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Susan Tyrrell

Susan Tyrrell

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Also Known As: Susan Jillian Creamer Died: June 17, 2012
Born: March 18, 1945 Cause of Death: Undetermined
Birth Place: San Francisco, California, USA Profession: actor, voice actor, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Flinty blonde actress Susan Tyrell specialized in spangly, trashy film femmes since she made her screen debut in "Shoot Out" (1971). Ironically, Susan Tyrrell began her career as a teenager playing the ingénue in the stage comedy "Time Out for Ginger" opposite Art Carney. After settling in New York City, however, she began to excel at playing women of questionable virtue in stage productions like "The Time of Your Life" and "Camino Real." In John Huston's "Fat City" (1972), Tyrrell offered a brilliant characterization of an alcoholic involved in an interracial romance, for which she won a richly deserved Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Like many female actors, however, she found good roles were few and far between as the years went by. Tyrrell was relegated to portraying hardened females, like the loose woman discarded by Gene Hackman in "Zandy's Bride" (1974) and George C Scott's mistress in "Islands in the Stream" (1976). Capitalizing on these qualities, she played Carroll Baker's sloppy daughter-in-law in "Andy Warhol's Bad" (1976) and an unabashed lesbian apartment building manager in "Angel" (1984) and its sequel "Avenging Angel" (1985). She was delightful as Johnny Depp's...

Flinty blonde actress Susan Tyrell specialized in spangly, trashy film femmes since she made her screen debut in "Shoot Out" (1971). Ironically, Susan Tyrrell began her career as a teenager playing the ingénue in the stage comedy "Time Out for Ginger" opposite Art Carney. After settling in New York City, however, she began to excel at playing women of questionable virtue in stage productions like "The Time of Your Life" and "Camino Real." In John Huston's "Fat City" (1972), Tyrrell offered a brilliant characterization of an alcoholic involved in an interracial romance, for which she won a richly deserved Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Like many female actors, however, she found good roles were few and far between as the years went by. Tyrrell was relegated to portraying hardened females, like the loose woman discarded by Gene Hackman in "Zandy's Bride" (1974) and George C Scott's mistress in "Islands in the Stream" (1976). Capitalizing on these qualities, she played Carroll Baker's sloppy daughter-in-law in "Andy Warhol's Bad" (1976) and an unabashed lesbian apartment building manager in "Angel" (1984) and its sequel "Avenging Angel" (1985). She was delightful as Johnny Depp's acid-breathing grandmother with a soft spot for a bad kid in John Waters' "Cry Baby" (1990). Her performances as motorchicks or 1950s-style moms in films that were either self-consciously campy - like her turn as Midge in "Big Top Pee-Wee" (1988) - or so delirious that they descended into camp, as in "Rockula" (1990). Much of her small screen work was in a similar vein like her performance as a prisoner in "Willow B: Women in Prison" (ABC, 1980) and the lady of the evening who engages in fisticuffs with Elizabeth Taylor's "Poker Alice" (CBS, 1987). The beloved character actress passed away on June 18, 2012.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Kid-Thing (2012)
2.
 Buddy Boy (1999) Sal
3.
 Relax...It's Just Sex (1998) Alicia Pillsbury
5.
6.
 Powder (1995) Maxine
7.
 Motorama (1991) Bartender
8.
 Cry Baby (1990) Ramona
9.
 Rockula (1990) Chuck The Bartender
10.
 Far From Home (1989) Agnes Reed
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in New Canaan, CT
1962:
Won lead role in the touring company of "Time Out for Ginger", co-starring Art Carney; profiled by <i>LOOK</i> magazine
1969:
Worked off-Broadway and in Lincoln Center productions, frequently cast as trollops and fallen women in such plays as "Camino Real" and "The Time of Your Life"
1971:
Made feature film debut in "The Steagle"
1972:
Landed breakthrough film role in "Fat City," directed by John Huston; received Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as the blowsy alcoholic involved in an interracial romance
1973:
Co-starred in "Catch My Soul," a musical based on Shakespeare's "Othello"
1978:
Made TV debut in the NBC movie "Lady of the House"
1979:
Co-starred in the Broadway play "Father's Day"; opened and closed on the same night
1980:
Appeared with Anne Archer in "A Couple of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking"
1981:
Series debut as a regular, played George Dzundza's wife on the ABC sitcom "Open All Night"
1983:
Provided character voices for the animated feature "Fire and Ice"
1984:
Cast as the lesbian landlady to the titular "Angel," a teenaged hooker played by Donna Wilkes
1985:
Reprised her role as the lesbian landlady in the sequel "Avenging Angel"
1985:
Acted in the ABC crime drama "MacGruder and Loud"
1986:
Starred in the acclaimed L.A. production of Tom Eyen's "Why Hanna's Skirt Won't Stay Down" staged by Ron Link
1987:
Appeared opposite Elizabeth Taylor in the CBS movie "Poker Alice"
1988:
Co-starred in CBS miniseries "Sidney Sheldon's Windmills of the Gods"
1988:
Played Midge Montana in the comedy sequel "Big Top Pee-wee"
1990:
Played the title character's (Johnny Depp) grandmother in "Cry-Baby," written and directed by John Waters
1991:
Wrote and performed the one-woman show "My Rotten Life"
1995:
Co-starred in HBO original film "Comes the Dawn"
1997:
Voiced the character Achira on the syndicated animated series "Extreme Ghostbusters"
1998:
Stared in the L.A. premiere of Martin Sherman's play "A Table for a King"
1999:
Made cameo as the mother of a lesbian in "Relax, It's Just Sex"
1999:
Acted in the psychological thriller "Buddy Boy"
2003:
Cast as Ella the Fortune Teller in Larry Charles' "Masked and Anonymous"
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Notes

In the spring of 2000, Tyrrell underwent surgery to remove the bottom half of both of her legs because of a blood disease (essential thrombocythemia) which halted her circulation.

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