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Elaine Stritch

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Also Known As: Died: July 17, 2014
Born: February 2, 1925 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: actor, acting teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A bona fide legend of Broadway, Elaine Stritch spent over five decades on the musical and dramatic stage, though her reputation as a sharp-tongued, unapologetically audacious personality spread far beyond the boards of New York and London. With her whiskey-soaked voice and wry comic timing, Stritch established herself as an unconventional leading lady in 1950s Broadway productions "Pal Joey" and "Bus Stop," with her show-stopping performance of the cynical and world-weary number "Ladies Who Lunch" from the 1970 musical "Company" becoming her career-long signature piece. The long-legged dame starred in several British sitcoms during the 1970s and remained a fixture in the American theater scene during the 1980s and 1990s, touring nationally and making a small dent in the film world with an acclaimed role in Woody Allen's 1987 film "September." She was 77 years old when she unveiled the one-woman show "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" and earned rave reviews for the autobiographical music and monologue production that won a Tony, Emmy and new fans as it morphed from Broadway to screen to cabaret. Into the new century, Stritch was tapped for scene-stealing character roles in film and TV including an...

A bona fide legend of Broadway, Elaine Stritch spent over five decades on the musical and dramatic stage, though her reputation as a sharp-tongued, unapologetically audacious personality spread far beyond the boards of New York and London. With her whiskey-soaked voice and wry comic timing, Stritch established herself as an unconventional leading lady in 1950s Broadway productions "Pal Joey" and "Bus Stop," with her show-stopping performance of the cynical and world-weary number "Ladies Who Lunch" from the 1970 musical "Company" becoming her career-long signature piece. The long-legged dame starred in several British sitcoms during the 1970s and remained a fixture in the American theater scene during the 1980s and 1990s, touring nationally and making a small dent in the film world with an acclaimed role in Woody Allen's 1987 film "September." She was 77 years old when she unveiled the one-woman show "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" and earned rave reviews for the autobiographical music and monologue production that won a Tony, Emmy and new fans as it morphed from Broadway to screen to cabaret. Into the new century, Stritch was tapped for scene-stealing character roles in film and TV including an Emmy-winning appearance on "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ), and enjoyed her status not only as a revered treasure of Broadway's old guard, but as a salty addition to any stage or screen gathering. Heath at the age of 89 in July 2014 led to fond remembrances from generations of fans and fellow actors.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 ParaNorman (2012)
5.
 Broadway: The Golden Age (2004) Herself
7.
 Autumn in New York (2000) Dolly
8.
 Small Time Crooks (2000) Chi Chi Potter
9.
 Screwed (2000) Miss Crock
10.
 Unexpected Life, An (1998) Lucinda Sadwich
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan
1944:
Moved to New York City
1944:
Made NY Stage debut as a tiger and a cow in the children's show, "Bobino"
1946:
Made Broadway debut in "Loco"
1947:
Played Regina Giddens in the Broadway production of "The Little Foxes"
1949:
Made TV debut on the eseries "The Growing Paynes" (Dumont)
1950:
Was the understudy to Ethel Merman for the Irving Berlin musical "Call Me Madam"
1952:
Cast as newspaper reporter Melba Snyder in the revival of the Rodgers and Hart show "Pal Joey"
1952:
Headlined the national tour of "Call Me Madam"
:
Regular panelist on TV's "Pantomine Quiz"
1955:
Cast as Trixie Norton in the pilot episode of "The Honeymooners" (CBS); fired by Jackie Gleason
1956:
Earned a Tony nomination for her dramatic role as Grace, the diner owner, in "Bus Stop"
1956:
Made film debut in "The Scarlet Hour"
1960:
Starred on the short-lived CBS sitcom "My Sister Eileen"
1961:
Received a Tony nomination for her role in Noel Coward's Broadway musical "Sail Away!"; Coward wrote the role for Stritch; reprised role in 1962 for the London production
1962:
Assumed the role of Martha in the Broadway production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
1965:
Last feature for 12 years, "Who Killed Teddy Bear?"
1965:
Featured on the CBS series "The Trials of O'Brien"
1970:
Delivered a scene-stealing turn as the acerbic Joanne in the Broadway musical "Company"; performed what became her signature song "The Ladies Who Lunch"; earned a Tony nomination
1970:
Appeared in the documentary "Original Cast Album: Company"; film depicted the gruelling 15-hour recording of the original cast album of the stage musical; Stritch's many takes and growing frustrations was one of the more fascinating parts of the film
1975:
Moved to London; starred in the British TV comedy, "Two's Company"
1977:
Last film for a decade, "Providence" opposite John Gielgud and Ellen Burstyn
1983:
Returned to New York City
1985:
Appeared in the all-star concert version of the Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical "Follies"
1986:
Played Ellen Burstyn's mother on the short-lived ABC sitcom "The Ellen Burstyn Show"
1987:
Made return to features after a decade in Woody Allen's "September"
:
Joined the Stella Adler Conservatory as an advanced acting teacher
1990:
Had starring role in the busted CBS pilot for a sitcom based on "Steel Magnolias"
1992:
Created the role of lawyer Lanie Siegel on an episode of the NBC series "Law & Order"; reprised role four years later in another episode
1993:
Played Parthenia Hawks in Harold Prince's revival of the landmark musical, "Show Boat"
1996:
Earned fourth Tony nomination for her performance as the alcoholic sister Claire in the revival of Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance"
1997:
Featured as Dyan Cannon's mother in the comedy "Out to Sea"
1999:
Reprised starring role in concert version of "Sail Away"
2002:
Appeared in the one-woman show, "Elaine Stritch at Liberty"; began performances Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre and later moved to Broadway (aired on HBO in 2003)
2004:
Received a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word for <i>The Best Halloween Ever</i>
2005:
Cast as James Gandolfini's mother in "Romance & Cigarettes" directed by John Turturro (released theatrically in 2007)
2007:
Appeared as the mother of Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) on the NBC hit series "30 Rock"; earned Emmy nomination (2008, 2009, 2010) for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
2011:
Returned to the stage for "Elaine Stritch At Home at The Carlyle: Singin¿ Sondheim¿Again. Why Not?" at the Café Carlyle
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Convent of the Sacred Heart: Birmingham , Michigan -
Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research: New York , New York - 1944

