Susan Tyrrell – Cult Actress and Oscar Nominee Dead at 67
I really liked this bold, unusual actress who appeared in a ton of cult films, always adding a deranged, off-the-wall presence playing crazies, hookers, and grotesques. A self-proclaimed “Hollywood gypsy” and outcast , Susan Tyrrell could elevate a mediocre film like BUTCHER BAKER NIGHTMARE MAKER or add her own eccentricities to serious movies like I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN and John Huston’s FAT CITY (for which she received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in 1972). Her unique allure was tapped by directors John Waters (CRY BABY – as Johnny Depp’s grandma), and Paul Verhooven (FLESH + BLOOD) and she even narrated Ralph Bakshi’s WIZARDS. She’ll live forever in the minds of cult film fans for her portrayal of Doris, Queen of the Sixth Dimension, in the Richard and Danny Elfman musical FORBIDDEN ZONE (1980) and as the perpetually put-upon Mary in ANDY WARHOL’S BAD (1976). In 2000, Ms Tyrrell had both legs amputated at the knees due to thrombocythemia, a rare bone marrow disease so her death at age 67 is not a huge surprise but her singular rebellious spirit will be missed.
Update: in an odd coincidence, Turner Classic Movies will be running FAT CITY tonight (6/18) at 7pm CT. See Susan in her Oscar-nominated role!