Straight out of finishing school, American actress Elaine Stritch laid the groundwork for her career by studying drama at New York's New School. Stritch's first stage appearance was in 1944, and her Broadway bow was in 1946. A superlative dramatic actress, Ms. Stritch also excelled in musical comedy, a genre she returned to off and on into the '90s. After her film debut in The Scarlet Hour (1956), Stritch contributed a compelling performance to the 1957 remake of A Farewell to Arms, but wouldn't make another truly worthwhile film (worthwhile to her, that is) until the French-filmed Providence in 1970. On television, Stritch starred in the the pioneering 1948 domestic comedy Growing Paynes, the short-lived 1960 sitcom My Sister Eileen, and costarred as the star's mother in The Ellen Burstyn Show (1986). She was also a member of the supporting comedy troupe on the 1949 TVer Jack Carter and Company, a comic switchboard operator on the bi-weekly 1956 variety series Washington Square, and Peter Falk's secretary on the one-season Trials of O'Brien (1965). In 1972, Ms. Stritch moved to London as a cast member of the Broadway hit Company and remained there to work for several years. In the last decade, Elaine Stritch has appeared in such films as September (1988) and Cocoon (1990), and has won additional critical plaudits for her role as Parthy Hawkes in the lavish 1994 Broadway revival of Show Boat.
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Her on-screen work included projects such as Krippendorf's Tribe, Autumn in New York, Screwed, and the working-class musical Romance & Cigarettes. She was part of Jane Fonda's comeback vehicle Monster-In-Law, and in 2012 she lent he voice to the animated family film ParaNorman. She had a recurring role as Colleen Donaghy, Jack's mother, on 30 Rock, which earned her an Emmy Award in 2007. She died in 2014 at age 89. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi