Susan Tyrrell, who was nominated for an Oscar for her supporting actress role in “Fat City,” passed away on Sunday at the age of 67.
Tyrrell, who often played whores, crazies, and grotesques, was quoted as saying, according to The Chicago Tribune, that:
“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.”
Tyrrell was born Susan Jillian Creamer and her father was a top agent at the William Morris Agency, whose clients included Loretta Young and Carole Lombard, according to Play Bill.
The actress was only 26 when she auditioned for the part of Oma, in “Fat City.” When convincing director John Huston that she would be perfect for the part, she stated:
“I know you think I’m too young for the part, but I don’t think there’s anything interesting about a 35-year-old barfly. What about a 25-year-old barfly? Why is she there?”
Susan Tyrrell’s performance in the film has been hailed as one of the greatest screen drunks of all time, which may have been helped by the admission that she was already well-acquainted with drugs and alcohol.
PEOPLE reports that the actress contracted essential thrombocytosis, a rare blood disease, in 2000. As a result, both of her legs were amputated. Despite the disability, she continued working, appearing in the 2003 movie “Masked and Anonymous.”
Tyrrell did not share a good relationship with her mother, who she reportedly cut off contact with when she was a teenager. The Chicago Tribune reports that she stated to the Los Angeles Weekly in 2000 that:
“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.”
Check out an interview with Susan Tyrrell here: