Broadway legend Elaine Stritch dies at 89
TORONTO — Elaine Stritch, star of stage and screen, died Thursday morning. She was 89.
The actress passed away at home in Birmingham, Michigan, according to friend Julie Keyes.
“I suspect Elaine Stritch won’t know how to rest-in-peace,” tweeted actress Mia Farrow, who called her an “iconic entertainer” and “force of nature.”
Although a fixture in New York City for many years, Stritch was a Michigan native. She also spent years in England, where she worked on stage and television.
Stritch debuted on Broadway in the 1946 comedy Loco and went on to earn Tony Award nominations for her work in Bus Stop, Sail Away, Company and A Delicate Balance.
In 1994, she appeared in a production of Show Boat for Canadian producer Garth Drabinsky.
She won a Tony in 2001 for her one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty.
Stritch also appeared in many TV shows, including her Emmy-winning role as the mother of Alec Baldwin’s character in 30 Rock. She also had Emmys for a guest role on Law & Order in 1993 and a 2004 special about her Broadway show.
On the big screen, Stritch starred opposite Charlton Heston in 1956’s Three Violent People, Rock Hudson in 1957’s A Farewell to Arms, and Tony Curtis in 1958’s The Perfect Furlough — to name only a few. She starred in Woody Allen’s 1987 film September and 2000’s Small Time Crooks.
Stritch also had roles in Autumn in New York, Monster in Law, Cadillac Man and Cocoon: The Return. In 2000’s Screwed, she appeared with Canadian actor Norm Macdonald.
Stritch is credited as “eulogist” in Matthew Barney’s epic film River of Fundament, which played at this year’s Luminato Festival in Toronto.
The actress earned a Grammy nomination for the children’s album The Best Halloween Ever in 2005 and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995.
Stritch was outspoken and unabashedly wild. “I drink and I love to drink,” she told the New York Times in 1968. “It’s part of my life.”
She was married to actor and playwright John Bay from 1973 until his death in 1982 but they had no children.
On social media, stars were quick to share their thoughts on her passing:
What a life! 89 full years. A true legend & one of my all time favorites. R.I.P. #ElaineStritch
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) July 17, 2014
Here’s to the lady who lunched: Elaine Stritch, we love you. May your heaven be a booze-soaked, no-pants solo show at the Carlyle. Thank you
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) July 17, 2014
I was lucky enough to see Elaine Stritch’s one woman show and meet her. One of a kind and just the wittiest. So sad to hear of her passing.
— josh groban (@joshgroban) July 17, 2014
Elaine Stritch man. Hell of a performer, spirit and woman. This one really hurts. Today’s work is for you ma’am. Crazy love.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) July 17, 2014
RIP Elaine Stritch. You were one of my biggest inspirations growing up. #ladieswholunch
— Beth Behrs (@BethBehrs) July 17, 2014
Farewell to the great Elaine Stritch. She was a trip. Loved working with her. Shared a few laughs, and a birthdate. Something of a genius.
— Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) July 17, 2014
© Shaw Media, 2014