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Elaine Stritch dead at 89: 'Brassy' and 'unforgettable' a great actress is gone

Elaine Stritch who once said that she was known as a "legendary pain in the ass" is one of the most talented women to ever take to a stage!
Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The award-winning actress Elaine Stritch has died today of natural causes while at her home in Michigan. The 89-year-old husky voice actress lit up Broadway for over six decades and she's had roles in numerous movies and TV shows. Stritch had a "brassy personality," suggests Reuters News on July 17 and it was that personality that made her stand out above all the rest.

Along with Broadway and movie roles, Stritch won Emmy's for her roles on "Law and Order" and "30 Rock." She was called "Stritchie by the great stage composer Noel Coward. Stritch's signature song was from her 1970 musical "Company" in which her rendition of "The Ladies Who Lunch" was unforgettable.

The New York Times fondly refers to the great actress as "the tart-tongued Broadway actress." Her acting was memorable and even though she really a great singer, she had a timing and a way of singing the words in that husky voice that was almost mesmerizing to listen to. After seeing this fine lady perform once, she pulled you in for a life-long fan.

When on "30 Rock," she played the mother of Alec Baldwin's character and once during an interview with Baldwin she agreed with his assessment of her, which was that she was a "legendary pain in the ass."

Stritch would probably be the first one who would agree that she had her moments in which she was "loud, blunt, demanding and profane," which is how many who worked with her saw her. These personality traits were all part of Stritch's Broadway legend.

Last year the famous actress declared that she no longer had the energy to live in New York and she retired to Michigan. Stritch had an amazing life, she came to New York when she was 17 to attend finishing school, but she got caught up in the stage and screen.

That was in 1944 and she ended up studying at Stella Adler's acting school, a school that included alumni like Marlon Brando and Walter Matthau, who were also Stritch's classmates.

This was a lady who shot from the hip, never sugar coating the inevitable. She once said during an interview:

"I want to be talked about," Stritch told the Hollywood Reporter that same year. "I want to be written about. I want everything about me! And I don't make any bones about that. I like it being all about me."

And talk they did, she was a much loved character actor, appreciated for her talent for generation after generation. While her Broadway performances are legendary in plays and musicals, like "Pal Joey" and her memorable role in "Bus Stop"was a venue that earned her the first of five Tony nominations.

One of her more modern-day movie roles was in "Autumn in New York" with Richard Gere and Winona Ryder in 2000. Stritch played a tired grandmother who's heyday had dried up and she no longer had that spark to live, so she eased life's pain with cocktails .

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