Susan Tyrrell – Cult Actress and Oscar Nominee Dead at 67

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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!


  1. Carrie

    June 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I’m so excited for #2! Wheeeee!

  2. Dana

    June 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I remember her as the protective mother-figure in the first couple of ANGEL movies. She was just great.

  3. lisa mionie

    June 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I knew Susan Tyrrell after casting her in a sitcom in 1981. She was outrageous,talented, smart
    and an original in every sense of the word . She was funny and wonderful. A great actress.
    R.I.P. Susu.

  4. John Diehl

    June 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I played “Billy Boy”, the psycho serial killer in the 1st ANGEL. I was pretty new at the game and I was asking Susan how to go about crying in a scene. She had just done this scene with, another late, great performer, Dick Shawn, playing cards I think it was. And she was crying all over the place. She told me they were not paying her enough money to really cry. So she just had the makeup lady blow “vapor rub” or something into her eyes to make her tear up and then acted it all out. Susan, you sure fooled me. You are an inspiration.


    August 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    She will be loved and misse.d.I Will always remember that crazy good times god hearted Person she was in n o you’ll be in my heart.I never Forget the moment we had the things we Talk about with Rico her bird R r r r Rico.I haven’t change my phone number to get she may call me sometime lost her number.Or maybe he will call me in let me know what she’s buried 626 4197964.Last I heard she was in Texas. Her crazy as attitude an love for life, love, people, And silver
    Screen ill be missed sscre Thanks 1,000,000 dollars P s this website freeze up so bad and it kills me so I can go correct my mistakes so fuck itfor let me meet your needs are your life and I hope you’re in a good place you’re happy


    August 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Sorry about the last message if I can only see my typos I was correcting them but I couldn’t see through the tears.Thanks 1,000,000 dollars

    Goodbye sw

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