Actress Susan Tyrrell dies at 67
Cult actress and Oscar nominee Susan Tyrrell died at home over the weekend. She was 67.
The California-born Tyrrell, born Susan Cremer (pronounced "Kramer"), began her career as a teenager on the stages of New York, starring opposite Art Carney in "Time Out for Ginger" before heading to Hollywood.
Though she appeared on such notable TV shows as "Baretta," "Starsky and Hutch" and "Kojak," Tyrrell's career is mostly memorable for her roles in quirky films such as John Waters' "Cry-Baby" (1990).
Tyrrell, who appeared in more than 75 movies and TV shows, received a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for her role as alcoholic barfly Oma in John Huston's 1971 boxing drama "Fat City." She also won a Saturn Award in 1978 from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for best supporting actress in "Andy Warhol's Bad."
Tyrrell moved to Austin in 2008 and most recently appeared as an eerie woman trapped in a hole in the woods in Nathan and David Zellner's "Kid-Thing."
"It was such a joy to have been pals with the one and only SuSu, one of my favorite actresses ever and just as much a presence in person as on-screen," said David Zellner. "Her lust for life, her fixation with provocation and the subversive was so refreshing and fun. And her absolute candor. Nothing was off limits with her — she didn't mince words, she loved what she loved and she hated what she hated ... I'm so grateful that we got to work together on ‘Kid-Thing.' Until we screened the finished product for her, we had no idea which way it would go and were humbled by how proud of it she was. She will be sorely missed."
Though in her 60s, Tyrrell had a strong impact with younger artists. Yvonne Lambert of Austin band the Octopus Project was a close friend of the late actress and accompanied her to an interview with former Statesman writer Chris Garcia in 2010.
"It's weird and amazing to meet someone who's so much older than you and find that you have so much in common," Lambert told the Statesman in 2010. "It's fun to learn things from her, and she learns things from me, too.
"She's so caring, so giving. I think a lot of people see her as a very salty, sassy, saucy lady, and that's part of her. But the SuSu I fell in love with is this beautiful, good-hearted, sweet lady."
Tyrrell spent her last 12 years in a wheelchair, her legs were amputated below the knee after complications from a rare blood disease called essential thrombocythemia. The actress who formed a love of painting in her 30s had painted lizards and roses that looked like tattoos on her prosthetics.
The cause of death and details on services were not available, but a person close to Tyrrell said she died Saturday.
Contact Matthew Odam at 912-5986