​Actress Elaine Stritch dies at 89

Elaine Stritch, star of the stage, film and television, has died. She was 89.

She died on Thursday in Birmingham, Mich., of natural causes, according to Brigade Marketing.

Stritch, known for her husky voice, won several awards throughout her six-decade career: a Tony and three Emmys, including one for most recent for her role as Colleen Donaghy, Alec Baldwin's firecracker of a mother on NBC's "30 Rock." She also took home an Emmy in 1993 for a guest appearance on "Law & Order" and another in 2004 for the television documentary of her one woman show.

Born on Feb. 2, 1925, in Detroit, Stritch went on to train at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York City. While at Stella Adler's acting school, Marlon Brando and Walter Matthau were her classmates.

She made her stage debut in 1944 before hitting Broadway for the first time in 1946's "Loco" in 1946.

Many notable Broadway credits followed, including the original production of William Inge's 1955 play "Bus Stop," the 1961 musical "Sail Away," Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical "Company," the 1996 revival of "A Delicate Balance" and her 2001 Tony Award-winning one-woman show, "Elaine Stritch at Liberty."

Woody Allen tapped Stritch for two of his films: "September" (1987) and "Small Time Crooks" (2000). Other movie credits include "Out to Sea" (1997), "Autumn in New York" (2000), "Screwed" (2000) and "Monster-in-Law" (2005). In 2012, she voiced the grandmother character in the animated film, "ParaNorman."

Stritch's early TV roles included appearancse on "The Growing Paynes" (1949) and the "Goodyear Television Playhouse" (1953-55). She also starred in three episodes of "The Cosby Show."

She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995.

This past February marked the theatrical release of the documentary "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," which chronicled Stritch's life both on- and off-screen.

When CBS News' Lee Cowan profiled Stritch in March for "CBS Sunday Morning" Stritch showed off her sense of humor:

" 'Oh my God look at that, she's 89 years old!' " said Stritch.

"Do you feel 89?" asked Cowan.

"No!"

"I'm sorry I asked!"

"I'm sorry you asked, too!" she laughed.

During that same meeting, the brassy Stritch told Cowan, "I'm loaded with talent."

"And you're not shy about saying that?" he responded.

"Oh no, I'm loaded! I loved music, and I loved a rhythm, and loved [singing] -- I loved all that stuff. And I loved musical comedy. Ooooh!"

Stritch was married to John Bay from 1973 until his death in 1982.

She is survived by nieces and nephews Frank Sullivan Moran, Jr. , Sally Bolton Hanley, Christopher George Bolton, Midge Moran, Perrine Moran, Elaine Moran Kelly, John Martin Bolton and their families.

Comments