna from Heaven. In the interview, parts of which were released on YouTube, she talks about the late Williams, saying she doesn't think he is dead, but is rather "shape-shifting."

"Do you see him?" Dr. Phil asks her, to which she replies, "Have, yes."

She also says, "The man who's threatening me is the Sheriff of Nottingham" and that she has a "worrying disc" inside of her.

Many people took to social media to slam Dr. Phil for the interview, saying he is "exploiting" Duvall. Some, including The Shining director's daughter Vivian Kubrick, called for a boycott of Dr. Phil.

She posted on her Twitter page Wednesday an open letter to the host, saying he was putting the actress "'on show' while she is suffering from a pitiable state of ill health."

"Unquestionably, this is purely a form of lurid and exploitive entertainment—it's appallingly cruel," she wrote.

"Whatever dignity a mere unfortunate creature might have in this world is denied by your displaying her in this way," Vivian continued. "I recoil in complete disgust. I hope others will join me in boycotting your utterly heartless form of entertainment, because it has nothing to do with compassionate healing.