Elaine Stritch Biography

Claim to Fame: Stage and screen actor
DOB: February 2, 1925
Diabetes Type: 2
Date of Death: July 17, 2014

Born in Detroit, Elaine Stritch came from a wealthy, devoutly Roman Catholic family, and was related to Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago. She was educated at a finishing school and prepared for the stage at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School. She made her debut in 1944 and then went on to Broadway two years later.

Stritch went from standing by for Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam to her Tony-nominated performance in the revival of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance. Her Broadway credits include Angel in the Wings, Pal Joey, On Your Toes, Bus Stop, Goldilocks, Sail Away, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (following Uta Hagen in the role of Martha), Company and Show Boat. In London's West End, she starred in Neil Simon's The Gingerbread Lady and Tennessee Williams' Small Craft Warnings. Other stage credits include the concert version of both Follies and Company at Lincoln Center and her appearance in A. R. Gurney's Love Letters with Jason Robards.

Stritch made her film debut in the 1957 remake of A Farewell to Arms. She co-starred in the 1977 Alain Renais film Providence and the award-winning BBC television series Two's Company. Other film credits include Cocoon: The Return; Woody Allen's September; Out to Sea with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon; Krippendorf's Tribe with Richard Dreyfuss; An Unexpected Life with Stockard Channing and Stephen Collins; Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks; and Autumn in New York with Richard Gere and Winona Ryder.

Stritch's television credits include The Cosby Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Soul Man. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance in the miniseries An Inconvenient Woman written by Dominick Dunne and won an Emmy Award for her recurring role on Law & Order. Stritch won a Tony Award for the Broadway production of Elaine Stritch at Liberty, as well as two Drama Desk Awards. She toured her show across the country, ending in San Francisco and then she filmed Paradise for Showtime TV in Salt Lake City; the movie aired in November 2004. 

Stritch has continued working in various movie and limited engagement projects over the years. In 2010, Stritch was the opening performer in the White House's tribute to Broadway, "A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House." Before an audience that included President and Mrs. Barack Obama, the 84-year-old opened the show with "Broadway Baby" and returned later to sing "I'm Still Here." She went on to star alongside Bernadette Peters in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music.

Stritch had a 10-year marriage to actor John Bay that ended when he died from a brain tumor in 1982.

In 2013, Stritch starred in Shoot Me, a movie/documentary based on her current life that focuses on footage on and off the stage. She passed away on July 17, 2014 of natural causes. 

Reviewed by dLife Staff 07/14

Watch Elaine Stritch on the June 19, 2005 episode of dLife.

Find other entertainers with diabetes.


Last Modified Date: July 21, 2014

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by Brenda Bell
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