Rocker Morrissey has offered up a tribute to actress pal Elaine Stritch, who died on Thursday (17Jul14), calling her "a demented genius".

The former The Smiths singer and the Two's Company star became unlikely pals after Morrissey introduced himself to her in a Los Angeles hotel, and he wrote about their friendship in his recently released memoirs, Autobiography.

In a statement released on Friday (18Jul14), he wrote: "Elaine was my friend for a while. She was, of course, a demented genius - in loveable ways. Can we appreciate the people who are around us right now? The answer, of course, is 'No', for we are all pathetic human beings. It takes death for us to say aloud: thank you for everything, Elaine Stritch.

Stritch was 89 when she died at her home in Michigan.

Writing about the beloved actress in his book, Morrissey noted: "Stritch stretches back one hundred years, a true star of the American stage, and a hallowed prize on any of her rare television appearances. She is a cauldron of Lucille Ball, Tallulah Bankhead, Coral Browne, Estelle Getty and Beatrice Arthur - her creaky tough-nut croak of a voice is loud enough to fill the hotel foyer. She is a blase broad of yesteryear - so funny that people hope that she will soon stop talking."