Publicity still for Camino Real, 1970
Susan Jillian Creamer
March 18, 1945
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Died||June 16, 2012 (aged 67)|
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Fat City, Andy Warhol's Bad, Forbidden Zone, Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker, Cry-Baby|
John Belding Creamer
Susan Tyrrell (born Susan Jillian Creamer; March 18, 1945 - June 16, 2012) was an American character actress. Tyrrell's career began in theater in New York City in the 1960s in Broadway and off Broadway productions. Her first film was Shoot Out (1971). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Oma in John Huston's Fat City (1972). In 1978, Tyrrell received the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Andy Warhol's Bad (1977). Her New York Times obituary described her as "a whiskey-voiced character actress (with) talent for playing the downtrodden, outré, and grotesque."
Tyrrell was born in San Francisco, California, to a British mother, Gillian (née Tyrrell; 1913–2012); and an American father, John Belding Creamer. Her mother was a socialite and member of the diplomatic corps in China and the Philippines during the 1930s and 1940s. Her father John was an agent with the William Morris Agency who represented Leo Carrillo, Loretta Young, Ed Wynn, and Carole Lombard.
Tyrell spent her childhood in New Canaan, Connecticut. She was a poor student and as a teenager became estranged from her mother. Through her father's connections, Tyrrell was employed in the theatrical production of Time Out for Ginger (1963) starring Art Carney in New York City. Her father also persuaded Look magazine to follow her as she toured with the show, but died shortly afterwards.
Tyrrell made her Broadway debut in 1965 as a replacement performer in the comedy Cactus Flower. In 1968, as a member of the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, she was in the cast of King Lear and revivals of The Time of Your Life (1969) and Camino Real (1970). Off-Broadway, Tyrrell appeared in the 1967 premiere of Lanford Wilson's The Rimers of Eldritch and a 1979 production of Father's Day at The American Place Theatre.
Tyrrell's television debut was in Mr. Novak (1964) and her film debut was in Shoot Out (1971). Tyrrell was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Oma in John Huston's Fat City (1972). In 1976, she played a psychotic bimbo in I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. In 1978, the actress won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Bad (1977).
Later, Tyrrell starred as Queen Doris in the indie Forbidden Zone (1980). She sang the film's song, "Witch's Egg". A year later, she portrayed Vera in Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981). From 1981 to 1982, Tyrrell starred as Gretchen Feester, in the ABC's short-lived situation comedy series Open All Night. She then had a starring role in the exploitation horror film Night Warning (1981).
In 1983 Tyrrell played Solly, in the sexploitation film Angel and its 1984 sequel, Avenging Angel. Then followed roles in the adventure film Flesh+Blood, the Vincent Price anthology horror film From a Whisper to a Scream (1987), the animated feature film The Chipmunk Adventure (1987), and Big Top Pee-wee (the 1988 sequel to 1985's Pee-wee's Big Adventure) followed. Tyrrell took a supporting role in John Waters' Cry-Baby (1990).
In 1992, Tyrrell performed her own one-woman show, Susan Tyrrell: My Rotten Life, a Bitter Operetta. In the late 1990s, Tyrrell had roles in the Tales from the Crypt episode, "Comes the Dawn" (1995); the animated series Extreme Ghostbusters (1997); and the psychological thriller film Buddy Boy (1999).
Tyrrell suffered from essential thrombocytosis, a disease of the blood. In early 2000, her disease was complicated by bilateral below knee amputations. That year, Johnny Depp hosted a benefit at the Viper Room to help defray Tyrrell's medical bills. Megan Mullally, Jack Black, and Chloe Webb attended.
In 2008, Tyrell moved to Austin, Texas, to be closer to her niece. In January 2012, Tyrrell wrote in her journal, "I demand my death be joyful and I never return again." She died on June 16, 2012, in Austin. She was cremated and her ashes scattered.
|Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me||Jack|
|1972||Fat City||Oma Lee Greer||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)|
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)
Nominated -- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
|1974||Catch My Soul||Emilia|
|Zandy's Bride||Maria Cordova|
|To Kill the King||Maggie Van Birchard|
|1976||The Killer Inside Me||Joyce Lakeland|
|1977||Andy Warhol's Bad||Mary Aiken||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|Islands in the Stream||Lil|
|I Never Promised You a Rose Garden||Lee|
|September 30, 1955||Melba Lou|
|Another Man, Another Chance||Alice|
|1980||Forbidden Zone||Queen Doris of the Sixth Dimension / Ruth Henderson|
|1981||Subway Riders||Eleanor Langley|
|Night Warning||Cheryl Roberts (Aunt Cheryl)|
|Tales of Ordinary Madness||Vera|
|1982||Liar's Moon||Lora Mae Bouvier|
|1983||Fire and Ice||Juliana||Voice|
|The Killers||Susu, Second Ragpicker|
|1985||Avenging Angel||Solly Mosler|
|1986||The Christmas Star||Sara|
|1987||The Chipmunk Adventure||Claudia Furschtein||Voice|
|From a Whisper to a Scream||Beth Chandler|
|The Underachievers||Mrs. Grant|
|Big Top Pee-wee||Midge Montana|
|1989||Far from Home||Agnes Reed|
|1990||Rockula||Chuck the Bartender|
|1992||Susan Tyrrell: My Rotten Life, a Bitter Operetta||The Woman|
|1995||The Demolitionist||Mayor Eleanor Grimbaum|
|Digital Man||Mildred Hodges|
|1997||Poison Ivy: The New Seduction||Mrs. B|
|Pink as the Day She Was Born||Lana|
|1998||Relax...It's Just Sex||Alicia Pillsbury|
|2003||Masked and Anonymous||Ella the Fortune Teller|
|2008||The Boneyard Collection||High Priestess|
|2012||Kid-Thing||Esther||Voice, (final film role)|
|1964||Mr. Novak||Phyllis Freuchen||Episode: "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt"|
|1971||Bonanza||Mrs. Jill Conway||Episode: "Fallen Woman"|
|1975||Baretta||Pamela / Jenny||Episode: "Double Image"|
|1976||Starsky and Hutch||Annie / Isabelle Oates||Episode: "The Collector"|
|1978||Kojak||Mary Torino||Episode: "In Full Command"|
|1981-1982||Open All Night||Gretchen Feester||13 episodes|
|1992||Wings||Sconset Sal||Episode: "Marriage, Italian Style" (as Susan Tyrell)|
|1995||Tales from the Crypt||Mona||Episode: "Comes the Dawn"|
|1997||Extreme Ghostbusters||Achira||Voice, Episodes: "Darkness at Noon, Part 1", "Darkness at Noon, Part 2"|
|1967||The Rimers of Eldritch||Patsy Johnson||Cherry Lane Theatre|
|1968||Cactus Flower||Botticelli's Springtime [Replacement]
Toni (Understudy) [Replacement]
|1968||A Cry for Players||Jenny||Broadway|
|Invitation to a Beheading||Marthe||The Public Theater|
|A Cry of Players||Jenny||Broadway|
|The Time of Your Life||Kitty Duval||Broadway|
|1970||Camino Real||Esmeralda||Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center|
|1979||Father's Day||Louise||The American Place Theatre|
|1992||Susan Tyrrell: My Rotten Life, a Bitter Operetta||The Woman|
|1997||The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite ||Patsy, Older Woman, Waitress||Center Theatre Group|
|1973||Fat City||NSFC Award||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|NYFCC Award||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Academy Award||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|1978||Andy Warhol's Bad||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
Source:"Susan Tyrrell". IMDB. Retrieved 2014.