Susan Tyrrell

Actor, Voice actor, Waitress
Flinty blonde actress Susan Tyrell specialized in spangly, trashy film femmes since she made her screen debut in "Shoot Out" (1971). Ironically, Susan Tyrrell began her career as a teenager playing the ingnue in the ... Read more »
Born: 03/17/1945 in San Francisco, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (52)

Kid-Thing 2011 (Movie)

(Actor)

Buddy Boy 2000 (Movie)

Sal (Actor)

Extreme Ghostbusters 1997 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Relax...It's Just Sex 1999 (Movie)

Alicia Pillsbury (Actor)

Poison Ivy: the New Seduction 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

Comes the Dawn 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Powder 1995 (Movie)

Maxine (Actor)

The Demolitionist 1995 (Movie)

(Actor)

Motorama 1993 (Movie)

Bartender (Actor)

Cry Baby 1990 (Movie)

Ramona (Actor)

Rockula 1990 (Movie)

Chuck the Bartender (Actor)

Far From Home 1989 (Movie)

Agnes Reed (Actor)

Hideous Sun Demon 1989 (Movie)

(dubbed version) (Voice)

Big Top Pee-Wee 1988 (Movie)

Midge (Actor)

Sidney Sheldon's "Windmills of the Gods" 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Tapeheads 1988 (Movie)

Nikki Morton (Actor)

The Chipmunk Adventure 1987 (Movie)

(Voice)

The Christmas Star 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Offspring 1987 (Movie)

Beth Chandler (Actor)

If Tomorrow Comes 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Underachievers 1986 (Movie)

Mrs Grant (Actor)

Avenging Angel 1985 (Movie)

Solly Mosler (Actor)

Flesh + Blood 1985 (Movie)

Celine (Actor)

Angel 1984 (Movie)

Solly Mosler (Actor)

Jealousy 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Fire and Ice 1983 (Movie)

of Juliana (Voice)

Tales of Ordinary Madness 1983 (Movie)

Vera (Actor)

Liar's Moon 1982 (Movie)

Lora Mae Bouvier (Actor)

Loose Shoes 1981 (Movie)

Boobies (Actor)

Midnight Lace 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Subway Riders 1981 (Movie)

Eleanor Langley (Actor)

The Killers 1980 (Movie)

Susu--2nd Ragpicker (Actor)

Willow B: Women in Prison 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Lady of the House 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Forbidden Zone 1978 (Movie)

Queen (Actor)

9/30/55 1977 (Movie)

Melba Lou (Actor)

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden 1977 (Movie)

Lee (Actor)

Islands in the Stream 1977 (Movie)

Lil (Actor)

Another Man, Another Chance 1976 (Movie)

Alice (Actor)

Andy Warhol's Bad 1975 (Movie)

Mary Aiken (Actor)

The Killer Inside Me 1975 (Movie)

Joyce Lakeland (Actor)

Zandy's Bride 1974 (Movie)

Maria Cordova (Actor)

Catch My Soul 1972 (Movie)

Emilia (Actor)

Fat City 1972 (Movie)

Oma (Actor)

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me 1970 (Movie)

Jack (Actor)

Shoot Out 1970 (Movie)

Alma (Actor)

The Steagle 1970 (Movie)

Louise (Actor)

Jealousy (Movie)

(Actor)

MacGruder and Loud (TV Show)

Actor

Open All Night (TV Show)

Actor

Poker Alice (TV Show)

Actor

Thompson's Last Run (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Flinty blonde actress Susan Tyrell specialized in spangly, trashy film femmes since she made her screen debut in "Shoot Out" (1971). Ironically, Susan Tyrrell began her career as a teenager playing the ingénue in the stage comedy "Time Out for Ginger" opposite Art Carney. After settling in New York City, however, she began to excel at playing women of questionable virtue in stage productions like "The Time of Your Life" and "Camino Real." In John Huston's "Fat City" (1972), Tyrrell offered a brilliant characterization of an alcoholic involved in an interracial romance, for which she won a richly deserved Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Like many female actors, however, she found good roles were few and far between as the years went by. Tyrrell was relegated to portraying hardened females, like the loose woman discarded by Gene Hackman in "Zandy's Bride" (1974) and George C Scott's mistress in "Islands in the Stream" (1976). Capitalizing on these qualities, she played Carroll Baker's sloppy daughter-in-law in "Andy Warhol's Bad" (1976) and an unabashed lesbian apartment building manager in "Angel" (1984) and its sequel "Avenging Angel" (1985). She was delightful as Johnny Depp's acid-breathing grandmother with a soft spot for a bad kid in John Waters' "Cry Baby" (1990). Her performances as motorchicks or 1950s-style moms in films that were either self-consciously campy - like her turn as Midge in "Big Top Pee-Wee" (1988) - or so delirious that they descended into camp, as in "Rockula" (1990). Much of her small screen work was in a similar vein like her performance as a prisoner in "Willow B: Women in Prison" (ABC, 1980) and the lady of the evening who engages in fisticuffs with Elizabeth Taylor's "Poker Alice" (CBS, 1987). The beloved character actress passed away on June 18, 2012.

Milestones

2003

Cast as Ella the Fortune Teller in Larry Charles' "Masked and Anonymous"

1999

Acted in the psychological thriller "Buddy Boy"

1999

Made cameo as the mother of a lesbian in "Relax, It's Just Sex"

1998

Stared in the L.A. premiere of Martin Sherman's play "A Table for a King"

1997

Voiced the character Achira on the syndicated animated series "Extreme Ghostbusters"

1995

Co-starred in HBO original film "Comes the Dawn"

1991

Wrote and performed the one-woman show "My Rotten Life"

1990

Played the title character's (Johnny Depp) grandmother in "Cry-Baby," written and directed by John Waters

1988

Co-starred in CBS miniseries "Sidney Sheldon's Windmills of the Gods"

1988

Played Midge Montana in the comedy sequel "Big Top Pee-wee"

1987

Appeared opposite Elizabeth Taylor in the CBS movie "Poker Alice"

1986

Starred in the acclaimed L.A. production of Tom Eyen's "Why Hanna's Skirt Won't Stay Down" staged by Ron Link

1985

Acted in the ABC crime drama "MacGruder and Loud"

1985

Reprised her role as the lesbian landlady in the sequel "Avenging Angel"

1984

Cast as the lesbian landlady to the titular "Angel," a teenaged hooker played by Donna Wilkes

1983

Provided character voices for the animated feature "Fire and Ice"

1981

Series debut as a regular, played George Dzundza's wife on the ABC sitcom "Open All Night"

1980

Appeared with Anne Archer in "A Couple of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking"

1979

Co-starred in the Broadway play "Father's Day"; opened and closed on the same night

1978

Made TV debut in the NBC movie "Lady of the House"

1973

Co-starred in "Catch My Soul," a musical based on Shakespeare's "Othello"

1972

Landed breakthrough film role in "Fat City," directed by John Huston; received Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination as the blowsy alcoholic involved in an interracial romance

1970

Made feature film debut in "The Steagle"

1968

Worked off-Broadway and in Lincoln Center productions, frequently cast as trollops and fallen women in such plays as "Camino Real" and "The Time of Your Life"

1962

Won lead role in the touring company of "Time Out for Ginger", co-starring Art Carney; profiled by LOOK magazine

Raised in New Canaan, CT

Bonus Trivia

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In the spring of 2000, Tyrrell underwent surgery to remove the bottom half of both of her legs because of a blood disease (essential thrombocythemia), which halted her circulation.

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