'Brassy' Broadway Star Elaine Stritch Dead at 89
TV viewers will know her best as Jack Donaghy's mother
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2014 12:56 PM CDT
This film image released by the Tribeca film Festival shows Elaine Stritch in a scene from "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me."   (AP Photo/Tribeca Film Festival)

(Newser) – The phrase "Broadway legend" is getting heavy use today with the death of 89-year-old Elaine Stritch. Modern TV viewers might know her best as Jack Donaghy's mom on 30 Rock, but Stritch made her name on the stage, reports Entertainment Tonight. As the New York Times puts it, she was a "brassy, tart-tongued Broadway actress and singer who became a living emblem of show business durability and perhaps the leading interpreter of Stephen Sondheim’s wryly acrid musings on aging." More recently, she was the subject of a 2013 documentary called Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. Throughout her career, Stritch spoke candidly of her love of drinking (she mostly gave it up in her 60s) and her rocky love life.

Variety relays this anecdote: "Stritch did not restrict her candor to the stage, once telling Variety’s Army Archerd that she 'flipped over Rock Hudson—and we all know what a bum decision that turned out to be,' referring to her failed romance with the closeted actor. These gritty, honest revelations contributed to the unique style Stritch brought to her work." She also appeared in some well-known films, including Woody Allen's September and Small Time Crooks, along with Monster In Law, Out to Sea, and Autumn in New York. Broadway World has a thorough rundown of her credits, which began with her professional stage debut in 1944.

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Jul 18, 2014 12:18 PM CDT
Rest in Peace Elaine. You gave us all some good entertainment. I can not say you were a class act, but you certainly are a hard act to follow. Thanks for all the songs, you rascal you.
Jul 17, 2014 8:52 PM CDT
That was one funny lady. I always marveled that she drank like a fish for most of her life but never lost her wit. Good genes.
Leroy Smith
Jul 17, 2014 3:32 PM CDT
I have always admired this lady. She was a talented, strong, lovely woman. I admire her because she went public with her alcoholism at a time when women and alcohol were basically a taboo topic. it seemed that it was a man's disease.On a lighter note, I loved her in the Law and order episodes playing the tough defense attorney who went up against ADA'S Ben Stone and Jack McCoy. Ms. Stritch stole every scene that she was in. No doubt this lady held her own.