Susan Tyrrell Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (5)

Born in San Francisco, California, USA
Died in Austin, Texas, USA  (Essential thrombocytosis)
Birth NameSusan Jillian Creamer
Nickname SuSu
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A bizarre, gloriously one-of-a-kind Hollywood gypsy and self-affirmed outcast, San Francisco-born actress Susan Tyrrell (born Susan Jillian Creamer) was a teenager when she made her stage debut in "Time Out for Ginger" in 1962. A product of the entertainment industry, her father was a top agent at one time with the William Morris firm. She built up her resumé in summer stock and regional plays usually cast in standard ingénue roles. Her nascent career took an abrupt shift in direction, however, when, as a member of New York's Lincoln Repertory Company, she was cast in an array of seamy, salty-tongued, highly dysfunctional character parts. After striking performances on and off Broadway in such fare as "The Rimers of Eldritch" (1967), "A Cry of Players" (1968), "The Time of Your Life" (1969) and "Camino Real" (1970) Hollywood took keen notice of this special talent and, in the early 1970s, began to cast her in their more offbeat projects.

In only her fourth film, Susan earned an Academy Award nomination for her powerhouse portrayal of a cynical, low-life boozer girlfriend opposite Stacy Keach's has-been boxer in John Huston's potent but highly depressing Fat City (1972). Pulling out all the stops after this, she continued to show her fearless attraction toward the dark side throughout the late 1970s with flashy roles in lesser quality material such as The Killer Inside Me (1976), Andy Warhol's Bad (1977), Islands in the Stream (1977), I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977), and September 30, 1955 (1977) as various harridans and grotesques. The 1980s proved no different with manic behavior on full display in Storie di ordinaria follia (1981), Forbidden Zone (1982), Liar's Moon (1981), Fast-Walking (1982), Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981), Big Top Pee-wee (1988) and underground director John Waters' more mainstream film Cry-Baby (1990), many of which have now achieved cult status.

Toned down a bit for TV, she nevertheless demonstrated in both the one-season series Open All Night (1981) and on MacGruder and Loud (1985) that she wasn't about to change. When her TV and movie career started to simmer down, the Los Angeles-based actress opted for the avant-garde stage with such productions as "Why Hannah's Skirt Won't Stay Down" (1986), "Landscape of the Body" (1987), "The Geography of Luck" (1989) and her trenchant one-woman piece "My Rotten Life: A Bitter Operetta" (1989), which she performed over a long period of time.

Real-life tragedy struck in late April of 2000 when Susan contracted a near-fatal illness. Both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee as a result of multiple blood clots due to a rare blood disease -- thrombocythemia. Never say die, she valiantly tried to maintain a positive outlook, and continued to perform on occasion while going through rehabilitation. She also spent time writing and painting before passing away on June 16, 2012. A wild, boisterous trooper, she was the definitive underground raconteur for those who desired the more sordid side of Hollywood.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Trivia (11)

After performing in regional theater throughout California as a teenager, Susan Tyrrell made her Broadway debut at the age of 17.
At the time of her death, she was survived by her niece, Amy Sweet; two sisters, Candace Creamer Sweet and Carole Creamer Davenport; a half-brother, Peter Creamer, and her mother, Gillian Tyrrell Creamer but she died shortly after.
Was a close friend of Andy Warhol superstar Candy Darling, whom she met at Metropolitan Hospital in the 1970s.
Tested for a role in Lenny (1974).
Was a painter. Included in her work are series of portraits entitled Fags and Dykes, and illustrations from the Kama Sutra.
Directed by four Academy Award winners: John Huston, Franklin J. Schaffner, Paul Sylbert, and Claude Lelouch.
Like Goldie Hawn and Karen Black, Tyrrell received her strongest accolades at the very start of her career. She was only 27-years-old when she received her first and only Academy Award nomination.
With Oingo Boingo, wrote the words to "Witch's Egg", a song she performed in Forbidden Zone (1982).
In interviews shared that she experienced "a traumatic sexual incident" with John Huston that forever damaged her.
Had a considerable success while at Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center (now Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts), playing a variety of trollops, dysfunctionals and drunks.
Moved to Morroco shortly after her success with Fat City (1972).

Personal Quotes (10)

I only give line readings. I love line readings - they just all have to be buried. That's my style of acting. Buried line readings. Buried overacting.
I'm a loner. I don't like beautiful people, but I find beauty in the grotesque. And in the sweet soul inside someone who has been able to get through their life without being a rat's ass. Such people should be collected, should be swept up immediately and kept in a box of broken people. I've collected people my whole life. Sometimes it ends badly, but it's absolutely never on my part. Because I know how fabulous I am. You're just going to have to take my word for it - I'm an incredible person. I do good deeds, and I love people, but the only way I can do these things is to stay apart. Because you can just stand so much. But the people who you meet in your life, who cross your path, the ones who are decent, should be collected.
The last thing my mother said to me was, 'SuSu, your life is a celebration of everything that is cheap and tawdry.' I've always liked that, and I've always tried to live up to it.
I hate success. I have the ambition of a slug. I work when I need the money, which is about once a year. Success freaks me out. If it wasn't for that, I'd like to work more, but the more successful you are, the more crap you're offered. So it seems like the less I work, the more I get the special things. Most of the people that are successful really suck to me. I don't think success is a judge of talent at all, not these days.
I've been here for my own pleasure. Strictly. I even found pleasure in displeasure. I would ride those seas and walk those planks. Arrrr.
[on being cast in oddball roles] I don't seek out these parts! I take these parts to pay the rent!
I don't like ingénue people and I don't like to see them in the movies. I like people with heart and soul, and character work is soul.
[Remembering her film Storie di ordinaria follia (1981)] I don't talk in this movie very much, which can be better. I hate talking. That's why I hate theater, these plays with monologues. Keep it down to the bone. Pass the information on, but don't break their balls about emotions. When you play a c***, you'd better have good writing backing you up. When you talk on and on about your goddamned problems, I can't stand it as an actress, I hate it as an audience.
[Remembering her career after earning an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Fat City (1972)] I couldn't even get a job as a bag lady. I went up for bag lady parts and they'd say, 'You're too beautiful now. We thought you were a bag lady from Fat City. Then I'd go up for beautiful parts and they'd say, 'You're not beautiful enough'.
I've become incredibly antisocial. I spend all my time alone. I have this one friend who comes around. I think I have two friends in L.A., last time I looked. I'm disillusioned with the whole fuckin' world. I'm having my tubes tied next week. I just want to ensure that no actors come out of me.

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