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Susan Tyrrell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (21)  | 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 (1980), Liar's Moon (1982), 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 (21)

After performing in regional theater throughout California as a teenager, Susan Tyrrell made her Broadway debut at the age of 17.
According to Tyrrell, Pauline Kael once referred to her as an entire school of acting (not intended as a compliment), and Rex Reed once wrote, "She has a body like an unmade bed." Supposedly, Tennessee Williams once confided to her, "My favorite actors are 50 percent male and 50 percent female. You, my dear, are neither.".
Her mother had been in the Diplomatic Corps in China and the Philippines in the 1930s and 1940s; her father was an agent for Leo Carrillo, Loretta Young, Ed Wynn, Carole Lombard, and others.
Following her death, she was cremated and her ashes scattered.
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.
Daughter of John Belding Creamer, an agent for the William Morris Agency, and Gillian Tyrrell Creamer. Susan had been estranged from Gillian for decades. John and Clark Gable were close friends.
She was married twice briefly.
Never appeared in a Best Picture Oscar nominated film.
A friend of Al Pacino's.
Lived with Andy Warhol superstar Candy Darling for two years. Tyrrell had a mental breakdown and was admitted into inpatient level of care at Metropolitan Hospital, which is where she met Darling.
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.
Friend of Iggy Pop's (the two costarred in Cry-Baby (1990)).
Friend of Johnny Depp's (the two co-starred in Cry-Baby (1990)). In 2000, after Tyrrell lost her legs to a rare blood disorder, to defray her medical bills, Depp hosted a benefit at his Sunset Blvd. club the Viper Room. Megan Mullally, Jack Black, Chloe Webb and others were among the stars in attendance. Webb auctioned off an old pair of Susan's shoes.
Was 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 sang in Forbidden Zone (1980).
Her father and Clark Gable were close friends.
At one point lived in Venice, Italy.
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.

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 have the ambition of a slug. I work when I need money, which is about once a year.
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'.
[Her thoughts on show business] I'm gonna get my tubes tied to ensure that no actors come out of me!

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