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: 03/18/1945 in San Francisco, California, USA


Actor (52)

Kid-Thing 2011 (Movie)


Buddy Boy 2000 (Movie)

Sal (Actor)

Extreme Ghostbusters 1997 - 1999 (TV Show)


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

Alicia Pillsbury (Actor)

Poison Ivy: the New Seduction 1996 (Movie)


Comes the Dawn 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


Powder 1995 (Movie)

Maxine (Actor)

The Demolitionist 1995 (Movie)


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)


Tapeheads 1988 (Movie)

Nikki Morton (Actor)

The Chipmunk Adventure 1987 (Movie)

Claudia Vorstein (Voice)

The Christmas Star 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


The Offspring 1987 (Movie)

Beth Chandler (Actor)

If Tomorrow Comes 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


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)


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)


Subway Riders 1981 (Movie)

Eleanor Langley (Actor)

The Killers 1980 (Movie)

Susu--2nd Ragpicker (Actor)

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


Lady of the House 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)


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)


MacGruder and Loud (TV Show)


Open All Night (TV Show)


Poker Alice (TV Show)


Thompson's Last Run (TV Show)



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.



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


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


Acted in the psychological thriller "Buddy Boy"


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Acted in the ABC crime drama "MacGruder and Loud"


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Made feature film debut in "The Steagle"


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"


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


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.