Notes

Some sources list Ms. Stritch's birth year as 1926.

"I put up this facade of being terribly sure of myself. But underneath I had enormous fear of going onstage, of losing my talent, of--hell, I was afraid of everything." --Elaine Stritch on why she began drinking before performing in the 1950s, quoted in Daily News, May 19, 1996.

On her favorite review: "It was in USA TODAY. Can't think of the critic's name. At the end of the review, he said, 'Elaine Stritch is the most dangerous actress on Broadway.' As Noel [Coward] said in his song, 'I couldn't have liked it more.'" --quoted in InTheater, November 8, 1999.

"Working works for me. Winning doesn't. Winning is difficult for me. Because I am a winner, but I find it so hard to win. And the more reason I wanted to turn that around tonight and accept my prize with graciousness. And I blew it. I was anxious to tell the audience how I felt, and they rang the curtain down before the play was over. What I'm doing is blowing it now. I can't play it any other way. I'm telling you the truth how I feel." --Stritch commenting after her acceptance speech at the 56th annual Tony Awards broadcast was cut off in the live CBS telecast

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Joe Allen. Restaurateur.
companion:
Gig Young. Actor.
companion:
Ben Gazzara. Actor.
husband:
John Bay. Actor. English; married on February 2, 1973 until his death in 1982.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
George J Stritch. Rubber company executive.
mother:
Mildred Stritch.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Am I Blue?: Living with Diabetes and Dammit, Having Fun" Evans

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