89 (passed away Jul. 17th, 2014)
Feb. 2nd, 1925
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Elaine Stritch's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
A brash, incorrigible scene-stealer now entering her sixth decade in a career that has had many highs and lows, veteran Elaine Stritch certainly lives up to the Stephen Sondheim song "I'm Still Here". Having stolen so many moments on stage that she could be convicted of grand larceny, this tough old broad broaching 80 with the still-shapely legs, puffy blonde hairdo and deep, whiskey voice isn't quitting anytime soon - or so it seems. Born in Detroit in 1925 and educated at a finishing school, she prepared for the stage at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School and made her debut in 1944. She made it to Broadway two years later and has since become the toast of both Broadway and London's West End, collecting a number of trophies on both continents over the years for such award-winning turns as "Bus Stop", "Sail Away", "A Delicate Balance", "Show Boat" and "Company". Through sheer personality alone, her cacophonous singing voice has miraculously taken classic songs from Richard Rodgers (I) and Lorenz Hart to Noel Coward and Stephen Sondheim and put her indelible stamp on them. She was a supporting player in several films, including A Farewell to Arms (1957) with Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones (I), and dabbled on comedy TV, with the series "My Sister Eileen" (1960), but never made a strong name for herself in either of those mediums. In the early 1970's she married English actor John Bay and moved to London. She scored first on stage, then on TV with Donald Sinden in "Two's Company" (1975). Returning to America alone, she offered sly, abrasive cameos in both sitcoms and dramatic features. At age 76 Elaine is still throwing out zingers on stage and recently copped the Tony, Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Circle Critics and New York Drama Critics awards for her candid one-woman musical memoir Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (2002) (TV). The show chronicles her notorious private life, which included a long bout with the bottle (to curb her stage fright) and a destructive relationship with fellow alcoholic Gig Young. Add to that a fair share of Hollywood gossip all cleverly packaged up with a still razor-sharp wit and show-stopping patter songs and you have what Elaine Stritch is all about. Truly one of a kind.
- She was nominated for a 2003 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Theatre Award for her performance as Best Actress in a Musical or Entertainment in "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" at The Old Vic Theatre of 2002.
- Spoofed by Forbidden Broadway (an ongoing collection of parodies of Broadway shows and performers) in the song "Stritch," itself a humorous send-up of the song "Zip" from the musical "Pal Joey."
- Made a "Living Landmark" of New York City in 2003 for her contributions to Broadway.
- Once was the legendary actress 'Alla Nazimova' (qv)'s understudy.
- Won a Drama Desk award for best solo performance for her one-woman memoir Broadway show "Elaine Stritch At Liberty." Show also won Drama Desk award for best book of a musical (May/June 2002).
- Lived with 'Ben Gazzara' (qv) for two years.
- Is a diabetic.
- Wins Tony award for Best Special Theatrical Event and Drama Desk award for best solo performance for her one-woman memoir of a Broadway show "Elaine Stritch At Liberty." Show also won Drama Desk award for best book of a musical (May/June 2002).