Actress Elaine Stritch dies at age 89
Elaine Stritch, whose husky voice and brassy demeanor dominated stages from New York’s Broadway to London’s West End in a career of more than 60 years, died at age 89 on Thursday, her spokesman said.
Stritch, who also had Emmy-winning roles on the television shows “30 Rock” and “Law & Order,” died in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb of her native Detroit, from natural causes. She had suffered from diabetes for several years and had been in declining health.
Stritch worked with some of the stage’s greatest composers – from Noel Coward, who called her Stritchie, to Stephen Sondheim, who wrote what became her signature song, the show-stopping “The Ladies Who Lunch,” from the 1970 musical “Company.”
Her voice did not have great range but she brought emotion and impeccable timing to anything she sang.
Stritch was so closely identified with Broadway and New York that the city’s landmark conservancy group declared her a living landmark in 2003. In 2013, Stritch said she no longer had the energy required to live in New York and returned to her native Michigan. Life in the Detroit suburbs proved to be a tough transition, however, and two months after moving she told Vanity Fair magazine, “I don’t have a damn thing to do except take walks in Birmingham, Michigan, and I’ve done that.”
Stritch first went to New York from Detroit in 1944 at age 17 to attend finishing school. She became caught up in the stage world and studied at Stella Adler’s prestigious acting school, where Marlon Brando and Walter Matthau were classmates.
At the news of her death, members of the entertainment community posted on social media in memory of Stritch.
I suspect Elaine Stritch won't know how to rest-in-peace! Iconic entertainer, force of nature, my wonderful movie-mom http://t.co/6HzjbsRwyO
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) 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
RISE. RISE. RISE. RISE. RISE. RISE. Elaine Stritch, RIP.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) 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
RIP Elaine Stritch. Now she's telling God what to do. I will miss her terribly. http://t.co/UaUR7NrzmS
— Lea DeLaria (@realleadelaria) 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
let's all drink to her. pic.twitter.com/fZfvuSBUQz
— The Book of Mormon (@BookofMormon) July 17, 2014