Elaine Stritch Dead: Broadway Actress, Singer Dies at 89

Celebrity News Jul. 17, 2014 AT 1:35PM
Elaine Stritch at the 2009 Creative Arts Emmy Awards Celebrated actress, comedienne and singer Elaine Stritch died at the age of 89 in her Birmingham, Mich. home on Thursday, July 17 Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Elaine Stritch has died. The legendary stage-and-screen actress and singer passed away at the age of 89 in her Birmingham, Mich., home on Thursday, July 17, the New York Times reports. Her death was confirmed by friend Julie Keyes.

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Stritch is best-known for her work on stage, and made her Broadway debut in the comedy Loco in 1946. She went on to star in Bus Stop, Sail Away, Company, and a Delicate Balance. She won a Tony Award in 2001 and an Emmy Award in 2004 for Elaine Stritch at Liberty. She began performing the one-woman show at the Public Theater in Manhattan at 76 before heading to Broadway.

"Listen to me, I cannot tell you what would have happened to me if I couldn't have gotten out what's inside of me tonight—I try not to drink," she joked during her Emmys speech. "Look at the company I'm in—I'm so glad none of them won!"

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"I can hardly take a compliment, I have a problem. But tonight be my guest. I am so happy to have won this award," she continued, with an eruption of laughter from the star-studded crowd. "Now I'm not moving from here until someone comes and gets me. You'll just never know. You'll never 'effin know." (Always one to speak her mind, Stritch also grabbed attention when she dropped the f-bomb during an interview on the Today show in February.)

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The lovably acerbic actress—who lived at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan for many years—also made unforgettable performances on the small screen. Some of her work included The Ellen Burstyn Show, The Cosby Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Law & Order.

In 2007, Stritch won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal as Colleen Donaghy (the caustic mother of Alec Baldwin's character, Jack) in 30 Rock. (She received five nominations in total for the NBC smash hit.) She also starred in the recent documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.

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Stritch's husband of 10 years, actor John Bay, died in 1982 at the age of 53 of a brain tumor.

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