Acting Legend Elaine Stritch Dead At 89, A Family Friend Shares Her Memories

Iconic actress and singer Elaine Stritch died at her home in Birmingham, Mich. on Thursday. She was 89 years old. Recent fans may know her best as the Jack Donaghy’s brash mother on 30 Rock, but her extensive career goes back to the 1940s. With her work spanning across television, film, and Broadway, she truly embodied the role of the performer.

Prior to returning to her home state due to ill health last year, Stritch was a fixture of New York City — in fact, the New York Landmarks Conservancy declared her a Living Landmark in 2003. She ruled Broadway with an iron voice, starting off as an understudy for the equally brassy Ethel Merman in 1950’s Call Me Madam. From there her star continued to ascend, taking roles in William Inge’s 1955 drama Bus Stop, Noël Coward’s 1961 Sail Away, and Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical Company, singing the immortal “Ladies Who Lunch.” In the new millennium she boasted her own show, 2002’s Elaine Stritch at Liberty.

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