Broadway, TV and cabaret have lost a show-stopper Elaine Stritch, whose gravelly voice and impeccable comic timing made her a legend, has died of natural causes. She was 89. Broadway lights are being dimmed at 7:45 PM Friday in her honor.
Broadway fans know her for appearances in musicals including in Stephen Sondheim’s Company and more recently, in her 80s, as Madame Armfeldt in a revival of A Little Night Music, where she replaced Angela Lansbury to great reviews.
TV fans know her as the sharp-tongued mother of the Alec Baldwin character in 30 Rock, for which she earned one of three Emmy awards. She even was parodied on The Simpsons
Cabaret fans know her for her performances at the Carlyle Hotel Elaine Stritch at the Carlyle: Movin’ Over and Out. She lived in the hotel for more than a decade.
And fans of celebrity memoirs about Broadway, cabaret and TV stars know her from her best-selling book Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
In Company (1970), she originated the role of the acerbic Joanne and also appeared in the London production, including a show-stopper version of The Ladies Who Lunch.
She also was a skilled dramatic actress, appearing as Grace, the owner of a small-town Kansas restaurant in William Inge’s “Bus Stop” (1955), and as tart-tongued alcoholic Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (1996), portraying a tart-tongued, upper-crust alcoholic. Another of her Emmy awards was for a guest spot on Law and Order in 1990.
Elaine Stritch was born in Detroit, and returned there a few years ago after her final performances in NYC. She was an original. There will never be another Elaine Stritch. She will be missed.
She was one of my favorites. Yours, too?